Lucy the Elephant — The Margate landmark that reinvented herself
Did you know that Lucy the Elephant, Margate’s iconic roadside attraction, is a National Historic Landmark? It received that designation on May 11, 1976 during America’s Bicentennial.
Originally built in 1881 by a real estate developer hoping to sell lots in Margate (then known as South Atlantic City), the six story pachyderm served as an office, a tavern, and a cottage before falling into disrepair in the 1960s. She was even scheduled for demolition.
The Save Lucy Committee was formed and raised the money to both move her and renovate her. In 1970, she was moved about 100 yards to a city owned lot and the original wood structure was buttressed by steel. She has now been in the same spot for 50 years. Tours became available in 1974 (and continue to this day).
Earlier this year, it was announced that Lucy would be available for a few nights for overnight stays, making it the only National Historic Landmark to listed on Airbnb! According to the National Historic Landmarks Program, “this seventy-five foot long wood and tin pachyderm is the last survivor of what one historian calls "zoomorphic architecture.”
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.