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The Flanders Hotel - Ocean City, NJ
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 16.459 W 074° 34.565
18S E 536565 N 4347304
Quick Description: Gorgeous hotel overlooking the Atlantic Ocean was recently added to the NRHP.
Location: New Jersey, United States
Date Posted: 8/19/2010 11:47:37 PM
Waymark Code: WM9GQX
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 7

Long Description:

The hotel was built in 1923 as was many other ostentatious hotels, schools, banks and other structures during that era. From what I have read they have newly appointed rooms and the lobby I saw was redone as well. In the 80s the place looked like an old lady on her last leg wearing a lot of makeup trying to look young but clearly close to the end. The end is no longer in sight and when I visited and went inside it was busy, people were working and the inside "mall" and shops were doing business as well.

I lived here for several years directly across the street at 1108 Ocean Avenue and always though the place was closed down. This was in the late 80s. I never noticed the architecture nor the aquatic-based frieze work; it is all quite magnificent. In its day this was as luxurious as something could get. Today, it is still a jewel, but an antiquated, restored jewel.

The hotel miraculously survived the devastating fire of October 1927, when twelve city blocks were leveled, after which the boardwalk was rebuilt a block closer to the ocean, which made room for what became the salt water swimming pools.

From their website (Source listed below): It was for the purpose of creating a first class boardwalk hotel that a group of Ocean City, New Jersey businessmen formed the Ocean Front Hotel Corporation in 1922. The first meeting, held at Atlantic City Country Club in Northfield, included William Massey, Howard Stainton, Allen Corson, William Shriver, Randolph Fogg, Henry Cooper and other prominent citizens of the day. They decided to build an elegant seaside hotel that would compete in service and appointments with the best hotels in America, a project supported by a $100 a point stock investments by ordinary citizens of the community.

Designed by a renown local architect, Vivian Smith, an Ocean City native who achieved success in Philadephia before returning home to assist in the design of the Ocean City Music Pier, Smith also designed Ocean City Hall, Ocean City High School, Ventnor City Hall and a number of Atlantic City hotels. He also laid out the unique, planned rural town of Belcoville, near Mays Landing.

The Flanders Hotel is of Spanish Mission Revival style, similar to the Chatterbox, the Music Pier, Grace Kelly's family home at 26th and Wesley Avenue and the Golden Galleon shops on the boardwalk, which sets a classic tone for the town. Constructed of steel girders and concrete, the hotel was not quite complete when a Grand Opening dinner party was held on July 28, 1923. The over four hundred guests, dignitaries and prominent citizens enjoyed a cuisine that included Aiquilette of Striped Bass, Consome Yvette, Potatoes Hollandaise, peas, Supreme of Chicken Mousselene and an entree of saddle of Spring Lamb, with Mousse glace Flanders dessert. This feast was recreated by Chef Richard Spurlock for the hotel's 75th anniversary party.

The Flanders Hotel is named after Flanders Field in Belgium, where poppies grow over the rows of gravestones of American soldiers who died during World War I, the cemetery made famous by the John McCrae poem

Street address:
719 E. 11th Street
Ocean City, NJ USA

County / Borough / Parish: Cape May County

Year listed: 2009

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering

Periods of significance: 1900-1924, 1925-1949

Historic function: Domestic

Current function: Domestic/Commercial/Hotel

Privately owned?: yes

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Hours of operation: Not listed

Secondary Website 1: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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