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Teplitzky’s was one of many Kosher hotel and motel properties that existed in Atlantic City in the mid-20th century. First founded around 1942 by Ukranian immigrants as a small boarding house, Teplitzky’s added on new additions as their popularity with Jewish guests of the resort grew. When it annexed the nearby Old English House, it became known as Teplitzky’s Old English House. Other additions included the neighboring Hersh-Carlton Hotel, a 1920s structure which had served as barracks for the US Army during World War II. The wooden structures comprising Teplitzsky’s were destroyed by a fire in the 1960s, and a new four-story hotel was built in its place. Teplitzky’s had a grand ballroom which hosted many events for Jewish residents of Absecon Island throughout the years, and Sammy Davis Jr. even once threw a dinner party for Frank Sinatra in the hotel. Old Blue Eyes himself reportedly remarked on the oddity of honoring an Italian in a Kosher establishment. In the latter half of the 20th century, however, Atlantic City’s Jewish population began to diminish. Teplitzky’s closed in 1987, becoming the International Kosher Hotel and then Howard Johnson’s. In 2008, the building was combined with a neighboring Holiday Inn and transformed into the new Chelsea Hotel, the first nongaming luxury resort to open in Atlantic City since before the casino era. In honor of the former owners, the Chelsea has a restaurant called Teplitzky’s. 

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

Local History Subject Files – Hotels
City Directories
H084 Postcard Collection
“Atlantic City: A Dream, a Journey, a Community” Heston Coll.
974.985Sch

 H084.Teplitzskys001

Chelsea exterior hr

 The new luxury Chelsea Hotel. Teplitzsky's Restaurant is visible on the street corner.
Photo Courtesy of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority. Downloaded from website. Image last modified July 2011.

 

 A postcard advertising Teplitzsky's Hotel from 1974. From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H084.Teplitzskys001.

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The Traymore was one of the oldest hotel names in Atlantic City, first opening in 1879 as a 10-room cottage at Illinois and Pacific Avenue. Owner Daniel White named the rooming house in honor of one of his best patrons, “Uncle Al” Harvey. Harvey owned an estate named Traymore in Maryland (which was in turn named after his hometown in Ireland) and would frequently wax nostalgic about the property during his stays in Atlantic City. After a storm destroyed this original structure in 1884, the owner rebuilt and continually expanded the Traymore, until it became the largest hotel in Atlantic City in 1898 with 450 rooms. Concerns about the wooden hotel’s vulnerability to storms and fire prompted the owner to renovate further, first constructing a concrete tower on the plot of land between the Traymore and the Boardwalk in 1906. In 1915, the entire hotel was completely redone in concrete, creating a massive 600-room resort that soon became known as the “Sandcastle by the Sea.” The architect for the new Traymore was William Price, the same designer behind the iconic Marlborough-Blenheim. The Traymore utilized the same poured concrete construction technique as the Blenheim, and also featured signature touches of glass elevators facing the outside of the hotel, and two twin mosaic-tiled domes. Artist N.C. Wyeth also designed murals for the children’s playroom and Submarine Grill. In 1942, the Traymore entered military service along with many other Atlantic City hotels. It served first as soldiers’ barracks, and then as an extension of the Thomas England Hospital which operated out of the Chalfonte-Haddon Hall. It returned to hotel business in 1946, when it was bought by entrepreneur Frank Gravatt, the owner of the Steel Pier. Gravatt again sold the hotel in 1951. Despite its unique construction and storied history, the Traymore began to decline along with the rest of Atlantic City in the 1960s. A $5 million renovation in 1968, which added a convention center, new elevators, and air conditioning, failed to save the business. The Traymore closed in the early 1970s, and when it was found to be structurally unsound, it was spectacularly imploded in three stages in 1972.   H009.647.94New2161 crop
 H009.647.94Old012   1915 image showing the Traymore Hotel in its final, concrete incarnation.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H009.647.94New2161.
 The wooden Traymore Hotel in the 1800s.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H009.647.94Old012.
 

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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Although a number of boarding houses existed on Absecon Island prior to its incorporation as Atlantic City, the United States was one of the first buildings that could truly be considered a hotel. It was a grand structure of 125 rooms bounded by the streets of Delaware, Pacific, Atlantic, and States Avenues - States Avenue originally being created as a path to transport guests by mule car from the hotel directly to the beach. The United States Hotel was founded by the owners of the Camden & Atlantic Railroad, the men behind the creation of Atlantic City as a seaside resort. Construction, which was done by Amos Bullock, began before the city was founded in 1854. When the first trains brought visitors to Atlantic City, horse carriages would then convene them directly to the United States Hotel. Some time later, the property was expanded to add another 100 rooms, making the hotel now stretch from Delaware Avenue to Maryland Avenue. The hotel was a center of activity for Pennsylvania dignitaries and socialites, and it housed President Grant’s party headquarters in 1874. The first Atlantic City Council meeting was also held in the United States Hotel. An 1872 ad for the hotel boasted its amenities, which included a “billiard room, ten pin alleys, shooting gallery, and morning, afternoon and evening open air concerts.” Despite its success, the United States was also one of the first hotels to disappear from Atlantic City’s skyline. It was demolished in 1899, save for a small section at Atlantic and States Avenues which was curiously still standing in 1952, when it was mentioned in Butler’s Book of the Boardwalk. It is unknown when this section was finally torn down.  H084.UnitedStates001 
 

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

Local History Subject Files – Hotels
“Book of the Boardwalk,” Heston Coll. 974.985But

 Photo of the United States Hotel, undated.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H084.UnitedStates001.

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Though unassuming in photographs, Wright’s Hotel, at 1702 Arctic Avenue, may have actually held an interesting historical distinction. According to Butler’s Book of the Boardwalk, the building dated all the way back to 1854, and was the first dwelling erected after Atlantic City’s incorporation. Built by Nathaniel Webb, it was operated for many years by Calanthe Ryan as Ryan Cottage. In 1913, it was bought by Solomon and Mary Wright, and became known as Wright’s Hotel, catering to Atlantic City’s ever-growing Black population. Wright’s Hotel served as a boarding house for Black workers who came to Atlantic City during the busy summer months. Later, when Black tourism increased, Wright’s Hotel brought visitors to a bustling community of Northside businesses, restaurants, and nightclubs. In the 1930s, the hotel advertised in the Atlantic City directory of its “First Class Accommodations” and “Extra Fine Location.” Wright’s Hotel operated until 1972, being owned in later years by Russell and Kate Williams. It presumably disappeared from the city landscape sometime the following year.  H084.Wrights001 
 

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
“Book of the Boardwalk,” Heston Coll. 974.985But

  A postcard depiction of Wright's Hotel from 1926.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H084.Wrights001.

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The St. Charles Hotel was first opened in 1896 by James B. Reilly. It was located on the Boardwalk at St. Charles Place, a street of stately homes and boarding houses that once ran between New Jersey and Delaware Avenues. The wood-frame St. Charles, like many other hotels across the city, was soon rebuilt in fireproof brick. The new St. Charles hotel had a capacity of 329 rooms, and a Boardwalk frontage of 642 feet. In 1930, it was purchased by Emanuel and Harry Katz for $3.8 million. The St. Charles was one of the finest hotels on the Boardwalk, and a center of social activity in the first half of the 20th century. However, it was marred by a few years of poor business, and by a 1952 fire that badly damaged the hotel. After the fire, it was bought by Antonio and Constance Parrotto for only $500,000. The Parrottos set about modernizing the hotel by adding new rooms, a swimming pool, cabanas, and a terrace. However, the renovations were not enough to keep business up in a city that was lacking for tourism everywhere. The St. Charles was closed, and finally demolished by implosion in May 1974. The blast was strong enough that windows were shattered on buildings within a 10-block radius of the hotel. The St. Charles site remained vacant in the hopes that empty land would attract developers, until the Showboat Casino was built on the site in 1987.   Rose Collection St. Charles Hotel
 H009.647.94Stc640c.1  The original wood-frame St. Charles Hotel.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H.BookCollection.RoseCollectionStCharles
 

 

The brick St. Charles Hotel (center tower) in 1968.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections,  H009.647.94Stc640c.1.
 

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

Local History Subject Files – Hotels
City Directories

 

 

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