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In 1901, Captain John Young, who had already left his mark on Atlantic City in the form of Young’s Pier (later Central Pier) and Million Dollar Pier (eventually replaced by the Ocean One shopping mall, now known as the Pier Shops at Caesar’s), added an apartment building to his list of businesses. Young’s Apartments, located at Tennessee Avenue, was the first brick apartment building on the Boardwalk. Young converted the building to hotel operations soon after it opened. Young’s Hotel had the distinction of briefly housing a volunteer fire company within the building, after the “Beach Pirates” company’s nearby station was lost in a devastating fire. Captain Young, himself a member of the Beach Pirates, gave space his hotel to be their temporary headquarters, and personally financed the construction of a new building behind the hotel in 1902. Young’s Hotel did not retain its original name for long, however. It was first changed to the Sterling, and then, when Ala and Mack Latz came to own the building, to the Alamac. The hotel also operated as the Knickerbocker, and finally, after 1944, as the Mayflower Hotel. In 1961, the Mayflower added the first health spa in the city to its facilities. It ceased hotel operations in 1970, and in 1971 was used as the temporary campus of the new Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. The Mayflower operated as a retirement hotel for a few years before it was bought by Bob Guccione for $8 million. Guccione, who was in the process of building a Penthouse Casino further down the Boardwalk, planned for his second casino project at the Mayflower site and had the hotel razed. When funding fell through on the Penthouse project, however, Guccione abandoned building efforts at both locations.  H049.647.94Ala004 
 H009.745.8Aer1143  A 1914 postcard for the Alamac Hotel makes note of the previous owner.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H049.647.94Ala004.
 A 1955 aerial photograph shows the Mayflower Hotel across from Central Pier on the Boardwalk (with Budweiser advertisement on roof).
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H009.745.8Aer1143.
 

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

Local History Subject Files – Hotels
“Atlantic City: Postcard History Series” Heston Coll. 917.4985Ris
“Firefighting by the Seashore,” Heston Coll. 352.3Kem
H040 Living History project – Oral History interview with James Latz
“Book of the Boardwalk”, Heston Coll. 974.985But

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 The Metropolitan Hotel, though gone from Atlantic City since the early 1900s, has a lasting legacy in the city in the form of Metropolitan Avenue. The small sidestreet running from the Boardwalk to just past Pacific Avenue is located near the site of the Metropolitan, which was at 438 Atlantic Avenue. Due to its proximity, it lent the street the name it still bears today. Similar practices are evident in Chalfonte and Haddon Avenues, which still exist in Atlantic City despite the Chalfonte-Haddon Hall name being long gone. The Metropolitan Hotel originally opened as the small Cottage Retreat in 1854, the same year that Atlantic City was first incorporated. It was enlarged and rechristened Metropolitan sometime before 1882. After the building was torn down in 1913, the Massachusetts Avenue School was built on the site.  H084.Souvenir003
 

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

Local History Subject Files – Hotels
City Directories
“Annals of Absegami, Vol. 2” Heston Coll. 974.984Hes

 This 1889 picture of Atlantic City includes only of the only images of the Metropolitan Hotel. It is the white L-shaped building at center left, next to the Albion Hotel.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H084.Souvenir003.

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A prominent name in Atlantic City hotel history, the Hotel Morton began its life as Linden Hall in 1894. In 1899, the name changed when Mary Haines came to own the hotel. Her father purchased it for her on the condition that she rename it in honor of her great-great grandfather, John Morton, who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The Morton, which was located at 150 S. Virginia Avenue, underwent several reconstructions and additions throughout the years, including a new wing in 1925, and another renovation in 1929 which added an indoor pool. In 1933 the building added John Morton Hall, further emphasizing its connections with the American Revolutionary figure. The hotel was especially known for the Crow’s Nest, its rooftop cocktail lounge featuring dancing nightly. During World War II, the Morton became a Coast Guard training school, and was one of the last two hotels in the city to be “discharged” from military service, in 1946. The hotel continued to operate amidst declining fortunes in Atlantic City. It shuttered in 1967, blaming the lack of business on a rainy summer season that year. The following year, it was sold and reopened, continuing hotel operations under the Morton name until 1973. The building then sat vacant until 1983, when it was purchased by Resorts for $3.3 million and demolished. The casino which stands at the spot today, the Taj Mahal, originally began construction as a Resorts project.  H084.Morton001 
 H084.Morton005  The original Morton Hotel is shown on this 1912 postcard.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H084.Morton001.
 The Morton received many additions and renovations until finally reaching this state, seen here circa 1940s.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H084.Morton005.
 

 

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

Local History Subject Files – Hotels
City Directories
Press of Atlantic City, 1983 Index

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A product of Atlantic City’s “motel craze” designed to provide fresher, more affordable alternatives to the stately Boardwalk hotels, the Nautilus Motel opened in 1955. At 3501 Pacific Avenue, the motel was centrally located, and branded itself as “distinguished resort living.” A postcard from the era states that “nothing can surpass the accommodations of the Nautilus for décor and sheer personal comfort.” The Nautilus had 50 units, made up of both traditional rooms and kitchenette suites. Each unit was provided with air conditioning, heat, a radio, telephone, television, running ice water, and “generous closet space for a long vacation.” Despite the motel being a less impressive structure than the hotels on the Boardwalk, these were features that many of the old, aging buildings did not have! This advantage made motels extremely popular in Atlantic City, until the gaming era again shifted the accommodation focus in the city. Many motels closed up or became a part of new casino complexes. The Nautilus, however, remained open. The building is still standing today, although it now houses the Sea Breeze Club condos.

 H050.Nautilus
 

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

City Directories
H050 Postcard Collection

 An undated postcard showing the Nautilus Motel.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H050.Nautilus.

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The stately Penn-Atlantic Hotel, situated at South Carolina Avenue and Bacharach Boulevard, originally opened in 1924 as the Hotel Donato. The 60-room hotel changed its name to Penn-Atlantic in 1926, when it also added 94 more rooms. The hotel was popular with athletes, housing members of the Boxing Fraternity that sparred in Atlantic City, and serving as the trainers’ headquarters when the Atlantic City Race Course opened in the 1940s. Due to its proximity to City Hall, its Riptide Room restaurant also became a favored spot for city employees. The hotel was one of the few not taken over by the military during World War II, and as a result, lodged the families of soldiers who came to visit, as well as several entertainers who performed in the city. The Penn-Atlantic also housed the WLDB radio station for seven years. In 1969, it was sold by longtime owners the Fiore family, and demolished as part of an urban redevelopment program.   H084.PennAtlantic002
 

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

Local History Subject Files - Hotels

  A postcard with images of the Penn-Atlantic Hotel and its famous Riptide Room.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H084.PennAtlantic002.

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