Then & Now: Lucy the Elephant Atlantic City, New Jersey

This post is a continuation of a series of “Then & Now” images that will show photographs of buildings, street scenes, and other historical locales from Lewis Reed’s Photo Collection alongside photographs of how they appear today.

Lucy the Elephant (THEN): Through the first half of the 20th century, Lucy served as a restaurant, business office, cottage, and tavern (the last closed by Prohibition). The building was depicted on many souvenir postcards, often referred to as “The Elephant Hotel of Atlantic City.” (The actual hotel was in a nearby building, not inside the elephant.)

Elephant Hotel 1910

Lucy the Elephant. Photo by Lewis Reed, 1910.

Lucy the Elephant (NOW): The Elephant Hotel was neglected in more recent years, and eventually fell into a sad state of disrepair. In 1966, “Lucy”  was saved from the wrecking ball when she was designated as a National Historic Landmark. On July 20, 1970 Lucy was moved about 100 yards to the west-southwest to a city owned lot and completely refurbished. In October, 2012, Hurricane Sandy made landfall near Margate. Lucy remained unscathed, although the surge reached the building’s toes and a small booth in the parking lot was blown over. On July 23, 2016, Lucy announced her candidacy for President of the United States at a celebration for her 135th birthday.

Lucy the Elephant

Lucy the Elephant, National Historic Landmark, November 20, 2011

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About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

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