- Lucy the Elephant
Lucy, the Margate ElephantLucy the Elephant, July 2004
Location: Margate City, New Jersey Coordinates: Coordinates: Built: 1881 Architect: James V. Lafferty Governing body: Local NRHP Reference#: 71000493 NJRHP #: 383 Significant dates Added to NRHP: August 12, 1971 Designated NHL: May 11, 1976 Designated NJRHP: April 7, 1971
Lucy the Elephant is a six-story elephant-shaped example of novelty architecture, constructed of wood and tin sheeting in 1882 by James V. Lafferty in Margate City, New Jersey, two miles (3.2 km) south of Atlantic City, in an effort to sell real estate and attract tourism.
The idea of an animal-shaped building was innovative, and in 1882 the U.S. Patent Office granted Lafferty a patent giving him the exclusive right to make, use or sell animal-shaped buildings for seventeen years. Lucy is the oldest example of zoomorphic architecture based on this patent. Lafferty, in fact, constructed several elephant-shaped buildings. The first was built at South Atlantic City, which later changed its name to Margate. This structure, whose original name was "Elephant Bazaar", was dubbed "Lucy the Elephant" in 1900. She stands 65 feet (19.7 m) high, 60 feet (18.3 m) long, and 18 feet (5.5 m) wide, weighs about 90 tons, and is made of nearly one million pieces of wood. She was sold to new owners in 1887. The second to be built, the Elephantine Colossus, also known as the Elephant Hotel was built at Coney Island amusement park in Brooklyn, New York. It was 12 stories (122 feet, 37.2 m) tall, with legs 60 feet in circumference. It held a cigar store in one leg and a dioramic display in another, hotel rooms within the elephant proper, and an observation area at the top with panoramic sea views. The Elephantine Colossus was destroyed by fire in 1896. The third, officially the Light of Asia, but dubbed Old Dumbo by locals, was built at Cape May in 1884. It was later torn down: only Lucy survived into the next century.
Over the years, Lucy had served as a restaurant, business office, cottage, and tavern (the last closed by Prohibition). A popular story is that Lucy once housed a hotel, but this is untrue. Lucy had fallen into disrepair by the 1960s and was scheduled for demolition. She was moved and refurbished as a result of a "Save Lucy" campaign in 1970 and received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1976.
According to the official history of Lucy published by the Save Lucy Committee, in 1969 Edwin T. Carpenter and a group of Margate citizens formed the Margate Civic Association, which eventually under Josephine Harron and Sylvia Carpenter become the Save Lucy Committee. They were given a 30-day deadline for relocation, or be solely responsible to demolition and removal costs. Money was raised by various fund-raising events, with the most successful being a door to door canvass by volunteers. She was moved and refurbished in 1970 and received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1976.
Lucy's head shape identifies her as an Asian Elephant. She has tusks, which is a feature found only in male Asian elephants. In the first few years following her construction she was referred to as a male, however she is now generally considered to be female.
In November 2006, Lucy was prominently featured in an advertisement for Proformance Insurance.
- Tillie – another colorful icon of the Jersey Shore
- Charles Ribart – and his plan for the site of L'Arc de Triomphe
- Novelty architecture
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Atlantic County, New Jersey
- ^ "New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places - Atlantic County". NJ DEP - Historic Preservation Office. June 2, 2011. p. 5. http://www.state.nj.us/dep/hpo/1identify/lists/atlantic.pdf. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2006-03-15. http://nrhp.focus.nps.gov/natreg/docs/All_Data.html.
- ^ "Lucy, The Margate Elephant". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2008-06-23. http://tps.cr.nps.gov/nhl/detail.cfm?ResourceId=1114&ResourceType=Building.
- Video Tour and Historic Documentary of Lucy the Elephant
- Lucy the Elephant
- Roadside America
- HD Video taken 07 Aug 2009
- "House Built Like Elephant Contains Six Rooms", December 1932, Popular Mechanics
U.S. National Register of Historic Places Topics Lists by statesAlabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Michigan • Minnesota • Mississippi • Missouri • Montana • Nebraska • Nevada • New Hampshire • New Jersey • New Mexico • New York • North Carolina • North Dakota • Ohio • Oklahoma • Oregon • Pennsylvania • Rhode Island • South Carolina • South Dakota • Tennessee • Texas • Utah • Vermont • Virginia • Washington • West Virginia • Wisconsin • Wyoming Lists by territories Lists by associated states Other National Register of Historic Places in Atlantic County, New Jersey Historic districts
Bay Front Historic District | Bethlehem Loading Company Mays Landing Plant Archeological Historic District | Estellville Glassworks Historic District | Linwood Historic District | Marven Gardens Historic District | Mays Landing Historic District | Port Republic Historic District | John Stafford Historic District
Absecon Light | Atlantic City Convention Hall | Capt. Francis Babcock House | Barclay Court | Belcoville Post Office | William L. Black House | Amanda Blake Store | Church of the Ascension | Church of the Redeemer | John Doughty House | Egg Harbor Commercial Bank | Great Egg Coast Guard Station | Head of the River Church | Holmhurst Hotel | Jacobus Evangelical Lutheran Church | Capt. John Jeffries Burial Marker | Linwood Borough School No. 1 | Lucy the Elephant | Madison Hotel | Mays Landing Presbyterian Church | Morton Hotel | Neutral Water Health Resort Sanitarium | Dr. Jonathan Pitney House | Pleasant Mills | Samuel Richards Hotel | Jeremiah II or Edward Risley House | Santa Rita Apartments | Segal Building | Shelburne Hotel | Smithville Apothecary | Somers Mansion | St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church | Ventnor City Hall | Weymouth | Weymouth Road Bridge | World War I Memorial
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