Historic Structures

Building Description The Shelburne Hotel, Atlantic City New Jersey

The Shelburne Hotel was constructed of brick and limestone over a steel frame, and is Georgian revival in style, the front (1922) section is five bays wide and nine bays deep, rising from a two-story base five floors to an elaborate cornice, with one additional story acting as a 'parapet'. The center bays of the Boardwalk front are articulated as a central pavilion, with flanking pairs of brick pilasters and a rounded pediment with a coat of arms in relief. The 1926 section rises from a similar two-story base eight floors (every other bay is a seven-story oriel) to an 'entablature1 which comprises the eleventh floor. The cornice above this floor is surmounted by the penthouse, which is in turn surmounted by the tower/cupola. The penthouse is articulated on the front as a series of pedimented pavilions, with flanking medallions and round-arched window openings with coats-of-arms in relief, A parapet balustrade with urns runs around the top of these pavilions'. The tower/cupola is a tall narrow pavilion, with Corinthian columns framing its side openings. The cornice is surmounted by another coat of arms, and the whole terminates in an elaborate metal spire.

The hotel rooms are serviced by a central corridor on each floor which runs from front to rear of the building. All major rooms are on the ground floor. The main lobby, which occurs in the 1926 section, is entered from the north side of the building on Michigan Avenue, Its elaborate plaster ceiling is cut into great rectangular panels framed with denticular cornices and inscribed with foliated molded oval motifs. The room has a heavily carved entablature with foliage motifs, and deeplay incised raised oak paneling. Especially notable are the English baroque style chandeliers. East of the lobby (toward the beach) is the elevator corridor, a wide room with a Jacobean strpwork ceiling, and a fine oak check-in desk with a carved pedimented top. Further east is the dark oak paneled drawing room which has a beam ceiling with canvas panels formed in Jacobean strpwork motifs. Access to the Boardwalk is provided by a wide corridor with a heavy ceiling, articulated in the manner of the California missions.

Just north of the lobby is a small dining room with red silk paper and a heavy cornice formed of pairs of gold leaf dolphins with tails crossed.

To the rear of the lobby through a paneled corridor is the main hall which was decorated in 1954 with marbleized mirrored walls, cut into panels with large inset sunburst motifs covered in gold leaf.

Of particular note is the... 12th floor penthouse with its great frontal drawing room which has a marble Adams type fireplace and coffered ceiling. The dining room has a Georgian fireplace and raised oak paneling. The bathrooms retain their period fixtures, and all have art deco striped opaque glass wall covering.