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Building Conservation Associates

Asbury Park Boardwalk

Location: Asbury Park, New Jersey 
Year Built: 1929 
Original Architect: Warren & Wetmore 

The Asbury Park Convention Hall Complex, located on Ocean Avenue in Asbury Park, New Jersey, is comprised of three structures: the Convention Hall, the Arcade, and the Paramount Theater. The complex was constructed between 1929 and 1930 by the City of Asbury Park and was in city ownership until 2004. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. A 2004 historic preservation easement held by the New Jersey State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) ensures the long-term preservation of this boardwalk landmark.

The Convention Hall Complex is a highly ornate structure designed by Warren & Wetmore and completed between 1929 and 1930. The three structures in the complex were designed to be interconnected: the easternmost structure is the Convention Hall, which was built over the beach and fronts on the Atlantic Ocean; the central structure is the Arcade, a two-story enclosed pedestrian thoroughfare bridging the boardwalk; and the westernmost structure is the Paramount Theater, which faces Ocean Avenue. The exterior of the two-story complex is composed of red brick and reinforced concrete with ornate polychromatic glazed terra cotta detailing that references the complex’s seaside location through maritime motifs.
The current owner of the Convention Hall Complex acquired the building in June 2007 and embarked on an extensive rehabilitation of the site, including restoration of the ornamental terra cotta, replacement of the roof, and replacement and rehabilitation of exterior windows, doors and storefronts. BCA was retained to prepare Parts 2 and 3 of a Federal Historic Preservation Certification Application for the $11.5 million rehabilitation. Much of the work was performed prior to BCA’s involvement, and completion of Part 2 of the application required significant research into and organization of existing construction documents. After submitting the Part 2 application, BCA provided documentation of the completed work for Part 3 of the application, earning the project an Historic Preservation Tax Credit.