• Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City
    new sponsor of Third Thursday Concert Series

    HRHC Atlantic City Logo 4C CMYK 1 croppedNot only is the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City bringing world-class entertainment to the resort, it is supporting the Atlantic City Free Public Library’s efforts to provide free music to the community. The casino is the new sponsor of the library’s Third Thursday Concert Series — a free monthly music series held 5 p.m. at the Main Library on the third Thursday of each month from April through September. Click here to read more.
  • Computer, iPad classes designed
    for older adults with vision changes

    LEAP computerAdvancing Opportunities will lead computer classes and iPad classes for adults 55 and older who have had vision changes at the Atlantic City Free Public Library. Learn about assistive technology that will magnify the screen or read to you. Registration is required for these classes, and space is limited. Call 888-322-1918, ext. 501 to register. Click here to read more.
  • New exhibit chronicling library's history
    on display through mid-June

    IllinoisandPacificThe Atlantic City Free Public Library is chronicling the 115 years of services it has provided to the city since formally opening its doors in a house (see photo) in 1903. The public is invited to view our new exhibit, “The History of the Atlantic City Free Public Library: 115 Years in the Making.” Click here to read more.
  • Sharp haircuts, minds: Library brings
    'Fade to Books' to city barbershops

    Barbershop photoThe Atlantic City Free Public Library has made children’s books available at select city barbershops this winter after being named a recipient of a Fade to Books grant in 2017.
    The New Jersey State Library, in partnership with the Long Branch Public Library and the Bridge of Books Foundation, launched a grant opportunity for public libraries to join with their local barbershops in an effort to spur young boys to read. Click here to read more.
  • Live, online tutoring help available for students

    Live Homework HelpStudents who need assistance with homework can receive free, on-demand tutoring help thanks to an online service provided by the Atlantic City Free Public Library. The library offers Live Homework Help™, an online tutoring service powered by Tutor.com™. Students can connect to expert tutors in math, science, social studies and English via the Internet. Live Homework Help is for students in grades K-12 and those taking introductory level college courses. Click here to read more.
  • You can quickly charge your smartphone,
    laptop and tablet at the Main Library

    Charging StationThe Atlantic City Free Public Library now offers a charging station after being selected as a contract award winner for funding under LibraryLinkNJ’s “Powering Up: Library Charging Stations Incubator Project.” Those who visit the Main Library will be able to charge their smartphones, laptops and tablets for free in a Kwikboost Charging Station, which features eight secure, ADA-compliant lockers equipped with 16 connectors and fast-charging technology. Click here to read more.

Atlantic City Experience: 100 Years of Garden Pier

Garden Pier 1917Did you know that July 19, 2013 marks 100 years since Garden Pier first opened?

Garden Pier stood apart from the other piers in Atlantic City. First opening on July 19, 1913, its "uptown" location placed it away from the frenzied activity of the bustling downtown. The red-tiled roofs and Ionic architecture style of the buildings and the beautifully landscaped gardens gave the pier a formal appearance which attracted an upscale crowd.

(Postcard showing the buildings and gardens on Garden Pier soon after it opened. The large building in the center was B.F. Keith's Theatre. H049.624.158Gar014, Atlantic City Heritage Collections, Atlantic City Free Public Library.)

The centerpiece of Garden Pier was the stately B.F. Keith's Theatre, which for many years rivaled any of those on Broadway. Here, Tobacco Road and George White's Scandals premiered; during one notable week, both Douglas Fairbanks and Sophie Tucker appeared. One of the city's largest ballrooms was on the pier. In it, dances were held and large conventions met before the Atlantic City Auditorium was built. The first Miss America pageant started on Garden Pier in 1921.

 

For many seasons, businesses such as Underwood Typewriter, Hoover, and Pennsylvania Rubber Company advertised their wares to passersby. Taking advantage of the opportunity to attract people leisurely strolling by, the companies showcased typewriters, vacuum cleaners, car tires, and more.

Ultimately, the uptown location made it less commercially successful. After languishing for a decade, the pier was purchased by the City of Atlantic City in 1944. It survived the Great Hurricane of 1944 with extensive damage, but a new era for Garden Pier began when it reopened during Atlantic City's Centennial celebrations in 1954 as the Garden Pier Civic Center. The pier housed the Atlantic City Art Center, a historical exhibition, a fountain, and a concert and band shell.

Florence Valore Miller, a charter member of the Atlantic City Art Center, became the Civic Center executive director in 1962. For years, songstress Lucille "Aunt Lucy" Russo gave local youngsters their first taste of stardom in Garden Pier's Civic Center with her Boardwalk Star Revue. A devastating fire heavily damaged the pier in 1981, but thanks to the dedication of Mrs. Miller and Atlantic City Councilman Walter Collette, the pier was rebuilt. In 1985 the Atlantic City Historical Museum joined the Art Center on the Garden Pier. The pier underwent major renovations in 1994, funded by the City of Atlantic City, and again in 2012 with funding from the City, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and the pier's new neighbor, Revel Hotel Casino.

Today, the Garden Pier is the only municipally-owned pier in Atlantic City. The Atlantic City Art Center, under the management of the City of Atlantic City, and the Atlantic City Historical Museum, under the management of the Atlantic City Free Public Library, join in wishing the Garden Pier a very happy 100th anniversary!

Please visit the Atlantic City Historical Museum when we reopen to see the exhibit "Atlantic City Experience: 100 Years of the Garden Pier."

experience logo no background Click above to visit the Atlantic City Experience site. Visit the Atlantic City Historical Museum and see the best historical and cultural resources of Atlantic City.

City of Atlantic City

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