Situated on the iconic Jersey Shore, this 65-foot-tall elephant named Lucy has served as a restaurant, a private home, and a real estate office. Now, as she approaches her 140th birthday, this prominent Elephant shaped building will take on its new title as one of the country’s quirkiest Airbnbs.
Lucy is, of course, not an animal, but a six-story building. According to Airbnb, this is known as one of the last standing pieces of roadside Americana. Starting from March 5, travelers can visit this Airbnb and relax in the belly of the elephant, which can comfortably accommodate two guests. There are just three nights available on Airbnb – March 17, 18, and 19. This Airbnb costs only $138/per night, so the competition is likely to be tough.
Richard Helfant, the host behind this AirBnb, posting, and he is Lucy’s human handler, says that Lucy is one the oldest surviving examples of zoomorphic architecture on Earth. Helfant, who first began promoting Lucy as a teenager, has been her stalwart cheerleader for around 50 years.
Lucy’s entrance is at her hind feet. Lucy has a spacious interior, the number of amenities, and a conspicuous lack of freshwater. To overcome this inconvenience, Airbnb has placed a heated bathroom trailer equipped with a shower, toilet, and a sink on the location. All the guests will be able to enjoy a delicious breakfast, delivered right to their door on the landing, that’s just beneath Lucy’s eyes.
This 6-story building was initially built in Margate, New Jersey, a seaside locality that’s just 5-miles south of Atlantic City. Lucy was the brainchild of James V. Lafferty, an eccentric land speculator. Lafferty, after completing the Jumbo Elephant inspired building, Hedchad secured a short-term patent to manufacture and sell buildings in animal shape. His original plans for the building was to serve as a tourist attraction that will offer an unparalleled view of the Jersey ocean and skyline. Still, unluckily, he had financial troubles, which forced him to sell it to a private buyer (Gertzen family) in 1887.
When the Gertzen family-owned Lucy, they transformed the building into a real estate office. Then in 1902, it was transformed into a tavern, and that’s the year the building acquired the name, Lucy, according to reports.
Then it served as a home to a family of six, and they completely remodeled its interior. But in the 1960s, Lucy had fallen into terrible conditions, and the city had planned to demolish her. But, thankfully, a troupe of locals came together to raise money to save and renovate the structure, the locals established the Save Lucy Committee, which is headed by Helfant today. Within a few years, Lucky had reopened its door to the public, and in 1976, Lucy became a national landmark.
Nowadays, Lucy attracts nearly 132k visitors every year.