The Hotel Agnew, at 3311 Boardwalk, was completed in 1902. A wood-frame hotel, the building was already somewhat anachronistic in that other hotels throughout the city were starting to renovate by adding fireproof additions, or completely redesigning their entire structures in brick. The Agnew, however, was one of the few hotels to never rebuild in brick, and was eventually one of the last wooden hotels remaining on the Boardwalk. Later, the hotel name was changed twice, to the Esplanade, and then to the Ostend. It began operating as a Kosher establishment, serving meals that followed strict Orthodox guidelines. In 1954, the wooden structure that made the hotel so unique finally became its demise, as it succumbed to fire. A decade later, the owners of the Strand Hotel on Virginia Avenue, who had also been victims of a fire at their property, opened a new Strand Motel just across the street from the Agnew site, at 3400 Pacific Avenue. Both plots would become the site of the Golden Nugget Casino in 1980. The Golden Nugget, which later became the Hilton, and then the Atlantic Club, closed in 2014.  H084.Ostend001
 H084.StrandMotel001  An undated postcard showing the Ostend Hotel.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H084.Ostend001.
  The Strand Motel in a 1960 postcard.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, , H084.StrandMotel001.
 

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

City Directories
H050 Postcard Collections

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The Hotel Rudolf was first opened by Charles Rudolf Myers as a 5-story frame building in 1895. It was located on the Boardwalk at New Jersey Avenue. After a few decades of operation under the Rudolf name, the hotel was purchased by Joel and Julian Hillman and renamed the Breakers. The Hillmans underwent a major expansion and remodeling of the property, spending over $4 million to turn the Breakers into an imposing 12-story hotel, with a 17-story façade overlooking the Boardwalk. The new Breakers was designed by Vivian Smith, a famed local architect who also designed the Ocean City Flanders Hotel, the Ventnor City Hall, and several other area hotels and businesses which are unfortunately now gone. When the Breakers project was completed in 1926, the hotel had 500 rooms, a convention facility, a banquet hall, a bathhouse, playrooms for children, a rooftop restaurant, and a special dietary kitchen. In 1931, the hotel was taken over by Emmanuel Katz, who rebranded the hotel with Kosher service. The Breakers became the first hotel in Atlantic City to observe Kosher dietary laws. Ownership of the Breakers again changed in the 1940s, when it was purchased by the Malamut family, and then, shortly after, taken over by the US Military to serve as soldiers’ barracks during World War II. As Atlantic City’s tourism economy declined after the war, the Breakers fell into disrepair. In 1965, it was declared a blight on the city, and was closed under the Urban Renewal Act. It was demolished in May 1974, along with many other buildings in the area, in the hopes that open space would be more attractive to developers. New development to the area did not come until the arrival of the casinos, however. The Breakers site finally saw new construction in the mid-2000s, and the opening of the Revel Hotel Casino on the land in 2012. Unfortunately, the casino struggled to profit, and closed in September 2014.   H049.647.94Rud410
 H084.Breakers001  An undated postcard for the Hotel Rudolf .
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H049.647.94Rud410.
  The impressive Breakers Hotel on the Boardwalk, no date.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H084.Breakers001.
 

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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The Iroquois, which stood at 166 S. South Carolina Avenue, first opened as a wooden building in 1905. It enjoyed enough success to warrant a $300,000 addition in 1925. The architect of the new addition, W.M. Stanton, sought to give the Iroquois “the prettiest exchange of its size in the city.” The 1925 addition was also unique in that it added a medical hydrotherapy wing. The first of its kind in Atlantic City, the Iroquois’s medical wing also included something called “chlorin baths,” which were promoted in a press article as “the latest method of treating colds.” It is unknown whether these were simply bathtubs with chlorinated water, or a more frightful early-20th century medical treatment. Unfortunately, the Iroquois was gutted by a fire only three years after the new addition opened. In 1935, the building was combined with its next door neighbor, the Hotel Ludy, to form a new resort, the Hotel Senator. The Ludy, so named because of its former owner Dr. Ludy, was an impressive structure designed by noted local architect Vivian Smith. In the 1950s, the 16-story Senator complex became home to the WLDB radio station, owned by Leroy and Dorothy Bremmer. In 1957, local radio personality “Pinky” Kravitz had his first-ever broadcast on WLDB. (The station later broadcast from the Penn-Atlantic Hotel.) The Senator Hotel continued to operate until 1967, when it was converted into a nursing home known as the King David Care Center. At one time, it was the only facility in the city admitting AIDS patients. The building stood until 1998, when it was imploded in order to build an expansion for the nearby Resorts Casino. H084.Iroquois001 
 H084.Senator001  A 1913 postcard illustration of the Hotel Iroquois.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H084.Iroquois001.
 

 

The Senator Hotel is seen towering over the Boardwalk in this 1945 postcard image.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H084.Senator001.
 

 

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
City Directories

Press of Atlantic City
, articles dating from November 19, 1995; June 10, 1998; and November 21, 2013.
“Book of the Boardwalk,” Heston Coll. 974.985But

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 The Luray Hotel, situated at the ocean end of Kentucky Avenue, was originally opened in 1887 by Adolphus C. Downes. A year later, Downes sold the hotel to Josiah White, who would soon become one of Atlantic City’s most prominent hoteliers. White continued to operate the Luray while simultaneously acquiring more hotel properties around the city, until the wooden Luray was destroyed by a large fire in 1902. White, who had just opened the newly-constructed Marlborough House, decided not to rebuild on the site. It is possible that when building the Marlborough’s sister hotel, the Blenheim, White was thinking of the Luray fire, and for this reason chose the hotel’s revolutionary fireproof concrete construction. The only thing remaining of the Luray after the 1902 fire was its smokestack, which continued to stand for many years afterwards. H084.Luray001 
 

 

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

Local History Subject Files – Hotels
City Directories

 An undated photo of the Luray Hotel.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H084.Luray001.

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Before segregation ended in Atlantic City in the late 1950s, the Northside was the epicenter of the resort’s Black community. By providing alternatives to the Boardwalk restaurants, lodging and entertainment centers that Black tourists were denied entry into, the Northside thrived. One of the oldest and most well-known Northside hotel establishments was the Hotel Ridley, which stood at 1806 Arctic Avenue. Margaret and Alonzo Ridley were entrepreneurs from Baltimore who came to Atlantic City in the 1890s to get into the boarding house business. Initially, they provided seasonal lodging for Black workers who came to Atlantic City in the summer months. In 1900, their business had grown enough to open the Hotel Ridley, which remained a popular Northside spot until the 1950s. The Northside Board of Trade’s Annual Installation meeting was always held in the Ridley, and “Aunt Maggie’s” Ridley Rolls were a hit at the hotel’s restaurant. Maggie Ridley also founded the Northside YWCA, and was one of the founding members of the Jethro Memorial Presbyterian Church. Hotel Ridley later operated as Ridley’s Cottages before closing around 1954.   H.Book.BoardofTrade1936.HotelRidley
 

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

City Directories
“The Northside,” Heston Coll. 974.985Joh

 The Hotel Ridley's advertisement in the 1936 Atlantic City Board of Trade publication.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H.Book.BoardofTrade1936.HotelRidley.

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