other relative Elephantine Colossus was built by James V.
Lafferty at Coney Island, N.Y., as an attraction for the spot
that at the time was the Disneyland of its era.
was started in the spring of 1884. The Elephant, intended
strictly as an amusement attraction, is said to have cost
$65,000. It measured 122 feet in height and contained seven
floors of exhibits and rooms.
two years before the Statue of Liberty, the Coney Island
Elephant caused considerable excitement. However, it was a
financial loss from the beginning.
the Howdah which topped the structure the visitor had an aerial
view of more than 50 miles of ocean, bays and the cities of New
York, Brooklyn and Jersey City.
elephant was divided into 31 rooms, each with its own
designation such as Main Hall, Shoulder Room, Throat Room,
Stomach Room, etc.
Sixty-five windows took
care of ventilation. It was illuminated by 25 electric lights.
According to notes of J. T. McCaddon, manager, the Elephant
contained 3,500,000 feet of lumber, 11,000 kegs of nails, 12
tons of iron bolts and is covered by 57,000 square feet of tin.
It took 263 men, 129 full working days to complete.
on Surf Avenue, it was just across from the terminals of all the
railroad and steamboat lines into Coney Island. In fact,
McCaddon bragged that the "New York and Sea Beach RR runs direct
to the entrance of the Elephant".
Lafferty sold the structure to a Philadelphia syndicate.
structure's worth as an attraction faded as newer ones grew up
around it and competed for the visitors' dollars. From newspaper
accounts of the time it became somewhat of a run-down boarding
it was practically a deserted structure.
evening, Sept. 27, 1896, the Elephant building caught fire and
crumbled to the sand.
image by J.V. LAFFERTY
click on image for more
THE ELEPHANT BAZAAR
West Brighton Beach
The Elephant is 150
feet long, 122 feet high, surmounted by a howdah or observatory,
which commands a view of the Ocean, Bay; New York, Brooklyn,
Jersey City, and surrounding Towns and Villages, divided into
thirty-eight rooms comprising body, shoulder, cheek, throat,
stomach, and limb rooms, entrance and exit through the rear
limbs of The Elephant.
Termini of the N. W.
and Sea Beach, N. Y. and Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn Bath and
Coney Island, Prospect Park and Coney Island, Brooklyn, Flatbush
and Coney Island Railroads; also the termini of Iron Steamboat
Company, and all steamboat lines landing at the Iron Piers.
Directly on the concourse, (A magnificent roadway), and but
forty minutes ride through Brooklyn from the Bridge.
778 Sixth Ave.,
New York City
This card will
Admit Gentleman to Elephant
accompanied by a Lady
JAMES B. LAFFERTY,
Magic Lantern Slide - Jumbo
Stereo View - Jumbo
Elephant Bazaar Coney Island
THE COLOSSAL ELEPHANT
OF CONEY ISLAND
West Brighton Beach, Coney Island
Now in the Coarse of
Erection, Adorning the
Sea Beach Palace
and the termini of the Sea Beach,
Prospect Park and Coney Island, Brooklyn, Flatbush and Coney
Island Railroads, the elevated railroad connecting with the
Brighton and Manhattan Beaches, and within one minute's walk of
the Piers and the Iron Steamship Company's landing: now being
constructed under the
patents of JAMES V. LAFFERTY, by J. MASON KIRBY, Architect.
Description as follows:
Height, 122 feet 6 inches to top
of howdah or observatory, from which a magnificent view of the
Ocean, Bay, Manhattan and Brighton Beaches, Race Tracks, &c.,
can be obtained.
Length, 150 feet: entrance and exit through the rear limbs;
divided into main hall, head, body, thigh, shoulder, cheek,
throat, stomach, hoof, limb and tail rooms, which will be
utilized as a Bazaar, to be completed by June 15, or
Photographs of this wonderful novelty (cabinet size), price 25
cents for sale by all newsdealers stationers, and all the
railroad stations throughout the United States and Canada,
Rooms and spaces to rent. Having arranged with all the railroad
companies centering in New York City, we are prepared to arrange
with churches, societies and others for excursions;
liberal rates and special trains: for terms, apply to the
Elephant Building Company, 145 Broadway, corner Liberty street,
New York City: JAS. V. LAFFERTY. President; GEO. W. ALLEN,
Secretary. On and after June 1, 1884, we shall have six
thousand (6,000) advertising spaces to let in the Elephant;
terms, ten dollars ($10.00) per annum, payable monthly.
By 1896 it was practically a
On Sunday evening, Sept. 27,
1896, the Elephant building caught fire and crumbled to the
Is this the Elephant Bazaar at West Brighton Beach, Coney Island
or Lucy the Margate Elephant
Hotel Margate City N. J.?
click above image to read the rest of the
Lucy the Margate
Margate City N.J.
Cape May, New Jersey is
America's Oldest Seashore Resort and a National
Historic Landmark. The West Cape May Improvement
Company was founded in 1884 to sell lots and build
streets in the area near the long lost Mount Vernon
South Cape May was a borough that existed in Cape
May County, New Jersey, United States, from 1894 to
1945. First settled in 1840, it contained a
Lucy-type elephant named Light of Asia.
The Light of Asia was a 40-foot wooden Elephant
built on land owned by the Theodore Reger of
Philadelphia and built under the supervision of
James Bradley, a builder of the area. Work began on
the frame in May of 1884 from plans drawn by
architect N.H. Culber, also of Philadelphia.
The structure was 40 feet, 10 inches tall, or 58
feet, 2 inches to the top of the howdah. The howdah
itself was 11 feet long and the Elephant's trunk,
which terminated in a large barrel on the ground,
was 21 feet long. A wooden platform on which the
Elephant was based was 834 feet, 9 inches long and
40 feet wide.
It was estimated that a million pieces of wood were
used in the construction, plus 250 kegs of nails and
six tons of bolts. The tinsmith supplied 13,400
square feet of tin to cover the framework.
Entrance was made through the hind legs and a spiral
staircase led to a small concession stand inside.
Refreshments were also sold from stands in the front
legs of the structure.
In spite of the fact that hundreds of people arrived
by excursion trains and boats to Cape May to see the
Light of Asia. It was never a financial success.
Concession and admittance fees never covered the
$18,000 cost of construction. Samuel E. Ewing of
Cape May was given a contract to tear it down. The
last remains, according to newspaper reports of the
day, were cremated on May 26, 1900.
South Cape May was badly wrecked by the 1944 Great
Atlantic Hurricane, which hit in September of that
year. After the hurricane, the borough was dissolved
as of April 30, 1945, and returned to Lower
The remaining land not underwater is part of a bird
History from Wikipedia.
Lucy the Elephant is a
six-story elephant-shaped architectural folly
constructed of wood and tin sheeting in 1882 by
James V. Lafferty in Margate City, New Jersey, two
miles (3.2 km) south of Atlantic City, in an effort
to sell real estate and attract tourism.
The idea of an animal-shaped building was
innovative, and in 1882 the U.S. Patent Office
granted Lafferty a patent giving him the exclusive
right to make, use or sell animal-shaped buildings
for seventeen years. Lucy is the oldest example of
Lafferty, in fact, constructed several
elephant-shaped buildings. The first was built at
South Atlantic City, which later changed its name to
Margate. This structure, whose original name was
"Elephant Bazaar", was dubbed "Lucy the Elephant" in
1900. She stands 65 feet (19.7 m) high, 60 feet
(18.3 m) long, and 18 feet (5.5 m) wide, weighs
about 90 tons, and is made of nearly one million
pieces of wood. She was sold to new owners in 1887.
The second to be built, the Elephantine Colossus,
also known as the Elephant Hotel was built at Coney
Island amusement park in Brooklyn, New York. It was
12 stories (122 feet, 37.2 m) tall, with legs 60
feet in circumference. It held a cigar store in one
leg and a dioramic display in another, hotel rooms
within the elephant proper, and an observation area
at the top with panoramic sea views. The Elephantine
Colossus was destroyed by fire in 1896. The third,
officially the Light of Asia, but dubbed Old Dumbo
by locals, was built at Cape May in 1884. It was
later torn down: only Lucy survived into the next
Elephant Bazaar, South Atlantic
City, N. J.
This remarkable structure is the
only one in the world built in this novel form, originated by
James V. Lafferty, Philadelphia, who has secured Letters
Patent, dated December 6th 1882, covering this and all
buildings in the shape of Birds, Animals and Fishes. The
building is 87 feet long, 29 feet wide and 65 feet high,
surmounted by a howdah or observatory, from which may be had a
magnificent view of the Ocean, Bay. Atlantic City, Ocean
City, Somers' Point and adjacent Towns and Villages. The
entrance and exit is through the hind legs.
SOUTH ATLANTIC CITY
is situated 2 1/2 miles below
Atlantic City, on the same beach, and has improved more rapidly
than any other resort on the coast. Railroad
connections via Atlantic City, and steamboat via Somers' Point
and Ocean City.
LOTS FOR SALE ON INSTALLMENTS,
or will sell on Mortgage for a term
of years to those who will improve at once. Purchasers
assisted to build. For further particulars, apply to
106 MARKET STREET, CAMDEN, N. J.
Or, THEO. H. M'CALLA, cor. Juniper and Filbert Sts.,
Or, GARDNER & SHINN, Atlantic City.
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