If you are staying in Atlantic City, you are right next to the city of Margate, NJ. Margate is formerly known as South Atlantic City, and holds a lot of history including a giant 6 story elephant building! If you have never heard of New Jersey’s beloved Lucy the Elephant, she is a local landmark and the only building left of her kind. Lucy was built in the late 1800’s and still resides in Margate to this day.
Lucy the Elephant was originally concocted by a real estate investor looking to sell land in South Atlantic City. He built her as a gimmick to draw tourism to his land and to sell his real estate. Lucy contains a small living space in her belly. She has a staircase in her leg to access the living quarters, and another staircase in her side to stand on the roof (or Lucy’s back). Over the years Lucy has been both an apartment and a bar, but most of her life she has been a tourist destination.
Though Lucy was the first elephant building, she used to be one of three. The other two were in Cape May, NJ and Coney Island, NY. The other two elephant buildings no longer remain, but Lucy still stands proud to this day. Though she did fall into disrepair for a few decades in the middle of the 20th century, she is now back to her old self and looks as good as ever.
If you are looking for a weird and wonderful NJ landmark to visit on your next trip to Atlantic City, drive a few short miles to visit Lucy the Elephant right next door in Margate. She is open to visitors, and you will have a great story to tell your friends when you head home!