Then, back in her belly, Lafferty would try to strike a deal.In patent 268,503, his 17-year patent on animal-shaped buildings granted in 1882, Lafferty wrote that he ‘invented a new and useful improvement in buildings’.‘My invention consists of a building in the form of an animal, the body of which is floored and divided into rooms, closets…and the legs contain the stairs which lead to the body, said legs being hollow, so as to be of increased strength for properly supporting the body, and the elevation of the body permitting the circulation of air below the same, the entire device presenting a unique appearance and producing a building which is well ventilated and lighted,’ he noted.One of the Shore’s most beloved residents, a 65-foot-tall elephant, has been there through it all.
Gertzen also purchased the Turkish Pavilion from Philadelphia’s Centennial Celebration to put next to the elephant.
Their third son, John, purchased the Elephant Bazaar from his parents.
Lafferty would bring buyers to her howdah, the carriage on top of her back, from which they would gaze across the surrounding landscape rife for development Lucy was conceived by James Vincent de Paul Lafferty Jr, an Irish-American engineer and inventor from Philadelphia.
Lafferty thought a giant elephant structure might help boost real estate purchases and tourism in the sandy wilds of what was then called South Atlantic City, five miles down the beach from the burgeoning pleasure capital of Atlantic City.
The nearby Elephant Hotel provided rooms for her visitors, who included Woodrow Wilson and Henry Ford.