Hugh’s Photo Challenge: Week 27- Vintage

Lucy vintage post card

Vintage Post Card 1920’s

Her name is Lucy.

Built in 1881, the six story elephant structure has survived lightning strikes, hurricanes and planned demolition on the shores of south Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Built of wood and tin sheeting, she was the brainchild of an Irish American real estate developer from Philadelphia, James Lafferty.

He would take prospective customers to the howdah (saddle) to promote the sale of land parcels which became the city of Margate.

Lucy and the adjacent Elephant Hotel were scheduled for demolition in 1969, the land destined for a high rise hotel. The “Save Lucy” campaign succeeded in moving her a few blocks to city-owned property, restoring her to become a National Historic Landmark.

Note: If she looks familiar to you, it might be from the opening credits of National Lampoon’s Vacation movies, 1983 and 2015.


This is in response to Hugh’s Photo challenge, Vintage.

Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 27 – Vintage


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27 Responses to Hugh’s Photo Challenge: Week 27- Vintage

  1. A very interesting piece of history Van! ❤
    Diana xo

    • He had a 20 year patent on “animal shaped buildings” and there were 2 other elephants, Coney Island, NY and Cape May, NJ. This is the only survivor. 🐘 Thanks, Diana.

  2. LaVagabonde says:

    I love vintage postcards and this one is a winner. 😀

    • I have other pictures of her. I chose the postcard because of the script “the only elephant you can go through and come out alive.” Very PT Barnum stuff. ☺

  3. I’m so glad they saved Lucy. What a unique landmark.

  4. Never knew that Lucy even existed, Van. What a landmark. Good to hear she was saved. I love the postcard. It reminded me of some I have that are dated back to the 1920s. I’ll have to dig them out.

  5. We visited Lucy two summers ago ( but I confess I was a lily-livered chicken and did not go up myself because of my fear of heights. Mr Pict and most of the Pictlings did though. I was, however, very excited to see here since I was aware of the elephant buildings and really wanted to see one. Shortly before we visited Lucy, we found ourselves at Coney Island and asked two police officers if they could direct us to the elephant building there. Of course, they looked at us bemused and had no idea what we were talking about since it had been destroyed several generations before. Apparently my general knowledge was out of date.

  6. wow so cool! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Very cool picture and historical explanation. Collective thinking and power has the ability to produce wonderful outcomes (like the saving of this historical piece.)

  8. Nurse Kelly says:

    Love this story, Van. Glad “Lucy” was saved! Really interesting! 🙂

  9. George says:

    I love in NJ and forgot all about this. Thanks for the reminder..:)

  10. That’s a lot of good history there. I like it when landmarks are preserved so that coming generations get to know and possibly experience seeing these things. Lovely 🙂

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