Cape May, NJ – June 13

The entire city of Cape May was designated a National Historic Landmark City, one of only 5 in the country, for preserving the nation’s largest collection of Victorian buildings. Many of the early 1800s buildings remain, but even more were destroyed in the Great Fire of 1878. The town officials decided to rebuild in the Victorian style, even though that was already outdated by then. The result is an impressive array of mid-1800s and late-1800s Victorians, in an array of colors with intricate details – from roof ornaments, to gingerbread porch trim, mansard roofs, patterned shingles, and painstaking multi-colored paint jobs!

We downloaded a Walking Tour of Cape May for $1.29, and used it as our guide. Three hours walking from house to hotel to house to shop, and we still didn’t cover the entire tour! Learned more about architectural styles than we ever knew even existed. And had to fit it all in, in time to catch the 1:00 pm ferry to Lewes, DE.

Started at the Dr. Emlen Physick Estate, which is preserved as a historic house museum. Many of the Victorian homes are now bed and breakfasts or small hotels. Others are lovingly-maintained private homes. Some of the Victorians were built as hotels originally – in the early 1800s, Cape May was the summer retreat of the elite, and held the largest hotel in the world!

Click on each photo to see full-size to appreciate the intricate Victorian details.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    John Cooke said,

    What a nice post and photo display. I will pass along to my friends at MAC.


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