Lucy the Elephant 1881 novelty house survived Sandy

Elephanttttt BB pal Todd Lappin reports:

Last night, tropical story Sandy made landfall approximately 5 miles southwest of Atlantic City, NJ. That means Sandy came ashore in Margate, NJ, on the exact site of Lucy the Elephant -- a charming 19th century house built in the shape of a gigantic circus elephant. Lucy has survived the ravages of time for more than 120 years, but she sits just a block off the beach in Margate, so things did not look good for the old girl when Sandy struck. This morning, however, Patrick Armstrong took a photo of the site which revealed that Lucy the Elephant survived — and more or less intact. Incredible.



  1. She’s better protected than you might think. From Lucy’s Facebook page:
    1. Lucy has weathered everything mother nature has sent her way for more than 131 years.
    2. She is a stronger structure today than she was in 1962 during the March storm. Her main ‘superstructure’ is now steel; it was wood in 1962.
    3. She is farther back from the shore line than she was in 1962.
    4. Lucy’s Beach Grille building sits directly in front of her. It will bear the brunt of the wave action and serve as a barrier for Lucy.

  2. Thanks for letting us know! Lucy was one of three novelty elephant buildings created by James Lafferty in the 1880s–And he patented his design! See  I’m not certain if Lucy ever functioned as a private home, but she was intended as a tourist attraction.
    Wikipedia has good info on Lucy and the larger Coney Island Elephant that burned within a few years:;

  3. She was a hotel, not a house. Sorry to split hairs… but it’s always been a tourist trap. Anyway – I’m so happy she made it! Now I won’t be able to get the song out of my head!

  4. I too am glad Lucy made .. I remember playing inside her during the the 50’s when she was deserted and I also stayed in a hotel next door as a kid …

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