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The sea-side resorts of New Jersey.

Sketch of the United States Hotel featured in The Sea-Side Resorts of New Jersey from 1877. Courtesy of HathiTrust.

Of the first hotels built in Atlantic City, the United States Hotel, bounded by Pacific, Atlantic, Maryland and Delaware Avenues, was one of the most luxurious and prestigious, costing $250,000 to complete. Although still under construction when the Atlantic and Camden Railroad made its initial stop in the city on July 4th, 1854, it nevertheless was where the island’s first excursionists dined. It was also the choice hotel of President Grant during his stay on the island in 1874, and in the summer of 1892, guests could take a trip on the Pennsylvania Railroad (lunch included) “to sojourn at the famous United States Hotel.” For only $12.75 (for those coming from New York), guests would receive railroad fare, lunch en route and accommodations at the hotel for three nights.


Map of Atlantic City in 1872 showing the United States Hotel. From F.W. Beers Atlas courtesy of Rutger’s Historical Map Collection.

As the decades rolled on, the hotel would be downsized and eventually demolished. In 1890, the portion facing Pacific Avenue was removed and the land converted to building lots, and by 1900 the hotel was completely demolished. However, even in its later years, United States Hotel still fetched premium rates right up until its demise. A travel directory from 1900, Rand, McNally & Co.’s Handy Guide to Philadelphia and Environs, cites the hotel’s rate at $3 to $5 a day, more than most other hotels listed.

Now, 150+ years later, the land upon which the United States Hotel used to perch appears to be a parking lot for the Showboat Hotel.  (Wah, wah.)

Atlantic & Delaware Avenue, Atlantic CIty

Current image of the block of land where the United States Hotel once stood. View from the intersection of Atlantic and Delaware looking towards Maryland and Pacific.

The Sea-side Resorts of New Jersey. Philadelphia: Allen, Lane & Scott, 1877.

"Advertisement 1 -- no Title." New York Evangelist (1830-1902) Jun 09 1892: 8-. American Periodicals. Web. 27 Dec. 2012.