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congress hall cape may history

And so I feel like my job as the current custodian is to lay the groundwork and to make sure that we stay relevant. Not only did his radical-right politics rub some people the wrong way, but he was seen as a threat by the powers-that-be in Cape May’s establishment. History buffs welcome: Congress Hall has overlooked the Atlantic Ocean, in the town of Cape May, New Jersey, for over 200 years. Thus began the saga, under Bashaw’s direction, of the decade-long campaign to restore Congress Hall. But at least four U.S. presidents have ensconced themselves in one of Congress Hall’s ocean-view suites, though you won’t find Lincoln, Wilson, or the Roosevelts in the mix: Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Ulysses Grant, and most notably Benjamin Harrison—who, partisans of Congress Hall are fond of pointing out, settled into a kind of summer White House on the ground floor in 1890 and 1891 while the real White House was being renovated. “He was an accidental preservationist,” says Bashaw. Congress Hall has a rich history and is the premier hotel in the town. Bashaw, along with his cousin Norris Clark, disentangled the mess, and set his sights on integrating the Admiral and Congress Hall with Cape May’s burgeoning Victorian renaissance. Valet Parking is provided. “It was hard to prepare,” she says. Love the history and ambience. The hotel’s gone. “We really didn’t have enough money to finish the building the way we wanted to, in 2001-2002,” she says. “I was in my junior year. She stuck to her guns. Congress Hall and Cape May: New Jersey’s First Resort explores the implicit connections between this significant hotel and Cape May’s development as a seaside destination. His Christian Beacon had a circulation of 650,000 at its peak, and McIntire’s radio broadcasts had 20 million listeners over 600 radio stations around the country. The structure being celebrated for its bicentennial isn’t, of course, the one first constructed by old Tom Hughes. “It outlived all of its peers,” he says. Cape May. The 1850s included grand renovations of Congress Hall, visits from Presidents Franklin Pierce and Benjamin Harrison, another hotel fire, the Mansion House in 1857, and the construction of a new lighthouse in 1859, that still exists today. Special Offer for my readers: Book a stay at Congress Hall, or one of its sister properties, The Virginia Hotel or The Beach Shack, using the code MOMBLOG before July 31st (for travel anytime in 2011) and receive a $100 resort credit. - Read 1,490 reviews, view 691 traveller photos, and find great deals for Congress Hall at Tripadvisor. The Ballroom at Cape May's Congress Hall, May 16, 2017. And a youthful John Philip Sousa, age 28, came to Congress Hall in 1882, where he led the U.S. Marine Corps Band in a week-long concert series. Great tour of this historic hotel in Cape May, NJ for only $5.00 per person. The band had created little interest outside Washington until Sousa assumed leadership in 1880. Its walls are lined with photographs, letters, and documents of its past within Cape May’s history. “All these ghosts, these hauntings, were inspiration to me in trying to bring the place back.”, Bashaw, whose grandfather, the fiery preacher Carl McIntire, owned the hotel for a couple of decades, is proud of the fact that of all the grand hotels that graced Cape May’s avenues since it emerged as a Victorian resort, Congress Hall is one of the last ones standing. “People used to come here for health reasons, and to breathe the ocean air in, and I wanted that to be part of the feel of the room. “We can’t find any other.” And while it’s possible to quibble with that—it depends, in part, on how many rooms you use to define a hotel as opposed to, say, an inn or guest house—it’s not easy to prove him wrong. This property is not currently available for sale. It acquired its moniker back in 1829, when the then-current owner decided to honor the fact that its builder, Tom Hughes, got himself elected to the House of Representatives that year, serving two terms. I wanted that to shine through.”. July 1985. Carl McIntire. He imparted a lasting set of values to his family, and he remains an inspiration to Bashaw despite his legacy of confrontational politics and radicalism. She was feisty. Congress Hall is a wonderful, historic resort hotel which offers to quality service in a luxury property. President Harrison, his wife, and family, would enjoy riding around Cape May County to take in the local culture and environment. Back in the 1990s, she and Curtis collaborated on the renovation of the Virginia Hotel on Jackson Street. Hotel’s gone. We'll deliver a complimentary newspaper to your guest room each morning if you'd like. Congress Hall in Cape May. And she’s definitely not in her twenties. In 2003, according to the Press of Atlantic City, Congress Hall was assessed for tax purposes, when it reopened, “at a whopping $11 million;” today, Bashaw says, the assessment for Congress Hall by itself has risen to $28 million. Congress Hall is also awarded with Tripadvisor's Certificate of Excellence.Voted New Jersey's Best Hotel by Travel + Leisure and its readers. Since 2012, Congress Hall has been honored by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the top US hotels in the Northeast and was recently awarded the #13 spot on Condé Nast Traveler's 2018 Reader’s Choice Awards Top 20 Hotels in the Mid-Atlantic and New York. Please pull up in front of the hotel and an attendant will assist you with your luggage and car. “Congress Hall” (1882) Congress Hall is the name of a historic inn at Cape May, New Jersey. He’s looking at opportunities in retail, to help build what he describes as a “vibrant” downtown. In 2016, celebrating its 200th anniversary, Congress Hall has just undergone a complete makeover, the third in its history. Answer 1 of 4: Great article from nj.com on the history of Congress Hall hotel in Cape May: nj.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2017/06/congr… Learn More. Waters Burrows Miller. Carl Curtis McIntire, born in 1902, was a Biblical literalist who in 1936 founded the Christian Beacon newspaper and, the following year, established the Bible Presbyterian Church. Does it have anything to do with Congress? At a minimum, it would require tens of millions of dollars. The Congress Hall of the early 1990s was a vastly different place from the way it is today. Its replacement—larger and more magnificent—underwent a series of expansions, including the addition of one entire wing, and it lasted exactly 60 years, until the Great Fire of 1878 reduced much of central Cape May to a charred pile of rubble. Citing just one example of the painstaking work that went into the project, after much research Colleen worked up a design for new carpets in the halls, with a newly designed crest, including an image of Annie Knight’s key, and a new, subtly striped pattern for the guest rooms. Hotel staff gathered on the lawn in 1928. In 2016, the once-again new Congress Hall is the jewel in the crown of Bashaw’s Cape Resorts empire, including the flagship hotel and its restaurants, the Blue Pig, the Brown Room and the Boiler Room; the Virginia Hotel and Cottages, including the Ebbitt Room; the seaside Beach Shack and the Rusty Nail; the Star Inn; and Beach Plum Farm. The structure, rebuilt in 1879 after a fire destroyed the earlier edifice, was first renovated a century ago and then again in 2002. The Congress Hall allows guests to walk to Cape May Beach, Poverty Beach and Washington Street Mall. And it’s that building, closer to the ocean and much smaller than its predecessor, which proudly occupies its space at the western end of Cape May’s pedestrian mall today. Bashaw, who’d just finished at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, returned to Cape May. It is, according to Bashaw, maybe America’s very oldest hotel. Congress Hall and Cape May: New Jersey’s First Resort explores the implicit connections between this significant hotel and Cape May’s development as a seaside destination. If there were Three Little Pigs involved, and if the Big Bad Wolf used fire instead of huffing and puffing, the pigs could tell you a similar story. History This is Cape May The Restoration of Congress Hall: History’s Contemporary Challenge. It was originally built in 1878, but was burned down the following year in a fire that consumed 40 blocks of the city. Twice-Daily Housekeeping is included in your stay as a Congress Hall guest. Among other things, Bashaw credits McIntire for keeping Congress Hall intact in an era when it could easily have been a victim of a wrecking ball. Congress Hall: Congress Hall, Cape May History speaks for itself!!! Fitness Center access is included in your stay as a Cape Resorts guest. Edward C. Knight and Annie Knight. The next stop on the tour is the majestic Congress Hall. Cape May Historic Congress Hall. Cape May. Press file photo. She was stubborn, and she wasn’t the kind of person to back down.”. - See 1,504 traveler reviews, 692 candid photos, and great deals for Congress Hall at Tripadvisor. This exhibit also considers how Cape May and Congress Hall’s history fits in with the larger community of New Jersey ocean resorts. Built in 1816, Congress Hall burned down two years later. © 2020 Cape Publishing Inc. All rights reserved. “Nothing stays the same,” he says. She was just one of many large hotels in the late 1800s that catered to the elite. The 600 buildings that form the District feature stunning examples of Late Victorian, Eclectic, Queen Anne, Italianate, Gothic Revival, Colonial and French Second Empire style. The refurbished hotel has quickly established itself as a prime destination for families, featuring annual Easter and Fourth of July celebrations. In the 1950s, under the bulky Joe Uhler, who’d taken over Congress Hall from the Knights during World War II—when it profited handsomely by hosting military personnel from nearby bases—the stately old edifice saw itself turn tacky, with the color scheme and décor turning to deep red paint and burgundy velour in keeping with the look of, say, a bordello in New Orleans. Cape May a history lover's paradise COLT SHAW Staff Writer Dec 2, 2019 Dec 2, 2019 ; 0 {{featured_button_text}} ... Cape May Historic Congress Hall. The town was like, ‘We’re losing our identity to this guy.’” McIntire clashed with the city over a number of issues, including beach fees and back taxes, and he frowned on drinking and other vices. “Look at the street names around town. Cape May Tourism The hotel is located in the heart of the Historic District, right across the street from the beach and the Washington Street Mall. Please visit our sister properties The Sandpiper and The Star for availability. Fist built in 1816, Congress Hall stands today after being re-built since being destroyed by the 1878 great fire. Colleen and Curtis went through all of the voluminous archives, checked out the furniture gathering dust in the warehouse, and pored over hundreds of photographs of Congress Hall during its multifaceted eras. Congress Hall, America’s First Seaside Resort is located in the quaint Victorian beach town of Cape May, New Jersey. 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