- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 29 May 2020
Lucy the Elephant
Lucy the Elephant, originally named Elephant Bazaar, is a six storey building in the seaside town of Margate, New Jersey. The structure was built by James V. Lafferty, Jr in 1882 to attract economic development to the area.
Lafferty would invite real estate investors into Lucy’s uppermost carriage (or howdah) to enjoy the panoramic view of nearby Atlantic City and the Atlantic Ocean. He would also point out surrounding plots of land that could be purchased by potential investors.
 Becoming Lucy
Philadelphia architects William Free and J. Mason Kirby were hired to design the structure based on Lafferty’s patented plans. The completed structure required roughly one million pieces of timber and was covered in 12,000 square feet of tin. It stands 19.7m high, 18.3m long and 5.5m wide and weighs approximately 90 tons.
The Elephant Bazaar was given the name ‘Lucy’ after it was sold in 1887 to Anton Gertzen of Philadelphia. Over the years, Lucy was used as a restaurant, office building, cottage and pub (which closed during Prohibition).
 Lucy today
Time had taken its toll on Lucy, and in the 1960s, she was scheduled for demolition. A campaign to save her was successful, and she was refurbished and moved to a location a short distance from her original site. She was hit by a lightning strike in 2006 that discoloured her tusks.
Lucy has continued to attract tourists to the area. In 2020, Lucy became an Airbnb property (the only National Historic Landmark available through the hosting service) for a limited number of stays. Even when booked, Lucy is still open for tours.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Examining renovate-operate-transfer arrangements.
Proactive measures to secure property during extreme times.
Safety guidance from BSI released; comments requested.
Scour can make river currents structurally damaging.
Indoor environmental quality looks at air quality and other wellbeing factors.
A procurement method associated with Public Private Partnerships.
Infrastructure can use digital technology to encourage human growth.
Robotics and the construction industry.
ECA comments on CLC's three-phase recovery plan.
Their diplomatic and architectural history.
The origins of the six volume series.
Built to defend British waters, only to serve as pirate radio stations later.
Wellbeing to influence mix of home and office based working.
An introduction to cobotics.
Survey reports on outlook for the engineering sector.
A simple path to possible error avoidance.