Asbury Park

Asbury Park was at one time a shining jewel of tourism for NJ. Along with Atlantic City, it was the place to go for fun at the shore during the early 1900’s. When the automobile gave families the access to remote places for fun & relaxation people flocked to the ocean shore because of it’s natural beauty and ability to provide safe and relatively inexpensive fun.

Asbury Park fell into a pool of economic woes due to greed and financial mismanagement. There have been several efforts by the town to redevelop itself in the past 20 years and all have failed, in some cases because of direct fraud, other times because of bribes and kickbacks.

In 2002 new plans emerged which would’ve included the demolition of the Stone Pony. Protests and involvement by Bruce Springstein led to design changes. The Palace was another story. They couldn’t sell it on Ebay for 2.5 million, and even though it was on the National Register of Historic places, it was torn down in 2004. Only Tillie remains, now sitting on top of the Stone pony.

The new focus is on the Casino where there used to be an ice skating rink. It was transformed into a flea market and later a skate park during the 90’s but has been rotting forever and the question is what to do with it? The current plan is to save the front half, where the roof is still viable, and demolish the back half where the roof is gone.







4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by thomas on April 7, 2009 at 11:17 AM

    The only reason Atlantic City is not like Asbury Park is because they allowed Casino Gambling in AC. Other wise it would be the same. Also went to Asbury Park in the 1960s. Went back in 1988 in the middle of August the place was Empty. Could not believe it. Half the Boardwalk was burnt down. Have not been back since. No reason to go back.


  2. Posted by Barbara on April 7, 2009 at 11:17 AM

    It is very interesting how your came up with all this stuff about NJ. Just an aside. My family used to go to Asbury Park several times every summer. It was a wonderful place to go. Several years ago, I went on a nostalgia trip after visiting my mother and I was crushed to see how badly Asbury Park has become. It is such a shame. But times change and people are not interested in the simpler kinds of entertainment such places offered. My Grandfather owned a hotel in Ocean Grove – it was really God’s waiting room. I hear it is changing for the better with many improvements and new owners etc. Very Glad. There was an episode on The Soporanos where Tony goes to Asbury Park for some nefarious reason and they showed the boardwalk, ocean and the casino. I wonder what happened to the Carousels in the fun house and casino and there was years ago another beautiful one in Ocean Grove right on the border of A.P. and O.G. I am sure they were the old originals because that area was popular in the 1800’s. Sorry to see that disappear. Thank again,


  3. Posted by Aaron on April 7, 2009 at 11:17 AM

    Howdy! Sorry it took me so long to get back to ya, been really busy the past few days. I spoke with My brother on Saturday night about getting back inside the casino to take some pics and he said he’d have to get in touch with the new owners. Apparently with all the redevelopment going on along the waterfront in Asbury, there are new owners now and they’ve started to refurbish the casino. As far as the skate palace goes, I don’t know what’s going on with that. One thing is for certain, the entire inside of the casino is now bare….yep, even the funhouse is gone. My brother said the entire inside is stripped clean. So that picture I sent you of the funhouse is probably the last shot of it. My brother’s coming over tonight to give me a hand with some stuff at home. I’ll ask him about getting us inside again to take some pictures. He said he may even be able to get us inside the other building where the Ferris Wheel used to be. It might be difficult because parts of the roof have been caving in.


  4. Posted by Aaron on April 7, 2009 at 11:17 AM

    If I can recall, I took the pictures in the summer of 2001. I was doing a report on abandoned commercial real estate in Monmouth county and decided to pop down to Asbury Park to get some good shots. I have 2 brothers on the police force down there so it was easy to gain access to the building. Unfortunately we weren’t able to gain access to the Casino itself. Due to much criminal activity in the building, it’s been pretty much cinder-blocked up to prevent anyone from entering. When the Casino was open, my brothers told me of times when they had to apprehend suspects who fled into the skating rink. Inside some of the storage rooms they said there were still old boxes filled with stuffed animals from years ago when the place was actually open….pretty creepy.


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