In 1881, arriving by water or rail, visitors to the Jersey Shore met a rather startling sight: an elephant, trunk lowered in a feeding position, towering six stories high. The elephant–shaped building, nicknamed "Lucy," was designed to attract prospective real-estate buyers to Margate, New Jersey. The brainchild of the elephant, James V. Lafferty Jr., actually had designed three gigantic elephants, but by 1969, only a derelict Lucy was left. Thanks to the dedicated Save Lucy Committee, which formed in 1970, the landmark—now listed on the National Park Registry of Historical Landmarks—reopened in 1974.
Constructed from wood and metal, Lucy weighs 90 tons; her ears each weigh 2,000 pounds alone. Every 30 minutes, guided tours enter the spiral stairway in her hind legs, which climbs through her insides up to the howdah on her back. This perch affords a stunning 360-degree view of Josephine Harron Park and the surrounding shore, where beachgoers sunbathe, splash in the water, and struggle to pay the mortgage on their sandcastles.
Anchor Arts brings out the inner artist in adults and children with painting lessons and open-studio sessions. Kids' painting activities invite children to decorate items such as shells, pinwheels, maracas, and flower pots. BYOB adult painting classes walk participants step-by-step through the canvas-creation process, showing them how to produce a picturesque nature scene or re-create a popular work of art. For artists who need no instruction, open-studio time caters to those looking for a space in which to draw portraits or paint new colors over a boring red-yellow-and-green stoplight.