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Lucy the Elephant, Margate City
(4.5/5 based on 280+ reviews on the web)
''Elephant hotel redirects here. For the National Historic Landmark located in Somers, New York, see Elephant Hotel.Lucy the Elephant is a six-story elephant-shaped example of novelty architecture, constructed of wood and tin sheeting in 1881 by James V. Lafferty in Margate City, Atlantic County, New Jersey, United States, two miles (3.2 km) south of Atlantic City, in an effort to sell real estate and attract tourists.Today, Lucy is a tourist attraction. Guided tours take visitors into the building through the spiral staircase in the left rear leg up into the interior, then up again into the howdah to see views of Margate, the Atlantic City skyline, and the Atlantic Ocean.1800sIn 1881, the U.S. Patent Office granted Lafferty a patent giving him the exclusive right to make, use or sell animal-shaped buildings for 17 years. Lafferty paid for the building of his first elephant-shaped building at South Atlantic City, now called Margate. He employed Philadelphia architect William Free to design the building and a Philadelphia contractor constructed the structure at a cost of $25,000 - 38,000. Originally named "Elephant Bazaar", the building is 65 feet (19.7 m) high, 60 feet (18.3 m) long, and 18 feet (5.5 m) wide. It weighs about 90 tons, and is made of nearly one million pieces of wood. There are 22 windows and its construction required 200 kegs of nails, 4 tons of bolts and iron bars, and 12,000 square feet of tin to cover the outside. It is topped by a howdah carriage, also known as a hathi howdah.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Lucy the Margate elephant is amazing! Great for children to see! Amazing that she has withstood the weather for all these tears! 
  • It was built to attract tourists. It has had many lives. It was saved by children's pennies. It is a big building that is an elephant. How cool is that. 
  • This was our second trip to see Lucy - the oldest roadside attraction in America. She has an interesting history including being moved from another location to her present spot. Your $8 per adult tick...  more »
Google
  • Great attraction. Drove out to it from Atlantic City on a Sunday drive down the coast. Fantastic view from the top. Can see from Atlantic City to Ocean City. Very friendly staff and cute gift shop. Very limited parking but can also park on Atlantic Avenue. A nice break from Atlantic City.
  • Beautiful historical landmark offering a look into Atlantic City's past. Informative tour offered with amazing views of the skyline, island and coastline.
  • A very nice National Landmark for kids and adults... Kids love it. Very well preserved.
  • I Love Lucy! Who doesn't? Very interesting history, great for kids.
  • This is one of America's quirkiest Roadside Attractions........ That no one even knows about!!! Took my parents (who are from Washington State) there & they LOVED IT!!! We even got Mom on the top (Hadata?)!!!! Make time to see it!!!!