Governor Chris Christie • Lt.Governor Kim Guadagno
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Lucy the Elephant
Lucy the Elephant
Cultural Trust Historic Preservation Grants
Grant Award:
$15,000 (2005)
Grant Recipient:
Save Lucy Committee

Standing six stories high and weighing ninety tons, Lucy the Margate Elephant is a rare example of a nineteenth century architectural "folly." One of three elephants designed and built in 1881 by real eastate speculator James Lafferty to attract homebuyers to the resort area, only Lucy survives. Saved from demolition by concerned citizens in the 1960s, Lucy was moved to a city-owned site in 1970, stabilized, restored and opened again to the visiting public.

Maintenance of the metal-clad structure is demanding and an ongoing challenge to present-day stewards of the site. Annual inspections of all of the structural and decorative elements, painting and care for its heating and ventilation systems require vigilance. The Cultural Trust grant helped to fund a charette metting that brought together architects, engineers and site managers to explore new ideas for addressing Lucy's unique preservation needs.