|At a cost of $5 million, the President Hotel at Albany Avenue and the Boardwalk opened in 1926 with big expectations. As the name suggests, the hotel wanted to make itself known as a go-to vacation spot for America’s Presidents. The top floor of the hotel was entirely occupied by a Presidential Suite that was hoped would become a “Summer White House.” When Calvin Coolidge was invited to stay in the suite, however, he declined, and the President Hotel would no longer be associated with politicians by anything but name. When it was built, the President was one of only two hotels in Atlantic City to have an indoor pool, and thus it hosted many sporting events over the years. The President also originally operated jointly as a hotel and apartment building, but switched to an all-hotel format by the mid 1930s. The President was also one of the hotels supposedly used as lodgings during the infamous “Mobster Convention” in 1929. From 1942-1946, the President was taken over by the US Military, and machine gun training was practiced on the hotel’s roof. In 1968, declining fortunes in Atlantic City led the President to again be converted into an apartment building. It operated until the late 1970s, when legalized gambling in Atlantic City led to a mad dash to grab up older buildings and tear them down for glitzy casino palaces. The President came down in a series of three implosions on August 24, 28, and 30, 1979, to make way for a planned Sahara Casino. The casino never came to fruition, however, and the land is vacant today.|
For more information, see these resources in the Atlantic City Free Public Library, Atlantic City Heritage Collections:
Local History Subject Files – Hotels
| The President Hotel and Motel as seen from the air in 1959.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H009.647.94.Pre924.