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In the days when Atlantic City was the “Honeymoon Capital of the World,” the Fox Manor Hotel at 2707 Pacific Avenue was “the Honeymoon Hotel of Atlantic City.” Mildred and Tom Fox came to Atlantic City in the 1930s and entered the boarding house business. When Boardwalk hotels were taken over by the US Military during World War II, the Foxes saw the need for more visitor accommodations in the city, and took over the Embassy Apartments building, transforming it into Fox Manor. It was a pioneering hotel, being the first in the city to provide color television for its guests, and adopting the concept of vacation packages early on. Guests at Fox Manor were provided with swimming privileges at the Ambassador Hotel, as well as deals for various Boardwalk attractions. The hotel also provided many special accommodations for newlyweds, its primary clientele in the 1950s. Fox Manor had a special “honeymoon cottage” where a groom could carry his bride over the threshold, and many couples were photographed riding in the Fox Manor “Just Married” carriage. According to some polls, more couples honeymooned at Fox Manor than anywhere else in the country. However, as the motel craze shifted the focus of visitor accommodations in Atlantic City, Fox Manor decided in 1958 to drop its honeymoon concept. Mildred Fox instead used her property to provide accommodations for senior citizens without family support, a cause which she had spent several years promoting in Atlantic City. Mildred was also the first president of the women’s division of the Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce, and had used her position to lobby for legalized gambling as a way to improve Atlantic City’s financial situation as early as 1958. She died in the Fox Manor Hotel in 2002, at the age of 92. The hotel still operates today.   H084.FoxManor001
 

 

For more information, see these resources in the Atlantic City Free Public Library, Atlantic City Heritage Collections:

Local History Subject Files – Hotels
Hotel Brochures – Heston Coll. 647.94
H040 Living History Collection – Oral History interview with Mildred Fox
Press of Atlantic City, articles from March 25, 2012 and March 7, 2002.

 A 1948 postcard image of the Fox Manor Hotel.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H084.FoxManor001.

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Galen Hall, at Connecticut and Pacific Avenues, first opened in 1896. Like many other hotels in the early days of Atlantic City, Galen Hall sang the praises of the city as a health resort, even going as far as billing themselves as “Galen Hall Sanatorium and Hotel” in 1905. The hotel offered many special accommodations for guests with delicate health, including hydraulic elevators, dietary accommodations, salt water baths, massages, and a steam-heated solarium on the top floor. Some of the medical treatments offered at Galen Hall, which were standard at the time, would be alarming in today’s world. This included an entire Electrical Department within the hotel, which a brochure stated featured “the newest and most approved apparatus for giving all forms of electrical treatment, including Static, Galvanic, Faradic, and Sinusoidal currents.” The hotel even offered Electric Baths! Despite all of this focus on health, the same brochure still assured its regular guests that “no suggestion of invalidism is permitted to become obtrusively prominent” in public areas of the building. Galen Hall switched its name to the Astor Hotel in 1941. In the next decade, it fell into disrepair, and was demolished in 1959. In 1989, one of the first Casino Reinvestment Development projects in the city was built at the Galen Hall site – a $35 million tower known as the Regency, which provided housing for low and middle-income tenants. In 2006, the Regency was renovated and rebranded as Bella Condos.   H049.647.94Gal206c.1
 

 

For more information, see these resources in the Atlantic City Free Public Library, Atlantic City Heritage Collections:

Local History Subject Files – Hotels
“Galen Hall Sanatorium and Hotel,” Heston Coll. 647.94Gal

City Directories

 A 1919 postcard image of Galen Hall.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H049.647.94Gal206c.1

 

 

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ohn Weyth, a rich Philadelphia businessman, always enjoyed spending his summer vacations in Atlantic City. During each stay he frequented one of the city’s expensive grand hotels, being particularly fond of the classy Brighton. During one summer, however, Weyth was outraged to discover that the Brighton and many other hotels were booked solid. He had never needed to make a reservation before, and didn’t see the need of making any in the future, either. Legend has it that Weyth told the proprietor of the Brighton that he was going to build a hotel of his own, and therefore never be without accommodation in Atlantic City again. After some failures at securing a beachfront property, Weyth purchased a lot at Illinois and Pacific Avenue, where an older hotel, the Stodart, stood. He had the hotel demolished to make way for his new structure, a seven-story hotel topped with an open-air roof garden. The Garden Hotel was Atlantic City’s tallest building (besides the Absecon Lighthouse) when it opened in 1897, and also its most expensive, costing $1 million to construct. The Garden made up for its disadvantage of being off the Boardwalk with its height, and the panoramic views of the city its roof garden offered soon became renowned. In 1910, the building was purchased by the Craighead family, and became known as Craig Hall. It was demolished in 1936 to make way for the Atlantic City Post Office building, which stood at the site until 2007.

H009.647.94Cra158

H084.Craig001

The Garden Hotel, shown here in 1920 as Craig Hall.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H009.647.94Cra158.

 

 

A postcard showing the hotel's Roof Garden.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H084.Craig001.

For more information, see these resources in the Atlantic City Free Public Library, Atlantic City Heritage Collections:

Local History Subject Files - Hotels

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In the mid-20th century, Atlantic City’s hotel industry was revitalized by the addition of several new motels and chain hotels to accompany the old “Grand Dames” of the Boardwalk. Atlantic City’s first Holiday Inn franchise opened in 1967, in an impressive 23-story tower across from the Million Dollar Pier. The hotel featured an outdoor pool on its second floor, above the entrance from the Boardwalk. On the top floor, the Casa del Sol restaurant and Starlight Lounge provided guests with panoramic views of the city. The Holiday Inn offered its guests several features which were considered luxuries at the time, including direct-dial telephones in each room, color TV, private terraces, and air conditioning. Although a popular accommodation for vacationing families in the 1960s and 1970s, the legalization of casino gambling in Atlantic City led developers to buy up many Boardwalk properties with the goal of building new gaming resorts on the land. The Holiday Inn was closed in 1979, as construction began on Bob Guccione’s Penthouse Casino on the site. When Guccione ran out of funding, however, the vacant Holiday Inn and some steel girders behind it sat abandoned on the Boardwalk until the early 1990s. At that point, the adjacent Trump Plaza purchased the land. The steel framework was dismantled, and the Holiday Inn was renovated to become an addition to Trump Plaza. It, along with the rest of the casino, closed in September 2014, though the Rainforest Cafe still operates in the building.   H.LHSF.Hotels.HolidayInn001
 holiday inn  A brochure advertising the Holiday Inn.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H.LHSF.Hotels.HolidayInn001.
 The Holiday Inn, repurposed for Trump Plaza, on the Boardwalk in December 2014.  

 

For more information, see these resources in the Atlantic City Free Public Library, Atlantic City Heritage Collections:
Hotel Brochures – Heston Coll. 647.94
Press of Atlantic City, article dating from September 26, 1992

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The Holmhurst, which originally opened in 1898, was located at 121 S. Pennsylvania Avenue. The site had originally housed the Seaside Hotel, but its owners moved it closer to the ocean in 1890, eager to profit from the growing success of the Boardwalk. Situated in the shadow of nearby luxury Boardwalk hotels like the Seaside and the Chalfonte-Haddon Hall, the wood-framed Holmhurst enjoyed quiet success as a small, family-run hotel by the Stitzer family. It was supposedly the first hotel in Atlantic City to have its front desk on the ground floor, and air conditioning was never needed outside of its dining room due to ocean breezes passing down the street. The 135-room Holmhurst survived the initial wave of casino development in Atlantic City, but in a 1982 Press article, its owners were worried that its days were numbered. The transformation of the nearby Haddon Hall into Resorts Casino had changed the feel of the neighborhood, as well as the expenses of operating there, and a new addition to the casino threatened to choke off the Holmhurst’s access to ocean breezes. In 1985, the old hotel was torn down.   H084.Holmhurst002
 H.LHSF.Hotels.Holmhurst001  The Holmhurst Hotel, circa 1950s.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H084.Holmhurst001.
 A photo of the Holmhurst Hotel's demolition which appeared in the Press of Atlantic City in 1985.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H.LHSF.Hotels.Holmhurst001.
 

For more information, see these resources in the Atlantic City Free Public Library, Atlantic City Heritage Collections:

Local History Subject Files - Hotels

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