This site is brought to you by Save Tillie, an all volunteer organization comprised of 1,000 friends of Asbury Park. Founded in July of 1998, our original goal of saving the Palace's iconic Tillie image expanded in 1999 to an attempt to save the entire Palace. Under our leadership, the Palace won an honored place on the New Jersey and National registers of Historic Places. Demolition of the Palace in 2004 came over the objections of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Asbury Park Historical Society, Preservation New Jersey, and Save Tillie. In the end, we saved more than 125 internal artifacts from the Palace and the Tillie mural from the Cookman Avenue wall, and through our work the Bumper Car murels on the Lake Avenue facade were also removed to storage.
July 2014 report:
INDEPENDENT CONSERVATOR SAYS
PALACE AMUSEMENTS ARTIFACTS
ARE IN "FAIRLY STABLE" CONDITION
The 31 surviving artifacts from Asbury Park's historic Palace Amusements are, for the most part, in "fairly stable" condition 10 years after being removed from the National Register of Historic Places amusements arcade and placed into storage.
That was the central finding of Paul Himmelstein, a New York conservator, who inspected the artifacts June 19, 2014 in their three storage locations along Asbury Park's waterfront.
Himmelstein wrote in his inspection report that three large wall murals, painted on stucco-covered cinder blocks and stored in plywood sheds, appear to have survived the 2013 super storm Sandy with little water damage. There is, he wrote, some evidence of paint loss, and the rate of deterioration suggests the need for regular inspection.
A series of wooden cutouts, depicting amusement scenes from the Cookman Avenue side of Palace Amusements, appear to have been "soaked" by water from Sandy, causing considerable deterioration, he said. Himmelstein called for removing the artifact to a dry, elevated location.
The inspection of a sign and 26 metal channel letters was cut short owing to an inoperative lighting fixture in a storage area. From what he could see, Himmelstein said the metal items appear rusted, but stable.
Among other recommendations, Himmelstein proposed annual inspections of the artifacts as a way of preventing small issues from growing into larger ones. However, Carrie Turner, general manager of the Madison Asbury Retail development firm, rejected the concept, saying that the developer was opposed to granting "access by right" to the Save Tillie organization, a federally recognized non-profit group which paid for the Himmelstein inspection. By letter, Save Tillie called on Turner to reverse her position.
The inspection came 10 years after Asbury Park's watefront redevelopment firm, Asbury Partners, agreed to preserve and reuse the artifacts in a new building in mitigation for demolishing the 116-year-old amusement arcade at the corner of Cookman Avenue and Kingsley Street.