In Memoriam, Our Friend - Rick Mariani
R.I.P. PALACE AMUSEMENTS 1888 to MAY 26, 2004
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.
Save Tillie... Beyond the Palace
Save Tillie
                           Beyond the Palace

The Arc of Monmouth's walk and 5k race returned to the Asbury Park  Boardwalk on April 12, 2014 for a 2nd smash year, and there, in the middle of it all, was Tillie, helping to raise over $55,000 for 1,300 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Well done, folks, well done.

Tillie, flying high over Jazz Fest 2014 in New Orleans, LA. 

Photo courtesy of Chris Tuffli


Oct. 10, 2012 

Two of 33 historic Palace Amusements artifacts are missing from the Asbury Park waterfront, prompting New Jersey State officials to order greater security over the surviving items.

By letter, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection set new rules on waterfront developers, requiring that none of the 31 surviving items be moved out of current storage, or transferred to a new owner, without State authorities being notified.   Furthermore, developers were warned that "failure to protect and preserve any of these artifacts" will be subject to substantial penalties.

Missing from the developers' storage area is a large overhead door decorated with  wooden cutouts depicting a clown and Ferris wheel, along with a sign for the "Shooting Gallery/Fun For All" attraction.

The losses were first discovered June 8, 2012 during an inspection of waterfront storage sites by representatives of the Madison Asbury Retail development firm and Save Tillie, a non-profit preservation organization.  Following the discovery, Save Tillie and New Jersey's largest preservation group, PreservationNJ, urged State officials to step in to ensure the security of the remaining artifacts.

"When items such as these are lost, history is lost," said Bob Crane, president of the Save Tillie group.  "Now, with only 31 items left, it is vital that the State control the security and reuse of the remaining artifacts."

In 2004, the State granted permission to Asbury Park's waterfront developers to demolish Palace Amusements, a National Register of Historic Places complex at the corner of Cookman Avenue and Kingsley Street.  The State, however, set conditions, requiring the developers to remove, preserve and reuse portions of the Palace for a historic display on a new waterfront building as mitigation for the loss of the iconic complex.

The loss of Palace artifacts follows the disclosure earlier this year that 34 copper panels from the Paramount Theater/Convention Hall complex on the Asbury Park waterfront had been stolen during restoration work by waterfront developers.  The copper has not been recovered.  The Paramount/Convention Hall complex is on the National Register of Historic Places and has significant state and federal protection.

The Department of Environmental Protection letter, dated Sept. 25 and released today, stressed that violations of waterfront rules can result in penalties of up to $25,000 a day for each violation.  It was signed by Michele Kropilak, regional supervisor of Coastal & Land Use Compliance and Enforcement in the Department's Toms River office.

The Environmental Protection letter also disclosed that for eight years, the City of Asbury Park and the waterfront developers have failed to notify the State which artifacts were preserved for eventual reuse.  At a public meeting April 28, 2004, the City's Technical Review Committee approved the list of 33 Palace Amusements artifacts which were to be relocated and preserved, but, according to the State, the list was never sent to the State.  Despite that failure, State officials notified developers that the surviving 31 artifacts now comprise the official list of items for preservation and reuse in a waterfront project.

Click HERE to read the Department of Environmental Protection letter.