Long before the Jersey Shore was turned into a “hit” television show, Asbury Park was New Jersey’s premier resort town. Today the entire town seems abandoned when you visit during the off-season. If the city is mentioned at all, it’s normally in reference to Bruce Springsteen or to the large and wonderful gay community that flock to this summertime town. However, that is not the entire story of Asbury Park. On the north side of the boardwalk, separating Asbury Park from the religious city of Ocean Grove, sits what was once a lively Convention Center. There are several structures that were designed by New York Beaux-Arts architects Whitney Warren & Charles Wetmore (designers of Grand Central Station). There was once a huge casino, its accompanying arcade, a carousel house, and a heating plant. The Carousel House (pictured above) was built in 1932 and contained Carousel #87 from the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. The copper building and window frames are covered in a verdigris patina. The majestic designs include spider webs, images of Pegasus, and gorgons trapped in whirlwinds. The carousel ran for more than half a century, but the town began to decline and the buildings were eventually closed in 1988 and left to decay. The famed carousel was bought two years later in 1990 and moved to Family Kingdom Park in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where it now operates with fiberglass replicas of the original wooden horses.
LOCATION: Asbury Park, New Jersey
ARCHITECT: Whitney Warren & Charles Wetmore
BUILT: 1932, ABANDONED 1988