For maps of Lordship Park projects see the maps section at:Lordship Maps

1916 Bridgeport Development plan

January 29, 1925: BILL TO MAKE EASTERN LORDSHIP A STATE PARK: Approximately on Representative Charles Wheelers bills for establishing a state park and airport in Stratford Point or Lordship as it has come to be called in recent years, is available in one tract of land which the owners are willing to sell to the state if legislature acts favorably. Besides the 100 acres in the main tract considered in Wheelers plans as the nucleus for the development of Lordship as one of the foremost beach resorts on the north shore of Long Island Sound, there is a beach frontage approximately a mile in length extending toward the present Lordship bathing pavilion. If the state should decide to establish its seashore park on the site considered best fitted for such a public playground the next move it is expected would be by the town in constructing a boulevard from Pleasure Beach to Lordship pavilion, just back of the houses which now stand on the beach front which would make it possible for automobile parties to use the long stretch of bathing beach between the present boundary of Pleasure Beach and Lordship pavilion. This is all town land which is now leased to individuals at a rental of a few dollars annually. This long stretch of beach front now owned by the town could be used to accommodate innumerable thousands of bathers who might come to the beach on holidays and find even the 100 acre state park inadequate to accommodate them. Construction of the mile stretch of boulevard along the peninsula on the tip of which is now located Pleasure Beach, in a shore drive beginning on Pleasure Beach and connecting with South Main Street and the Lordship beach road in Stratford. In the immediate proposition as embraced in Wheelers bills which were presented in Hartford today, a 100 acre tract of land is available at a point just east of the limit of the present building development at Lordship. Beginning at a point one block east of Willow Street and extending to the very tip of Stratford Point, the Stratford Land and Improvement Company of which Frank Staples of Bridgeport is secretary and treasurer has approximately 100 acres which Mr. Staples said today the company is willing to sell to the state under Representative Wheelers plans. There is approximately 1,000 feet of good beach frontage on the Long Island Sound boundary of the tract and from 1,000 to 1,500 feet extending around into the mouth of the Housatonic River, the east boundary of the tract. The Housatonic River beach is south of and adjacent to Short Beach which is now used by thousands of bathers every summer. The river side of the tract is practically Sound frontage inasmuch as it is at the very mouth of the river and but for the fact that there is a long breakwater extending from Milford Point on the opposite shore of the river, would be struck daily by the Sound rollers. As it is the bathing here is considered as fine as at any point along the Sound. The 100 acre tract with the exception of about three acres is all high ground and has already been plotted for building lots. It is not swamp or meadow land although there are hundreds of acres of undeveloped meadow land nearby drained by canals. The tract includes the bluff near Stratford Lighthouse and all the level land north and west of it as far as the present shore colony. Plans for disposing of the building lots into which the tract has been cut up are being held in abeyance pending news as to whether the state desires to purchase the plot for use as a state park. The proposed airport probably would be located in part of the 100 acre tract if the Legislative acts favorably on the separate bill covering this proposition, unless it should be decided that all the tract would be needed for the state park. If it should be decided to take the entire tract for a state park there are several other tentative sites in the south end of the town all of which have been tested out as landing fields by aero plane and found to fulfill the requirements of aero planes for landing and taking off.

March 6, 1925 - BANNING OF PARK PROJECT PLEASES LORDSHIP PEOPLE: Improvement Association Feared Adoption of Park Would Injure Homes: Various officers and members of the Lordship Manor Improvement association have expressed themselves as greatly relieved at the decision of the State Park commission which has eliminated Lordship at a possible site for a state park. No official expression has ever been recorded as to their attitude regarding the proposed state park believing as most of them did, that it was impractical and would not be seriously considered, yet the agitation by outsiders has been a constant source of worry to the home owners of Lordship who could see in such a happening, the destruction of the home surroundings, peace and quiet for which so many have struggled and endured hardships to enjoy.

Housatonic Park Project by Charles Downing Lay.


Housatonic Park 1933


Housatonic Park 1933


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Stratford News Articles on Housatonic Park Project from 1932.


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HP September 3, 1933


HP Cover Letter


HP Map

May 28, 1948: PUBLIC BARRED FROM LORDSHIP BLUFFS AREA: The Lordship Bluffs area will not be available to the public this year either for parking or beach use, Town Manager Harry Flood announced today following receipt of a letter from Robert Trevethan, attorney for the Lordship Park Association, owner of the land. The Association plans to start work on its program of subdivision of the area into building lots for a high class residential development this summer according to Mr. Trevethan. The area has been used casually for many years with the tacit consent of the Association as a parking and beach area and last year a special license was granted the town by the organization permitting its official use for these purposes as an accommodation for townspeople and especially Lordship residents and users of the adjoining Russian Beach. No parking is permitted on streets in this area. The Association is working on a layout for the area which it plans to present to the Planning Board Mr. Trevethan said and is considering reserving the beach front for park purposes for those purchasing land in the development. The area is located immediately east of Russian Beach, has a beach frontage of approximately 2,500 feet extending from a southerly projection of the west line of Spruce Street, easterly toward the lighthouse. The property will be posted by the Association to advise the public that it is no longer open for use either parking or beach purposes.

July 9, 1948 - LORDSHIP PARK HOUSING APPEAL DENIED BY COURT: Stratford Zoners Rejection of Building Lots Layout is Upheld. Proposed Layout Failed to Comply with Master Pan Board Rules: An attempt by the Lordship Park Association to subdivide into 45 building lots its 35 acres of property on the Lordship Bluffs, Stratford, encountered another setback yesterday when Judge John Fitzgerald of Common Pleas Court sustained the refusal of the Stratford Board of Zoning Appeals to approve a layout of the project. In a memorandum dismissing the Association?s appeal from the action of the zoning body, Judge Fitzgerald declared that the Supreme Court should decide the constitutionality of Stratford zoning setup and a ruling by the Town Planning board was not invalid even though the board failed to comply with a town ordinance. The Association submitted its petition to the Planning board June 19, 1948 and the board rejected the application October 6, 1948. The Association then appealed to the Board of Zoning Appeals which sustained the decision of the Planning board. The decision of both the Planning board and the Board of Zoning Appeals the minutes of both bodies disclosed was based primarily on the fact that the proposed layout failed to provide for a through highway along the shore of Long Island Sound as contemplated by a master plan developed as early as 1927. The Association appealed to Common Pleas Court on the grounds that its proposed layout met all of the requirements of the town?s ordinances: the Planning board failed to act on the original application within 60 days and so was without jurisdiction and the disapproval was arbitrary and constituted an abuse of discretion. In respect to the Association?s claims of law concerning the legality of Stratford?s zoning ordinances Judge Fitzgerald says that the Supreme Court has said lower tribunals should be wary of passing on the constitutionality of legislative enactments.

1916 water lines

September 24, 1948: GROUPS IN LORDSHIP OPPOSE PURCHASE OF THE BLUFFS PROPERTY: Lordship Improvement Association, Lordship Fathers Club and the Lordship PTA have sent protests to members of the Town Council against the proposed purchase of Lordship Bluffs from the Lordship Park Association for $125,000. The Fathers Club in a letter to the council members states that the town has ownership of bathing areas and park property at Long Beach, west of Lordship still undeveloped and at Short Beach with a need for more funds to put the property in shape for use by the public. The club letter further says that in view of this fact and the need for additional funds for the Fire and Police departments, sewer work and many additions and new buildings needed in the school department, the proposed purchase of the Bluffs should be abandoned. Letters from the Lordship Improvement Association and the Lordship PTA are in the same vein, each calling attention to the need for funds for matters more important than beach property.

November 5, 1948: LARGE MAJORITY AGAINST BUYING BLUFFS PROPERTY: When Town Council meets Monday night to consider the proposal that the town purchase the Lordship Bluffs property for a park, it will be faced with the fact that 5,160 voters were opposed and 1,951 favored the purchase in an informal vote taken election day. Council members have been divided as to whether the purchase of the shore property was wanted by the public and it was decided to authorize the town clerk to prepare a special ballot to be handled to each voter in the 10 polling places election day and abide by their decision. The property in question would provide town owned shore front from York Street to Prospect Drive easterly to within 250 or 300 feet of the Stratford lighthouse. The proposal is to block a move by the owners to subdivide the area and offer for sale lots along the shore blocking the public from the area. The decision by the votes will probably mean that the Board of Zoning Appeals will return a finding soon on its recent public hearing at which the land owners sought to have reversed an opinion of the Planning Board denying them the right to subdivide the property. The Planning Board had insisted on a scenic highway along the top of the bluffs so that the beach front would be available to the public. This the Lordship Park Association had refused to do.


Walt Auger ad

November 12, 1948: COUNCILMEN REJECT OFFER TO BUY THE PROPERTY AT BLUFFS: When the election day vote on the purchase of Lordship Bluffs property was read with a resolution rejecting the offer of the Lordship Park Association in view of the disapproval of the project by the voters at a meeting of the Town Council Monday night, Councilman Ralph Kregling said that in future years the townspeople will be sorry that they rejected the opportunity to buy the property. Councilman Ralph Goodsell presented a resolution at the request of a constituent he said, asking that the Council investigate the possibility of purchasing from the Lordship Park Association land of sufficient width for construction of a road along the edge of Lordship Bluffs to extend Park Boulevard easterly toward Stratford lighthouse. The resolution was seconded by Councilman Kregling. When the proposal came to a vote, Councilman Goodsell explained that he reserved the right to vote either for or against the final action if negotiations were completed eventually, but did not want his stand prejudiced because he had presented the request. The resolution was defeated by a vote of eight to two with Councilmen Goodsell and Kregling voting for it.