The Chelsea Hotel, at Pacific Avenue between Morris and Brighton Avenues, was first built in 1899. In its original form, it was a four-story frame building with 250 rooms. By 1945, it had grown to a include 12-story, 420 room tower with four additional cottages. The Chelsea housed the largest private convention facility in the city, their Westminster Hall building, and featured an 85-foot mural in their cocktail lounge which covered the history of transportation from horse and buggy to modern automobiles and rocketships. Political figures visiting Atlantic City over the years seem to have favored the Chelsea, as there are records of Woodrow Wilson, William Howard Taft, and Eleanor Roosevelt staying in the hotel, as well as many senators and smaller-scale politicians. As the tourism industry in Atlantic City waned, however, so did the Chelsea’s fortunes. In 1961, after a series of bankruptcies and ownership changes, it was sold to be converted into a “luxury motel.” This motel, which opened as the Deauville, retained Westminster Hall and the 12-story building, while demolishing the oldest section of the Chelsea and replacing it with a new motel structure. The Deauville soon partnered with the Sheraton company, and operated as the Sheraton-Deauville. A casino addition was planned for the complex when gambling was legalized in Atlantic City, but the plan never came to fruition. In 1985, the Deauville's main portion was demolished, along with the neighboring Algiers and Galaxie Motels, in order to create a more accessible bus parking and valet facility for the Tropicana casino, which was located next door. An auxilliary motel wing of the Deauville is still standing and in operation today, hosting a Days Inn and a Country Kitchen. A new Chelsea hotel also exists today, operating one block over from the original hotel’s site, on Chelsea Avenue.   H084.Chelsea001
 H.LHSF.Hotels.Deauville001  An undated postcard image of the Chelsea Hotel. The shorter building on the left is the original hotel building, while the neighboring tower was added a few decades later.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H084.Chelsea001.


The motel section of the Deauville, seen in an early 1980s brochure.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H.LHSF.Hotels.Deauville001.


For more information, see these resources in the Atlantic City Free Public Library, Atlantic City Heritage Collections:

Local History Subject Files – Hotels
Hotel Brochures – Heston Coll. 647.94
City Directories


Print Email