Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

New Jersey Historic Trust Affiliated with the Department of Community Affairs

Asbury Park Convention Hall & Paramount Theatre

New Jersey Historic Preservation Bond Program
Grant Award: $1,245,000 (1996)
Grant Recipient: Asbury Park City
County: Monmouth
Municipality: Asbury Park City

An exuberant and commanding presence anchoring Asbury Park's boardwalk, the Convention Hall and Paramount Theatre are colorful and grandiose both in structure and in spirit. The complex is an eclectic melange of Italian and French designs with detailing in several different architectural styles incorporating nautical motifs.

The prominent New York City firm of Warren and Wetmore, architects of Grand Central Terminal, designed the Asbury Park Convention Hall and Paramount Theatre complex, which was built between 1928 and 1930. As a civic project, the complex was an ambitious effort by Asbury Park to assert and maintain its preeminence as the urban resort along the northern New Jersey shore. The sprawling structure- including a theatre, exhibition hall, and an arcade lined with shops and amusements- is a unique and early oceanfront mixed-use complex. In its lively past, the complex also served as the venue for Army and Navy training during World War II and big band dances during the war era.

In critical need of repair, the seaside structure has recently benefited from the restoration and reopening of the Paramount Theatre. The complex also has a new roof.

The Trust grant helped fund restoration of the water tower, a prominent architectural feature capping the structure, replacement of about 100 windows surrounding the exhibition hall, re-plastering and painting of the theatre and exhibition hall, and upgrading of the theatre's interior features.

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