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Lucy the Elephant, Margate City

Categories: Monuments, Landmarks, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
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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  • Lucy is a must stop and see if you plan to go to NJ.. She is one big elephants and you can take a tour inside her. She is historical and glad to take a photo with you. There is a snack bar behind her ...  read more »
  • I had never seen Lucy, but heard about her a couple of times on TV. While traveling to Atlantic City I figured we had to go see her, and I was so glad we did. What a piece of American History. We did ...  read more »
  • I remembered seeing Lucy the Elephant on a PBS show. While visiting Atlantic City we took a break to visit it. It was a very easy 3 mile drive from where we were staying.We enjoyed taking the pictures...  read more »
  • 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.
  • I had the pleasure of taking my six year old to see Licy and it dawned on me that I hadn't been there since I was about her age. Lucy is in great condition. She is an excellent seashore attraction if you find yourself on a scenic drive of the coastal towns.
  • Loved this place, what a great staff and wonderful atmosphere, learned alot as well
  • A very nice National Landmark for kids and adults... Kids love it. Very well preserved.
  • Fun, quick stop to make while at the Jersey Shore. This little National Historic Landmark was worth the stop. To walk up into the elephant you purchase an $8 tour ticket. The tour is interesting but very short. Not sure if it was the cost but I am just hoping that the money goes to the upkeep of Lucy. Would stop by again for pictures but the tour only needs to be done once.
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