drakkar91.com presents... Asbury Park "Then & Now"

Asbury Park History
Albion Hotel
The Boardwalk
Empress Hotel
The Metropolitan Hotel
Historic Images
Troubled Times
Gay Asbury Park
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POSTCARDS of the 1900's.


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"A Seaside Ghost Town"
...Trying to Rise Again...
Text and Images by Christopher Clay
Originally Composed in 1998 - Occasional Updates through 2008

June 2014

While a "new" Asbury Park bustles in many areas, and tourists have returned, roots to the original seaside resort are all but destroyed leaving many vacant lots dotting the city.  The tide has changed (generally) for the better, but the new results are a distant memory of the famous resort.  Lodging once a staple of Asbury Park (the Metropolitan, the Albion and so may others) remains scarce.  The Empress Hotel is the best option but not for all traveler types, especially families.  The mammoth Berkeley Carteret has failed to rise to the occasion.  B&B's and Inn's in Asbury Park and nearby towns are scarcely replacements in sheer volume.   More photos and news pending.


From the Last Updates in 2009 and Prior...

When this site was first developed, it was one of the first to document the plight of a true Jersey Shore Ghost Town.  My first visit to the city after graduating college was in 1988.  I started taking photographs on each visit.  The city would continue to decline for more than a decade.  Not until the start of the 2000's did Asbury Park begin to see a return to prosperity.

Today, in 2009, while no longer the ghost-town it was in the 1980's and 1990's, in my estimate, the future of Asbury Park will not resemble the once glorious Asbury Park resort of the past.  It will offer million dollar condo's on the ocean. West of the train tracks, it will likely serve as a reminder of the urban blight that has plagued the city for so long.  Meanwhile, I'll continue to document Asbury's famous past...as I have done online since 1998.

This site shares images of several landmark hotels, most of which have met the fate of destruction.  It also includes a History of Asbury Park, as best I have discovered, from it's start in the 1800's to present day Asbury Park. 

Deserted Asbury Park Boardwalk, 1997

Image Above from 1997 photographed by Chris.
A decaying pedestrian walkway stretches from a deserted beach to a deserted boardwalk, proudly displaying the words:
"Welcome to..... Asbury Park".

Photo Footnotes 2006: The walkway pictured above has been removed.  The building to the right has received a facelift as part of the "revitalization" efforts, but remains empty (Footnote 2008: Businesses are now operating along the boardwalk).  The boardwalk boards have been replaced.  The beaches in this northern section of Asbury Park, close to the Berkeley Carteret Hotel are still closed (as of August 2006).  A new condo project is being constructed just north of the Berkeley Carteret and boasts 1.2 Million Dollar Penthouses!  Per an article in a 2006 issue of New Jersey Monthly, the average sale price of a condo in this new development will be about $700,000.

Why These Web Pages Exist

Welcome to my web pages intended to help preserve the memories of Asbury Park and to raise awareness regarding it's current state of affairs.  Growing up along the New Jersey Shore in the 1970's and 1980's, one always maintains a love, a connection to this magical place along the Atlantic Ocean.   Throughout the web site, you will find memories of many places, including several in New Jersey.  The viewpoints and opinions are my own.  Factual information has been researched on the internet, found in books or news articles or been emailed to me by the many who have visited this site.  A very special THANK YOU to everyone who has written or shared a memory in the Guest Book.  It is for YOU that these pages are dedicated and for so many who remember the "good old days" at Asbury Park.  Like most, I only wish for the preservation of those places still standing in Asbury Park and a return to the prosperity for the city.   Because I am not currently a resident of the town, it is difficult for me to maintain a daily record of events concerning Asbury Park.  I thank the many dedicated individuals in and around Asbury Park who are fighting the battle every day!  Your efforts do make a difference.  With that, I invite you to visit my site, read about Asbury Park's rich history and remember the city through images collected throughout the 1900's.

Buy The Book on
Asbury Park History

Asbury Park - Click Here To Buy The Book

Buy The History Book Written by The Creator of The Asbury Park Pages

Minneapolis and St. Paul in Vintage Postcards by Christopher Clay

Please Sign The Guest Book

2008 Photo Slide Show


Click for Asbury Park, New Jersey Forecast

Images from this site were used by "Metropolis" - in a story by David B. Sokol, Metropolis Writer for "Urban Journal".


Updated: Tuesday February 08, 2011 ęChristopher Clay