The Galleon


Ah, the Jersey Shore and its monuments to the lengths people will go to make a buck. Around here, many of those lengths involve incredible buildings. But not all the eyepoppers are on the boardwalk, gaudy as it is. Look sharp as you head west from Atlantic City, NJ on U.S. 30. When the landscape changes from mostly water to mostly concrete, watch out for the replica of the Santa Maria on the right. For the last couple of decades, it's been a book and curio shop, presided over by a woman who hands out cards that say CAPT ANN. (If you like to dig around in ancient postcards and strange records, pull over and stop in. I walked out with a pristine boxed set of Andre Kastelanetz 45s of Jerome Kern standards.) Since it dropped anchor on this spot in 1928, the galleon has served as everything from a gift shop to office space to an apartment. But it began its voyage elsewhere in the neighborhood. It was originally intended to wow visitors (and potential buyers) for a residential development on the bay called Neptune Gardens, which had the unfortunate timing of opening in 1926, just before the real estate market bottomed. The second owners hauled it from the failed development to this highway frontage.

Text copyright Kathy Biehl 1999. Photos copyright Frank Bland 1998 (used by permission.) All rights reserved.

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