See What Lucy the Elephant’s $2M Makeover Is All About

She's looking good for 141 years old!

The six-story Lucy the Elephant in Margate.
The iconic Lucy the Elephant in Margate is six stories tall. Photo courtesy of Save Lucy Committee Inc.

Everyone’s favorite Jersey Shore icon, Lucy, the six-story pachyderm, is in the midst of a $2 million restoration that includes total replacement of her outer skin and any rotted wood underneath.

“The big issue is rust,” explains Lucy’s executive director, Richard Helfant.

A new, rust-resistant, nickel-and-copper alloy will replace Lucy’s old tin skin. The floor of Lucy’s howdah (the ornate carriage atop her back) and the two doors in her back legs are also being replaced. Once her new hide is applied, Lucy will be repainted in her original colors; starting in January, some internal plaster will be repaired and repainted.

Helfant promises nothing will change about Lucy’s outer appearance—except that the 141-year-old roadside attraction “will look brand-new.”

Given that Lucy has, over the years, survived multiple hurricanes, a 2006 lightning strike, and even a stint as an Airbnb, we’re sure she appreciates the attention.

The project, funded in part by the Preserve New Jersey Historic Preservation Fund, was originally budgeted at $1.4 million.

Scaffolding currently hides Lucy’s exterior and could remain in place until mid-August, although Helfant is hopeful it will be removed sooner. Meanwhile, visitors can tour the great lady’s capacious interior starting May 27 at 9200 Atlantic Avenue, Margate (check the website for a schedule). Admission is $8.50 for adults and $4 for children 3-12.

Visitors can also shop for Lucy trinkets at the attraction’s gift shop or donate to the Save Lucy Committee’s restoration efforts.

Looking for more fun at the Shore this summer? Check out New Jersey Monthly’s list of the best things to do, which, of course, includes visiting Lucy.

By submitting comments you grant permission for all or part of those comments to appear in the print edition of New Jersey Monthly.

Required not shown
Required not shown