MARGATE, N.J. (AP) -- The beach-side landmark, Lucy the Elephant, is having all of its metal skin replaced because more than 50% of its exterior has degraded beyond repair.
The six-story high elephant statue in Margate, New Jersey, will close Sept. 20 after architects determined it would be more cost effective to replace the metal siding than to try to restore it, according to Richard Helfant, executive director of the Save Lucy Committee.
Built in 1881, Lucy was saved from demolition and moved a short distance from its original location in 1970. The National Historic Landmark on the Jersey Shore is one of the oldest roadside attractions in the country.
The new overhaul will cost $1.4 million and is funded in part by a grant from the Preserve New Jersey Preservation Fund administered by the New Jersey Historic Trust, Helfant said Tuesday.
During restorations, a weatherproof scaffolding will be built around Lucy.
The target for reopening is Memorial Day 2022, Helfant said.