“With my cross-bow,
I shot the albatross.
‘Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,
That bring the fog and mist.”
But now, in Ocean Grove, Joe Grove has something similar to say about the Albatross, but he is referring to an old hotel on the Ocean Pathway in Ocean Grove, NJ.
“The Albatross has been functioning as vagrant housing. It seems the B and B’s of Ocean Grove have a 10 day stay limit for guests and to circumvent this limitation one simply has to change rooms. The Albatross is apparently applying a 90 day limitation and has basically converted into vagrant housing. The residents from the Whitfield and La Pierre are staying there under contract with a state agency.
“To have a B and B on the Pathway between the Great Auditorium and the boardwalk pavilion operating under this charade is pretty amazing. The integrity of the surrounding area has negatively impacted other residents, and the vagrants in the Albatross have definitely left their mark with cigarette butts and other trash inconsiderately tossed on the streets.
“Hats off to the owner of the Albatross which has become just another menace to society…”
There had been talk that the owner of the Albatross would like to turn it into condominiums, but we don’t know for sure. It had some moments of fame on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire.The Albatross appears in “Boardwalk Empire”
But why can’t these old hotels succeed as they did in the past? The Manchester Inn seemed successful, but the owner wanted condos….and then it burned down. Single family homes resulted. But others deteriorated like the Whitfield which was demolished and will become single family homes. One recently tried to become a drug rehab center. And yet others have become condominiums with pseudo-Victorian facades and no parking, increased congestion, and no character.
But Neptune’s elected officials should owe their allegiance to the citizens of the “historic district” and not to developers. The ideal should be a historic town that brings comfort and beauty to the residents and the visitors. It should be a place with honesty, light and air. It should attract art, music, children, flowers, teenagers, yard sales, dinner on the porches, bicyclists, film festivals, ice cream, theater, girls in summer clothes, good eateries, diversity, and more….not trash and scum in Wesley Lake, not politicians in the shadows, and not cigarette butts on the ground.
Too bad for the owners, but the dying old hotels should revert to single family homes. Why did the Township bother to write a master plan?
And what will happen to Ocean Grove in the future—maybe it will become like Ocean Grove, Australia, which now bears no resemblance to Osborne’s dream. It’s a surfers’ town now. Maybe that’s OK. Some wouldn’t care if our Grove were to drift away to become something else.