Request Visitor Guide

Lucy The Elephant

Lucy the Elephant was built by real estate developer, James Lafferty, in 1881, as a gimmick to attract potential buyers to his land holdings along the coast of South Atlantic City (now Margate). Eventually, a popular hotel business was built around Lucy. Presidents and royalty came from around the world to stay at the neighboring Elephant Hotel and climb the stairs to Lucy's howdah.

During her history, Lucy has survived hurricanes, ocean floods, and even a fire accidentally started by some inebriated party-goers when she served as a tavern. However, by the 1960's it became apparent there was one disaster Lucy could not overcome - neglect. By that time, the once proud jewel of the South Jersey coast had become an almost hopeless, wretched wreck.

Then in 1970, a developer purchased Lucy's land and intended to build a condominium building on the site. The beach and the ocean could stay - but the elephant had to go!

To the rescue came the Save Lucy Committee. Within weeks, this small concerned group of ordinary citizens had raised enough money to move the entire decaying structure two blocks away to a new site owned by the city. Thirty years and over 1.5 million dollars later, Lucy was completely restored to her original splendor, inside and out. In 1976, Lucy was designated a National Historic Landmark by the United States government as the oldest surviving example of a unique form of "zoomorphic" architecture, and the oldest "roadside" attraction in America. Today, she stands as the most popular non-gaming attraction in the greater Atlantic City region. She has brought fame to Margate City and is known all over the globe as "The World's Largest Elephant."

Yelp Average Rating
4.5 out of 5 stars
From 36 Reviews

Leslie B.
July 13, 2015 5 out of 5 stars We adore Lucy and wouldn't think of not saying hi when we are down the shore. She's history and a marvel wrapped up into one gorgeous pachyderm. Read More
Nadia Z.
April 8, 2015 5 out of 5 stars We had weirdest convo on Sunday morning in Atlantic City.

Me: I wanna see Lucy!!
Friends: who the heck is Lucy?
Me: I want peanuts!
Friends: ummmm. More... Read More
Michael G.
January 27, 2015 4 out of 5 stars Of all of the big stars with hype machines attached to them who have come through the Atlantic City area, it's beyond dispute that Lucy has the most staying... Read More
9200 Atlantic Ave.
Margate, NJ 08402