Atlantic City, New Jersey Walking Tour
Walk the streets and famous boardwalk near Atlantic City's beaches past historic buildings and monuments.
The yellow brick building at the corner of Atlantic and North Carolina Avenues, with the prominent overhanging awning, is the Segal Building. The Segal Building was built in 1920 and was listed in the National Register in 1984. The copper awning's lettering proclaims the ground floor's former use: "Wholesale and Retail Importers of Fancy Fruit and Vegetables William I. Segal Hot House and Imported Fancy Fruit and Vegetables." Upper floors in the three-story building were designed as office spaces for lease. The ground-floor commercial space at the corner, in the former showroom for the produce business, is occupied now by Gino's Pizza & Grill; legal offices are on the second floor.
Atlantic City was incorporated on May 1, 1854 from portions of Egg Harbor Township and Galloway Township.
The towering church at 1409 Pacific Avenue is St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church, finished in 1905. It is one of three Catholic churches active in Atlantic City, all in the Parish of Saint Monica. St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. Three buildings on the church lot contribute to the nomination: the church, a two-story rectory with a raised basement near the church's northwest corner (built in 1909), and a former convent (1925) along Pacific Avenue to the west of the church parking lot. The parking lot was once the site of a parochial school (1909). The three-story, stone and brick former convent now holds the Father Benedict House, opened in 2018 as a resource for the homeless and needy, run by the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal. St. Nicholas is the only remaining Romanesque Revival church building in Atlantic City.
The Madison Hotel at 125 S. Illinois Avenue (now Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.) was built in 1929, right before the Great Depression began, as a luxury hotel. A later incarnation of the building after going bankrupt in the 1960s was the Sands Atlantic City. The hotel was vacant from 2006 to 2014 and was sold at auction in 2013 for $4 million but the sale didn't go through. The Baymont Inn & Suites Atlantic City Madison Hotel opened in the building in January 2014 after the Ratan Hotel Group bought the property for $2.5 million. Now the Madison Hotel Boardwalk Atlantic City, the hotel still welcomes visitors. The Madison Hotel was listed in the National Register in 1984.
This memorial garden was completed in 2001 and contains a large fountain with eleven granite columnns that offer information about the civil rights movement in New Jersey and throughout the nation. The garden was constructed at a cost of two million dollars and its memorial columnns honor African American leaders such as Rosa Parks and Fredrick Douglass. Each of the eleven granite columnns includes information about the lives of civil rights leaders along with quotes related to the history of the long struggle for civil rights.
Located in Brighton Park Atlantic City, New Jersey is the Korean War Memorial. The memorial opened on November 13, 2000, two day after Veteran's Day. The memorial was created to help heal the spiritual and psychological wounds suffered by the Korean Veterans. It shows the struggle, accomplishments, and the contribution of the men and women who served. Governor Christine Todd Whitman and the Legislatures wanted to create a "fitting acknowledgement of the valor displayed by our military personal who served in Korea."
The Atlantic City Historical Museum was established in 1984. The city library maintains exhibits and educational programs at the museum. Current exhibits allow visitors to trace the history, industry, and architecture of Atlantic City throughout the 20th century. Educational programs are regularly held on the second Saturday of each month at 2pm.
During the era of segregation when most of Atlantic City's beaches were open only to whites, this beach was open to African Americans and provided a space for countless black families to enjoy time together. The Civil Rights Act made segregation a crime and contrary to many Southern beaches, Atlantic City complied with the law although informal patterns of discrimination and segregation continues. This beach was frequented by many black celebrities and musicians when they played at Atlantic City's casinos. It was also a haven for black families, many of whom would enjoy picnics at the beach. Local residents choked about the large numbers of chicken bones that were buried in the sand following a traditional Southern lunch of fried chicken, leading to the informal nickname "Chicken Bone Beach." Today, the Chicken Bone Beach Historical Foundation preserves the history of this black enclave that is now open to all races and offers summer jazz concerts.
Historic Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey has provided tourists and locals alike, the opportunity to witness some of the country's best entertainment. Ranging from sporting events such as football, hockey, and auto racing to world famous events like the Miss America Pageant and the 1964 Democratic National convention. This historic site was also home to the first College football game played indoors and the first indoor helicopter flight. Boardwalk Hall boasts originality from its amazing architecture thats stood over 85 years to its prime location on the boardwalk of the Atlantic City coastline. This historic venue is as much alive today, as it was in 1929, when it laid claim to being the largest clear span space in the world.
When it opened on June 21, 1921, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel was the tallest building in Atlantic City. Every detail of the structure exuded wealth and status, from the faucets for fresh or salt water in every guest room to the private elevators for beachgoers to the grand staircase and elegant ballroom. The hotel experienced a sharp decline during the Great Depression and filed for bankruptcy in 1937. The hotel resumed operations shortly thereafter, buoyed by the end of the Depression and a contract to house troops during World War II. The hotel experienced a second boom period following the postwar prosperity. The hotel again struggled during the 1960s as guests opted for some of the newer resort and casinos. In 1969, the hotel converted to condominiums.
The first boardwalk ever opened in the United States, Atlantic City Boardwalk was originally developed in 1870 by a railroad conductor and a beach-side hotel owner to mitigate the amount of sand tourists were tracking into their businesses from the beach. Over the many years since, the boardwalk has grown into a popular strip for commerce, entertainment, and leisure.
This World War I monument is built in the style of a circular Greek temple. It measures 124 feet around and has 16 Dionic columnns, made of limestone with a rotunda in the center. Inside the rotunda is a statue called “Lady Liberty in Distress”. This statue stands 9 feet in height and is made of bronze, it stands on a base that is 5 feet in height and made of Vermont green marble. The floor of the rotunda is paved with slate and bluestone with four entrances that are closed off by decorative gates.