Lucy the Elephant attraction to undergo $1.9 million renovation

An iconic New Jersey landmark in Atlantic County will be undergoing a major renovation.

News 12 Staff

Sep 29, 2021, 11:43 PM

Updated 934 days ago

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An iconic New Jersey landmark in Atlantic County will be undergoing a major renovation.
Lucy the Elephant – a historic roadside attraction – will be undergoing a nearly $2 million renovation.
“She’s a national historic landmark. She’s the oldest roadside attraction in the United States,” says Lucy the Elephant executive director and CEO Richard Helfant.
Scaffolding was installed on Wednesday ahead of the project.
“After years and years and years of wind and rain and salt and sand, the metal on her has gotten to a point now where it’s starting to rot,” says Helfant. “It’s so significant that we can’t just patch it and repair it anymore.”
Once the attraction is covered in scaffolding and wrapped, every piece of metal will be taken down and replaced with a material that won’t rust. She will then be repainted in her iconic colors and will hopefully be ready for a fresh debut by Memorial Day.
“If it’s not 100% completed, the contractors will build a protective tunnel into the back door so visitors would be able to go in next Memorial Day,” Helfant says.
The project will cost $1.9 million – partially because of COVID-19 inflation prices. Fundraising will cover what grants will not.
"Even with those two large grants, we’re still $700,000 shy of where we need to be. So that's done through sales in the gift shop and outright donations,” Helfant says.
The renovations are expected to take nine months to complete.


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