Asbury Park loses its Charms
by Stephanie Cherry-Farmer, Programs Director, Preservation New Jersey
Preservation New Jersey has just learned that Asbury Park’s BPO Elks Lodge 128, also known as the Charms Building, has been
demolished. The Charms Building was included on PNJ’s 2009 list of the “10 Most Endangered Historic Sites in New Jersey,” announced this past May.
The building was apparently taken down between December 28, 2009 and January 1, 2010, at the City of Asbury Park’s insistence that it was a safety hazard in danger of collapse. Area newspaper The Coaster covered the demolition in their January 7 issue, but the building’s demise received minimal other press attention. According to the Coaster, several members of Elks Lodge 128, now housed in Neptune, attended the demolition and salvaged the building’s cornerstone and a time capsule from 1914, the year of construction.
At the time of its listing as one of the state’s 10 most endangered, master Asbury Park waterfront redeveloper Asbury Partners owned the building. Asbury Partners was taken over by iStar Financial Corporation in December 2009 as a result of unpaid loans. The overall implications of the takeover with regard to Asbury Partners’ vast property holdings in Asbury Park remain to be seen. It also appears that there are no current plans for the former site of the Charms Building.