Strolling Through the Years: A Brief History of Asbury Park


Many people may be unaware of Asbury Park’s rich and diverse history. The city has had its good times and its bad times. Let’s take a trip down memory lane to see how it became what it is today.

How it All Began

Three girls on a bench in front of The Berkley Hotel, circa 1935

Source: Wikimedia
Asbury Park was founded in 1871 by a New York City broom manufacturer named James A. Bradley.

Bradley bought 500 acres of land for $90,000 and began creating the city. Asbury Park is named after the first bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America, Francis Asbury.

From the start, Bradley was adding innovative attractions and infrastructure into Asbury Park with its boardwalk, electrical and trolley systems, churches, parks, and oceanfront business district. In 1929, construction of Convention Hall and the Casino started. He hired architects Warren and Wetmore, the same people who designed New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, to build Convention Hall.

AP’s Continued Success

What the AP Boardwalk Used to Look Like


The city started to become known for its unique stores, theaters, concerts, and movie theaters. In the early years, more than 600,000 people vacationed in Asbury Park. The city truly flourished from the later part of the Victorian era to the 1960s.

As the city was thriving, so was its music scene. After opening in 1974, The Stone Pony wasn’t quite yet what it is today. It took a little time to get as successful as it is now, but ever since, it hasn’t stopped. It has seen the likes of not only Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi but also Blondie, The Ramones, Joan Jett, Meatloaf and much, much more.


Tony's stand with guests in line.
There is so much about this city to be enjoyed by absolutely everyone. No wonder why us locals love AP so much. Want to find out more cool facts and events happening in Asbury Park? Check out our website today.