Historic Atlantic City Convention Hall
|Former names||Convention Hall|
|Location||2301 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
Liberty Bowl (NCAA) (1964)
|Architect||Lockwood, Greene & Co.|
|NRHP Reference #||87000814|
|Added to NRHP||February 27, 1987|
|Designated NHL||February 27, 1987|
|Designated NJRHP||March 2, 1993|
Boardwalk Hall, formally known as the Historic Atlantic City Convention Hall, is an arena in Atlantic City, Atlantic County, New Jersey, United States. It was Atlantic City's primary convention center until the opening of the Atlantic City Convention Center in 1997.
Boardwalk Hall contains the world's largest musical instrument, a pipe organ of over 33,000 pipes, 8 chambers, its console the world's largest of 7 manuals and over 1000 stop keys, and one of two actual 64' stops (the other found in the Sydney Town Hall). Also included in this organ are pipes which are on 100 inches of pressure, the Grand Ophicleide being the loudest and also most famous. The Guinness Book of World Records states the following "..a pure trumpet note of ear-splitting volume,... six times louder than the loudest train whistle." However, these stops are actually well refined and are not overpowering in Boardwalk hall due to its massive interior size.
|This section requires expansion with: building specifications (cost, square footage, etc.), uses (other than Miss America, especially from 1926 through 1950s), etc.. (October 2009)|
Edward L. Bader, mayor of Atlantic City from 1924–1929, led the initiative to acquire the land for Convention Hall, now Boardwalk Hall, and construction was underway at the time of his death. The hall, designed by the architectural firm Lockwood Greene, was built in 1926.
The main hall measures 456 feet (139 m) and 310 feet (94 m) wide. The barrel vault ceiling is 137 feet (42 m) high. Ten pairs of three-hinged steel trusses support this unusually large clear span, there are no supporting columns. Each pair of trusses spans 350 feet (110 m) and weighs 220 short tons (200 t). The trusses are tied to the frame columns to allow the building to flex slightly with wind and ground pressure. The barrel ceiling consists of aluminum painted tiles. It is decorated to resemble Roman bath tiles, and extends over 196,000 square feet (18,200 m2).
The Miss America pageant, a competition which awards scholarships to young women and was founded in 1921 in Atlantic City, used Boardwalk Hall from the hall's opening until 2006. The Pageant returned to the Hall September 10-15th,2013
It was also the venue for the August 1964 Democratic National Convention that nominated U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson as the Democratic Party's candidate for the 1964 U.S. presidential election, nine months after the assassination of his predecessor, John F. Kennedy, in November 1963.
The following week, The Beatles held one of their largest concerts on their first U.S. tour at the hall.
The hall was also the venue for the concert by The Rolling Stones on their Steel Wheels Tour in 1989. The concert, which was shown on pay-per-view television, is widely remembered by fans for a mishap where viewers were cut off from the performance during the song "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction".
The jam band Phish played three night runs of shows for Halloween in 2010 and 2013. The 2010 Halloween concert featured a performance of Little Feat's Waiting For Columbus album in its entirety. The 2013 show included the debut of Phish's unrecorded album Wingsuit.
Lady Gaga was scheduled to perform here on March 2, 2013 for her Born This Way Ball, but the show was later cancelled due to a hip injury which required surgery. She has previously performed at the arena on July 4, 2010 and February 19th, 2011 as a part of her Monster Ball Tour. She is scheduled to perform here on June 28, 2014 for her Artrave: The Artpop Ball Tour.
Mike Tyson fought in Boardwalk Hall several times as Heavyweight champion including four of his seven defenses as Undisputed Champion. Among his title defenses in Boardwalk Hall was a Fourth Round TKO over former champion Larry Holmes on January 22, 1988. His most famous bout at the venue was the 91 second Knockout of former champion and previously undefeated Michael Spinks on June 27, 1988.
Other fighters who have had boxing matches (many of which were title fights) in Boardwalk Hall include Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya, Roberto Duran, Lennox Lewis, Roy Jones Jr., Floyd Mayweather Jr., Bernard Hopkins, Riddick Bowe, Julio César Chávez, Héctor Camacho and Arturo Gatti.
In 1959, A. F. “Bud” Dudley, a former Villanova University athletic-director, created the Liberty Bowl, an annual post-season college-football bowl game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The game was played at Philadelphia Municipal Stadium, but as the only cold-weather bowl game, it was plagued by poor attendance. Atlantic City[who?] convinced Dudley to move his game from Philadelphia to Boardwalk Hall for 1964 and guaranteed Dudley $25,000.
The 1964 Liberty Bowl was the first major collegiate bowl game played indoors and was also the first indoor football game broadcast nationwide on U.S. television. Since artificial turf was still in its developmental stages and was unavailable for the game, the hall was equipped with a four-inch-thick grass surface with two inches of burlap underneath it (as padding) on top of concrete. To keep the grass growing, artificial lighting was installed and kept on 24 hours a day. The entire process cost about $16,000. End zones were only eight yards long instead of the usual ten yards.
Dudley was paid $25,000 from Atlantic City businessmen, $60,000 from ticket sales, and $95,000 from television revenues, for a $10,000 net profit.
Other sporting events
It was the home of the Atlantic City CardSharks, a professional, indoor football team, in 2004.
In 1996, the hall was used for the women's tennis Fed Cup during which the U.S. beat Spain 5–0 in the Fed Cup women's tennis. This event was Monica Seles's return to tennis following her 1993 stabbing.
The Hall hosted the World Wrestling Entertainment's WrestleMania IV and V in 1988 and 1989, respectively, although on the television coverage it was referred to as "Trump Plaza" because the adjacent casino hotel was the primary sponsor (though in the opening to WM4 celebrity guest Bob Uecker does refer to the building as the 'convention center'). Wrestlemania IV was attended by 18,165 fans while Wrestlemania V had an attendance of 18,946 putting the respective shows 23rd and 20th on the all-time Wrestlemania attendances (out of 30 as of 2014).
Many WWE shows have also been held with both WWE Raw and WWE SmackDown making appearances. Referred to as the Atlantic City Convention Center during the Wrestlemania broadcasts, as of WrestleMania 30 (2014), it is the only venue to host the annual Pay-per-view event in consecutive years.
The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association uses the hall to host the annual individual state wrestling tournament.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has held three events in the hall, UFC 41: Onslaught in 2003, UFC 50: The War of '04 in 2004 and UFC 53: Heavy Hitters in 2005.
Since 2003, a midget race car feature race known as the Gambler's Classic has been held.
Beginning in 2011, the ECAC Hockey has held its men's ice hockey championship at Boardwalk Hall.
During the 2010–11 season, Boardwalk Hall hosted four home games for the Albany Devils and one home game for the Trenton Devils both affiliated with the New Jersey Devils. The Albany Devils returned to play four home games during the 2012–13 season, and will return in 2014.
Despite not having a team in Atlantic City, the American Hockey League hosted the 2012 All-Star Classic at Boardwalk Hall.
On November 24, 2012, Boardwalk Hall hosted "Operation Hat Trick", a charity hockey game to raise money for Hurricane Sandy victims. Among the NHL players who particated were Martin Brodeur, Andy Greene, Henrik Lundqvist, Bobby Ryan, and James Van Riemsdyk.
When built in 1929[clarification needed], it became the home of the world's-largest pipe organ, the Main Auditorium Organ, as listed in The Guinness Book of World Records. The Midmer Losh-manufactured organ has approximately 33,000 pipes and requires approximately 600 horsepower (450 kW) of blowers to operate. However, the condition of the organ was allowed to deteriorate and is no longer fully functional. Dust from the hall's renovation has also been problematic.
Boardwalk Hall's attached ballroom has a 55-rank theater/concert pipe organ — originally installed to accompany silent movies — which was severely damaged during the hall's renovation. Compared to the Main Auditorium organ, this organ looks tiny. But in reality, the Ballroom organ is actually one of the largest of its kind.
2001 Restoration and awards
A $90-million restoration designed by EwingCole was completed in 2001 and received several awards, including the 2003 National Preservation Award[clarification needed] and Building magazine's 2002 Modernization Award.
Billboard magazine recognized Boardwalk Hall as the top-grossing mid-sized arena in the U.S. in 2003 and 2004.
- Atlantic City Armory
- Atlantic City Convention Center
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Atlantic County, New Jersey
- "New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places - Atlantic County". New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection - Historic Preservation Office. June 2, 2011. p. 1. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
- "Atlantic City Convention Hall". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-10-13.
- James H. Charleton (1985-06-17). National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Atlantic City Convention Hall. National Park Service. and PDF (2.75 MB)
- http://www.boardwalkhall.com/history.asp. Retrieved 2012jun10.
- "History of Past Events at Boardwalk Hall".
- 'I'm Gonna Hurt This Guy' And Mike Tyson did, knocking out Michael Spinks at 1:31 of Round 1 Sports Illustrated 1988-07-04
- Notable Boxing Events at Boardwalk Hall Boardwalkhall.com
- «USC Beats Nats 3-2 in 'Exhibition', Ref Attacked» // «The Ukrainian Weekly», No. 235, December 18, 1965, p. 3
- Antonick, John (2005-06-22). "Unique Game". West Virginia Mountaineers (MSNsportsNET.com). Retrieved 2009-04-26.
- "Nets Open Pre-season in Atlantic City". August 20, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
- "The Sixers to play a preseason game in Atlantic City". August 20, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
- "Albany Devils returning to Boardwalk Hall for four games in 2014". August 23, 2013. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
- "The Newark Star Ledger section 5 pg. 2. November 25, 2012".
- boardwalkhall.com, Boardwark Hall's official website
- acchos.org, Atlantic City Convention Hall Organ Society's official website
- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. NJ-1130, "Atlantic City Convention Hall, On Boardwalk, West of Mississippi Avenue, Atlantic City, Atlantic County, NJ"
- Image of Boardwalk Hall Auditorium Interior
|Events and tenants|
|Miss America Venue
1921 – 2004[clarification needed]
Theatre for the Performing Arts at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, Paradise (Las Vegas Strip), Nevada
Philadelphia Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
|Home of the
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tennessee