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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • ABOUT PARIS, 1895

No. 1 Atlantic Ocean: 1910

No. 1 Atlantic Ocean: 1910

Atlantic City, New Jersey, circa 1910. "Young's residence on Million Dollar Pier." The marble-encrusted Venetian "villa" at No. 1 Atlantic Ocean of showman and real-estate developer Captain John Young. Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

 

House of...

If anyone will ever ask me to define the word "kitsch" I'll just show this photograph to them.

How utterly charming!

It looks like a combination of a dollhouse and a cake. I want so badly to go inside!

Fresh fish for dinner!

Some images start my mind a wandering; I thought of fishing out the window. Allegedly Cap'n John landed 30 pounds of fish on his first attempt as reported in the AC Weekly: http://www.acweekly.com/view.php?id=4793 . Other interesting views of advertising on the boardwalks are at http://library.duke.edu/exhibits/maxwell/index.html .

Everything Matches

It's hard to imagine now just how popular this overblown style was at the time. Not even counting its unique location on the pier, this house owes a lot to the fantasy-laden grandeur of the World's Fair Beaux Arts style of architecture that came in with the White City in Chicago in 1893. Tiffany & Company even redecorated the White House interiors for Theodore Roosevelt in a style similar to this, although they didn't outline the building in Edison lightbulbs. The party of well-dressed and well-fed tourists in the foreground, especially those Under Full Sail ladies, hold their own against all that marble and plaster.

Window Dressing

Captain Long did not care much for privacy, it seems.

Well lit

I'd like to see a night photo of this place. It's covered with hundreds of bulbs. Do you suppose those light-bulb-encrusted flowers blinked?

[The lighting is said to have been designed by none other than Thomas Edison. - Dave]

From a 1910 article in the New York Times:

The Captain is, to make use of his own expression, "a bug on lighting effects." In other words he has a fancy for a lot of light and for a varying in colors. His house is outlined in white electric lights from "cellar to dome," and those peculiar dials near the top are not clocks, but arrangements for giving a constant change to the lighting scheme.

Surrounding the house is a magnificent lawn. It was built on a solid concrete platform with sufficient ventilation to keep the grass from scalding. It is made of the best Pennsylvania soil. The lawn is intersected by broad walks, and artistically distributed are small pine trees set out in large tubs. Statuary is scattered in profusion all about the lawn, and the whole place is surrounded by concrete coping to keep the rains from washing away the lawn. Artistic electroliers have been placed all about the outside of the property, too.

Uplifting culture

He sure liked those alabaster maidens, didn't he?

Beach Cottage

Does anyone know how long this lasted? I want to move in!

[Captain Young's concrete-and-marble villa, built in 1906 hundreds of feet from the shore on a pier 20 feet above the ocean, survived gales, hurricanes and several boardwalk fires before it fell to the wrecking ball in 1953. - Dave]

WOW!

Which hurricane took it out?

Wishful thinking

Dave, any "post-gale" photos of this monstrosity? This is just too tempting for Mother Nature.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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