NJ shore’s oddest landmark shows off its $2.4 million renovation
MARGATE — A refurbished Lucy the Elephant was unveiled Wednesday night after $2.4 million renovation.
Nearly a thousand people gathered at the national historic landmark to see the result of 15 months of work to replace rotted timbers and apply a brand new metal skin.
"I'm overwhelmed and just beyond floored at the amount of people that showed up for our event," Save Lucy Committee executive director Richard Helfant told New Jersey 101.5. "It's Margate, which is a ghost town in the winter. And it was winter and it was a weeknight, and it was cold. There had to be close to 1,000 people there. It was just extraordinary."
🐘 6-story elephant
The six-story elephant stood in the dark before a countdown triggered spotlights showing off her new paint job. They are the same colors as when she was first built: blue body, a reddish-maroon saddle and a tannish-yellow canopy.
Margate resident Dan Walsh sang his song about Lucy after the lights came up.
🐘 More improvements for Lucy
It's been a long road for Lucy's renovations, which saw the cost rise from $1.4 million thanks to COVID-related and material costs. The scaffolding took longer than expected to erect. A labor strike and bad weather also contributed to the delays.
Helfant said the committee's next task is to bring visitors to Lucy and to raise the remaining "couple hundred thousand" for the job. The next phase of Lucy's restoration will be the interior which has suffered water damage.
"So starting in September '23 we're going to be restoring the damaged plaster, redoing her floors, replacing the very old air conditioning and heating systems inside Lucy, doing some upgrades to her fire suppression system and to her alarm system," Helfant said.
Donations can be made via the website LucyTheElephant.org, while visiting Lucy or by sending a check to Lucy the Elephant, 1 Lucy Plaza, Margate New Jersey 08402.