Westporters Should Know About The Knowlton’s Space

Sophia Livecchi is embarrassed to admit it. But growing up in Westport, the 2017 Staples High School graduate had a bit of fear of leaving this bubble.

“People are nervous to step outside of their comfort zone to try something new,” she notes.

Now — a year after graduating from Skidmore College — it’s her job to get people in places like Westport to take that step.

Sophia Livecchi

Sophia is the marketing manager for The Knowlton. That’s the waterfront event venue, artist studios and mural park in Bridgeport that most people here have never heard of.

And if they have — well, maybe they also have misperceptions about the big city, less than 10 miles from our border.

Sophia first heard of The Knowlton from James Brown, a Westporter who is one of the 27 artists with a studio there.

She was looking for a “creative community,” and found it strange she’d heard nothing about it. “It’s in our back yard,” she notes.

The Knowlton is located on Bridgeport’s East Side. It’s on the Peconic estuary, within walking distance of the train station.

Owner Shiran Nicholson — a native New Yorker and professional event planner — has created a vibrant, welcoming and eclectic space in his adopted city.

The Knowlton: a bird’s-eye view.

It includes a large boathouse with deck overlooking the water; 2 galleries; those 27 studios, and a plenty of space for weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, corporate events, outdoor dinners and more.

The main building dates to 1865. The first hybrid electric car was built there, Shiran says, and it survived a tornado in 2010.

The artists with studio space there have formed a true community, Sophia says. They get together often, for social events and creative collaboration.

Children play at The Knowlton’s mural park.

The Knowlton is just one of several spots that make up Bridgeport’s burgeoning arts and cultural scenes. The Bijou Theater is one example; they just welcomed alternative radio station WPKN-FM to new studios upstairs.

Steelpointe is planning luxury apartments. They may be linked to The Knowlton by a walkway, with floating gardens.

“People come here and say, ‘How come I didn’t know about this?'” Sophia says.

“I love the vibe here,” Shiran says. “I’m so glad I found this space.”

So is Sophia.

“If I lived my life being closed to new opportunities, I’d really regret it. This is a creative, comfortable space. I can be myself there. That’s not always the case in Westport.”

She is thrilled she stepped out of her comfort zone.

Now she wants many other Westporters to follow.

The Knowlton’s boathouse interior.

2 responses to “Westporters Should Know About The Knowlton’s Space

  1. Christine Schatz

    Sophia – I love these murals! Thank you for making me aware of your beautiful event space. Is it ok for people to stop by to see the art? I saw on your webpage that one can book a free tour, but maybe that’s just for people planning events. I wouldn’t want to waste anyone’s time.

    • Hi Christine! Thank you so much for reaching out. Of course you can stop by independently or for a tour, whether you decide to book an event or not! We would love to have you. Definitely feel free to book a tour. Thank you!