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The Seaside Hotel was originally constructed in 1863 on a site which later became home to the Holmhurst Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue. In 1890, as the growing popularity of the Boardwalk had shifted activity in Atlantic City from Pacific Avenue to the beach, the Seaside was moved 800 feet closer to the ocean. At this time an elevator and new baths were also installed. In 1926 it added a new fireproof tower, and became the home of Atlantic City’s first commercial radio station, WHAR. In 1960, the Seaside demolished its older wooden section and replaced it with 60 modern motel rooms, as the motel craze was sweeping the country. It continued operations as the Seaside Hotel & Motel under Marvin Ashner until 1982. Its proprietor in later years is listed in directories as Resorts Hotel & Casino, and the Seaside was presumably demolished to make way for an expansion of Resorts.  H084.Seaside001 
 

 

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

Local History Subject Files – Hotels
“So Young, So Gay” Heston Coll. 974.985McM
City Directories
Telephone Directories

 A 1920s postcard shows the new addition to the Seaside Hotel next to the original wooden building, which is equipped with a radio antenna for WHAR, the first commercial station to broadcast from Atlantic City.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H084.Seaside001.

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The Seaview Excursion House was not only one of the earliest lodgings in Atlantic City, but also an epicenter of activity in the resort’s first decades. Beginning in 1869, visitors to the city got off the train at the Excursion House, which soon became the southern terminus of the new Boardwalk. The Excursion House provided several accommodations for visitors that were unavailable elsewhere at the time, such as the only guarded beach in Atlantic City. (An official city lifeguard service would not be established until the 1890s.) The area surrounding the Excursion House, on the block of Pacific Avenue between Missouri and Mississippi Avenues, was leased out to businesses and amusements, providing the framework for the model of the Boardwalk tourism business. One of the earliest ferris wheels, a complex contraption known as the “Epicycloidal Diversion,” opened in front of the Excursion House in 1872. When the railroad terminus was moved further south, a new Excursion House was built in 1889, but the old one had been so popular that visitors simply got off the train, hopped on Atlantic City’s new streetcar service, and rode right back to the old one! The Seaview Excursion house continued to operate until the mid 1890s.   H084.Excursion001
 

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

Local History Subject Files – Hotels
“By the Beautiful Sea,” Heston Coll. 974.985Fun
City Directories

 An undated photograph of the Seaview Excursion House, with horses and buggies lined up outside.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H084.Excursion001.

 

 

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Although the 1950s and 60s saw a “motel craze” sweep Atlantic City, only a few of them remain standing today. Motels were popular in this era because they provided an affordable alternative to Atlantic City’s posh Boardwalk hotels, and also featured new facilities and amenities, while the older hotels desperately needed upgrades. The Seville Motel, at 3200 Pacific Avenue, first opened in 1957. In addition to its dramatic architecture, postcards of the time boasted what were then state-of-the-art features, including a TV and telephone in each room, free parking on the premises, air conditioning, and soundproof rooms. In addition, the Seville also featured a coffee shop and convention space. Although many motels disappeared from Atlantic City with the coming of the casinos, the Seville hung on. Despite many name changes, the original building still provides an affordable alternative to its more ritzy neighboring accommodations today. It is currently known as the Rodeway Inn. H050.Seville001 
 

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

H050 Postcard Collection
Telephone Directories
City Directories

 A postcard for the Seville Motel from 1961.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H050.Seville001.

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An architectural curiosity of bygone days, States Villa began its life at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. A gift from the state of Michigan, the building was constructed of wood from Michigan forests and designed in the style of a Chinese pagoda, which the state had sent architects to the Orient in order to copy. At the Exposition, the building was purchased by Barclay Lippincott, who had the structure dismantled and reassembled to become his summer home in Atlantic City at 125 States Avenue. After Barclay Lippincott’s death the building served many uses, including operation as a hotel in the summer seasons, as the Lippincott family were prominent hoteliers in Atlantic City. The fanciful structure, known to its neighbors on States Avenue as “the gingerbread house,” was unfortunately destroyed by a fire in 1954.  H084.StatesVilla001 
 

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

Local History Subject Files – Hotels
“The House that Traveled,” article in H084 Postcard Collection

  The unique and ornate States Villa in an undated photograph.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections,  H084.StatesVilla001.

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As a motel craze led many sections of Pacific Avenue to be dotted with the complexes in the 1950s, the Sun ‘N’ Sand Motel became one of the first to extend the new trend to the Boardwalk. Stately, imposing hotel buildings from the turn of the twentieth century had long been the standard on the Boardwalk, but their popularity decreased as they began to show their age. The Sun ‘N’ Sand, at 118 S. Providence Avenue, opened in 1955 as a new and affordable alternative. Not to be outdone by the first class accommodations provided in hotels, the Sun ‘N’ Sand billed itself as “An Adventure in Luxury Living.” A postcard of the era also boasts that the motel was recommended by Duncan Hines, who despite being known today mainly for food products, was once a noted restaurant and travel critic. In the next decade, motels on the Boardwalk became commonplace, as even the old “grand dame” hotels were annexing new motel wings in order to compete. With the dawning of casino gambling in Atlantic City however, many motel structures disappeared. The Sun ‘N’ Sand is one of the few to remain standing today, although it is currently operating as Ocean Villas Condominiums.  H050.SunNSand001 
 sun n sand 1  A postcard advertising the Sun 'N' Sand Motel, circa 1950s.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H050.SunNSand001
 The Sun 'N' Sand as seen from the Boardwalk in December 2014.  

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

City Directories
H050 Postcard collection

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