Lucy the Elephant, the pride of Margate, is getting a $1.4 million makeover; the roadside attraction will be closed for several months during the restoration. The elephant’s metal skin is being replaced.

According to the Press of Atlantic City, the final tour before the work begins will be on Sep. 19, with an expected timeline of nine months to completion. The renovation is being overseen by the Save Lucy Committee. In a statement, Richard Helfant, executive director of the committee said that it is a large financial undertaking: “We are so fortunate to have been awarded a grant from the Preserve New Jersey Historic Preservation Fund administered by the New Jersey Historic Trust. The cost of this project is estimated to be $1.4 million. Additional funds have been applied for from the National Park Service’s Save America’s Treasures grant program. The balance of funding will be raised by donations to the nonprofit and fundraising campaigns.”

Lucy, which was designated as a National Historic Landmark In 1976, was 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.

They are hoping to have Lucy reopened by Memorial Day.

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.

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