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Originally built as the family home of Dudley Mixer Morris and his wife Edna Grippin Morris, the house was situated adjacent to P.T. Barnum's Marina estate. Morris was secretary and treasurer of the Hawthorne Manufacturing Company. His home, an excellent example of neo-Tudor residential architecture, was part of the affluent late-nineteenth century residential enclave that grew up around Barnum's estate.
The Marina Park estate was purchased by the Junior College of Connecticut (now the
University of Bridgeport) in 1941 to serve as its new campus. Wistaria Hall, part of the campus
at least since 1954, was used initially as a residence for female students and later, for
administrative use and classrooms. Wistaria Hall has sentimental value for many of the
1950's and 1960's women alumni.
Wistaria Hall is in fair condition. The lead-lined windows need repair, the exterior needs to be
repaired and repainted, and a new boiler must be installed.