Built in 1881 by James Lafferty, Jr., Lucy the Elephant is an instantly recognizable building and National Historic Landmark located in Margate, New Jersey.
Much like the iconic Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, Lucy was erected to attract visitors to a nearby area of real estate, viewable from her observation ‘howdah.’Created primarily out of tin and wood, the 90-ton monstrous mammal sports a spiral staircase within her hind leg leading to quarters that house a gift shop, museum and offices.
Originally the first of three such oddities, Lucy soon weathered and deteriorated but was spared from destruction in the 1960s through the locals’ ‘Save Lucy’ campaign and survived a hurricane and even a lightning bolt!
Her ill-fated younger cousins who kept watch over Coney Island, Brooklyn and Cape May, New Jersey, respectively, are now but ‘elephant’s memories.’
Inquiring cryptozoologists can visit Lucy for guided tours which are given continually during her daily open hours. She can even be rented on Airbnb... but I suppose, in the words of Groucho Marx, “that’s entirely irr-elephant.”