Almost three years ago, I talked about the Marlborough and Blenheim Hotels in Atlantic City, New Jersey, built separately, in 1900 and 1906, but operated together. The postcard above is from the Detroit Publishing Company and shows them in their early-1900s heyday.
The postcard is low-resolution, but it does give a sense of how bizarre the forecourt and tower of the Blenheim were. It also shows the sharp division between the beach, in its more-or-less natural state, and the carefully manicured lawns of the hotels. We’ve also got a line of lesser, but still grand, hotels stretching out toward the southern horizon. It would be a mistake to think of that line of hotels and boardwalk as being a beach resort in the traditional sense. This was a large portion of a city as a collective resort and entertainment district. That’s certainly not unique, even if the Blenheim’s architecture is.