Tuesday, December 5, 2023
HomenewsThe Elephant That Changed South Jersey is Back

The Elephant That Changed South Jersey is Back

A hundred and forty years old, what do you get a woman? Of obviously, a cosmetic procedure.
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In our own backyard, you may visit Lucy the Elephant, one of New Jersey’s most famous landmarks.

Despite being built of wood and tin, Lucy the Elephant has a height of 6 stories.

There’s a lot of history in this grand old lady. She has changed a lot over the years, as have we all. She has served as a casino, a hostel, a speakeasy, and a hotel. President Woodrow Wilson supposedly stayed there in the early 1900s.

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In addition to her many film and TV appearances, Lucy the Elephant has been featured on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and was even mentioned on an episode of Boardwalk Empire! The film Vacation by National Lampoon counts among these, along with a number of other popular series and films.

There’s a lot to see and do on the Jersey coast when you’re a six-story-tall elephant. If only Lucy could convey her feelings through words. Lucy has been through a lightning strike, countless storms, and even Superstorm Sandy. She kept on going despite all that happened to her.

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At 138 years old, Lucy needed some upgrades if she was going to last for the foreseeable future. Her metallic skin was broken beyond redemption.

Replacement of the metal and wood structure, as well as a fresh coat of paint, began 15 months ago.
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Because the damage was so substantial, the repair job ended up taking longer than anticipated.

The initiative was kickstarted with a $500,000 grant from the National Park Service. Funding was also provided by a grant from the Preserve NJ Historic Preservation Fund. Even with these donations, the Save Lucy Committee is still about $400,000 short due to rising expenses of goods.

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Lucy’s Life Preserver Campaign has been launched in an effort to close the funding gap; the campaign’s target is 800 donors, each of whom will be asked to contribute $1,000. A permanent plaque will be affixed to Lucy with the donors’ names on it.

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