Look inside

Dennis Hotel
The Dennis Hotel is now part of Bally’s Atlantic City.

Take a sneak peek at Boardwalk Playground by looking at one of these three chapters:

From Rise, Fall, Rise, FallFree and Easy (pdf)

From Classic HospitalityBoardwalk Heavyweight (pdf)

From Casino Capital of the EastBoardwalk Bunny (pdf)

Note: These are uncorrected page proofs and may contain errors. That’s the price of a sneak peek.

All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce or distribute without express written consent.


Acknowledgements ix
Table of Contents (pdf)
Introduction 1

One: Rise, Fall, Rise, Fall

The Doctor’s Dream 9

A view of the beach and boards.

Free and Easy 12

Queen of the Coast 15

The Great Fire of 1902 18

Golden Jubilee 21

High Flyers 24

A Civil Reunion 27

The Great War and the Shore 30

A Roaring Empire 32

Betting the Ponies 35

Speaking Easy 38

Nucky’s Alley 41

Old Creepy Checks In 43

The First Slowdown 46

Dimouts and Camp Boardwalk 50

A Mighty Storm 53

Gambling Takes a Dive 56

Things Fall Apart 59

Storm of the Century 63

Convention Controversy 66

The First Shot 69

One More Time 72

Jersey Hustle 75

Second Life 78

Ebb Tide 81

Two: Classic Hospitality

First in Line 91

The Shelburne was a classic Atlantic City hotel

The Survivor 94

Lord of the Boards 97

The Wooden Way 100

Home of the Punch 103

Boardwalk Heavyweight 106

A Central Attraction 109

Showplace of the Nation 112

Pier Pressure 115

The Concrete Palace 117

Garden Spot 120

A Good Dining Deed 123

Million Dollar Address 126

The World’s Meeting Place 129

Organic History 132

Seaside Skyscraper 135

Kentucky and the Curb 138

At the Five 141

Eat Where They Are Caught 144

Diamond Dining 146

In the Neighborhood 148

Three: Personalities

First Family 159

Nucky Johnson
Nucky Johnson was Atlantic City’s Prohibition-era power broker

Making History 162

The Dandy Mayor 165

Field of Dreams 168

Time Keeper 171

“Pop” Quiz 174

The Star Maker 177

City Painter 180

The Boardwalk Emperor 183

Political Juggernaut 186

Four: The Community

Lighting the Way 195

Pipe Organ
Boardwalk Hall’s pipe organ is as historic as it is massive.

The Sweetest Storm 197

Dream of a Million Girls 199

Rolling Merrily Along 202

Trolleying Around 205

An Atlantic City Original 207

Curtain Up! 209

Honor Guard 211

The Easter Parade 214

I’ll Remember April 217

Starting the Season 220

‘Twas the Season 223

Spreading Enlightenment 226

The City’s Hospital 229

Pride of the Vikings 231

Fire Pirates 234

Watching the Waves 236

Ocean Marathon 238

Hitting the Boards 240

The Sport of Kings 243

Flight Path 246

Hap’s Highway 248

From the Heart 251

A Popular Pachyderm 254

The City of Ventnor City 257

Five: Casino Capital of the East

A Resort Reborn 273

Steel Pier
The basics–beach and boardwalk–endure.

Hail, Caesar 277

Landing on Park Place 280

Sand Blasted 283

Better People Place 286

Touch of Gold 289

Boardwalk Bunny 294

Smaller and Friendlier 297

Tropical Retreat 301

Trump’s Tower 307

By the Bay 311

Showboating by the Sea 314

The Crown Jewel 317

Happy Place 320

Revel’s False Dawn 323

Roads Not Taken 326

Another Ebb Tide 330

Coming Back Again 333

Note on Sources 336

Bibliography 338

Index 340