|The Mansion House, at Pennsylvania and Atlantic Avenues, was one of Atlantic City’s original hotels, built in 1853 by sisters Lizzie, May, Sallie, and Julia Lee. When the city was incorporated the following year, the Mansion House was ready for the influx of visitors to the seashore that soon followed. The first Western Union office in the city was established within the hotel, and the Atlantic City telegraph call letters remained "MH" for over a hundred years. The business continued to be operated by the Lee sisters until sometime in the 1870s, when ownership was transferred first to Obermyer & Grinn, and then to Charles McGlade in 1881. By this time, the Boardwalk had drawn attention in the resort decidedly further towards the beach, and the resort’s original hotels on the once-bustling Atlantic Avenue suffered. Alfred Heston reported in his Annals of Atlantic City that McGlade “put up a plucky fight” against Boardwalk attractions and newer hotels, spending considerable sums to update the Mansion House’s facilities and rebrand it as the New Mansion House. Despite these efforts, however, the hotel could not succeed in the resort’s changed environment. It was purchased by the Atlantic City National Bank in 1899 and demolished. However, a reminder of its presence exists today in the form of Mansion Avenue.|
| This early illustration of Atlantic City shows the Mansion House in the foreground on right. The large building in the background is the United States Hotel.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H009.388.409Atl2113.
| This illustration shows a drastically expanded and upgraded Mansion House, circa 1880s.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H.Bk.974.985Eng.70.
For more information, see these resources in the Atlantic City Free Public Library, Atlantic City Heritage Collections:
Local History Subject Files – Hotels