Senator (Atlantic City hotel)

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The Senator
The Senator, circa late 1930s - early 1940s.png
The Senator hotel in Atlantic City, NJ circa late 1930s as represented in a promotional postcard of the era. Post World War II, the hotel would feature a distinctive rooftop "Sky Cabana" sign.
Former names Hotel Ludy (1930 - 1935)
Alternative names The Senator Rest Home, King David Care Center (1967 - 1997)
General information
Status Demolished
Type high-rise
Architectural style Romanesque revival
Classification hotel
Address 166 S. South Carolina Ave.
Town or city Atlantic City, NJ
Construction started 1929
Opened 1930
Closed 1997
Demolished June 9, 1998
Height 170 ft.
Technical details
Structural system rigid frame
Material steel, brick facade
Floor count 16
Lifts/elevators 3
Design and construction
Architect Vivian Smith [1]
Known for Sun-N-Stars Roof
"Things are happening at The Senator"

The Senator was an oceanside hotel located at 166 S. South Carolina Avenue in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Opened in 1930 as the Hotel Ludy,[2] it became The Senator in 1935. The 16-story structure featured a distinctive rooftop sign "Sky Cabana".[1] In 1967 it became an elder care residence. It was sold in 1997 and demolished in 1998.

The hotel was designed in the Romanesque Revival style and opened in 1930 as the Hotel Ludy.[2] Vintage postcards of the era boasted of a "Solarium - Modern, colorful, with three outdoor Ocean Decks overlooking Boardwalk, Beach and Ocean"[3] and an "atmosphere of quiet cordiality".[4] In 1935 the hotel was combined with the adjacent Hotel Iroquois and renamed "The Senator."[5] In the summer of 1942 The Senator was leased by the US Army for use as Army Air Force Basic Training Center No. 7.[6]

The Senator would enjoy its heyday in the post World War II years and would become known for its "Sun and Stars" roof that featured tanning by sunlamps by day and converted to dining in the evening.[7] At that time sunlamps were seen as promoting a "healthy-looking summer tan". A 1948 image shows a matron in a white medical uniform tending to the Senator's sun bathers.[7] In 1955 the hotel became the home of radio station WLDB 1490AM. "..The studios, located on the eleventh floor of the Senator Hotel, one of the area's largest and best known hotels, overlook the city and the world-famed beach area. From the windows, a million dollar panorama of the "World's Playground" meets the eye...[8] (The call letters WLDB are currently assigned to a station on Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.)

The Senator declined along with the fortunes of Atlantic City, and by 1965 the hotel had closed. In 1967 it became an elder care center and operated as The Senator Rest Home, ICS Care Facility Retirement Home,[2] and finally the King David Care Center.[9] In 1997 the facility became bankrupt.[10] The residents were relocated and the former Senator closed for good. It was sold for a casino expansion and demolished in 1998[11] after some of its terra cotta work was removed by an architectural salvage company.[12]


  1. ^ a b Jim, Waltzer (August 11, 2005). "Waltz Through Time". Atlantic City Weekly. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "The Senator Hotel". Emporis Building Directory. Emporis International. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Solarium at the Hotel Ludy". Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Hotel Ludy, South Carolina Ave". Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  5. ^ "Hotel Iroquois-Ludy-Senator". Atlantic City Experience. Retrieved May 29, 2017.
  6. ^ Waltzer, Jim (December 15, 2005). "War at the Shore - Atlantic City was a ready-made encampment during WWII". Atlantic City Weekly. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Season Swapping at the Senator, 1948". Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  8. ^ "WLDB 1490 Atlantic City - 1955". Tom McNally. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  9. ^ Nieves, Evelyn (January 12, 1997). "Nursing Home Today, Casino Tomorrow?". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  10. ^ Mastrull, Diane (February 15, 1997). "A Day of Tears and Litigation for Center Residents of an A.C. Nursing Home Celebrated Its 30th Anniversary. And Bankruptcy Court Took Over Its Finances". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  11. ^ Rosenberg, Amy (February 12, 1997). "Residents Are Moved from A.C. Care Facility the King David Staff Is Unsure the Operator Will Pay the Bills. A Resort Firm Has Bought The Site". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  12. ^ "Senator Hotel griffin spandrel panel". Urban Sculpture Design. Randall's Urban Sculptures. Retrieved 30 December 2015.

Coordinates: 39°21′32″N 74°25′27″W / 39.3589°N 74.4241°W / 39.3589; -74.4241

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