Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ultimate Dream Shop

I'm pretty happy with my current shop, but while traveling this past summer I stopped by someplace that I think would make the best shop ever. Ever.

Here it is:

It's Lucy, the Margate N.J. elephant. Now before you think I am totally nuts (too late?) let me explain. First, she's made of wood - a lot of wood, almost one million pieces! She's framed like a ship - well, like a ship that stands on four legs and a trunk - but still. Second, she's historic. Build in 1882, she's the premier example of zoomorphic architecture. Third, she's roomy!

She's also full of unique character - check out this door:

It would be like having your shop inside a huge piece of art. (Speaking of which, isn't there something Edward Hopperish about this next photo?)

You could keep an eye on the surf while working at your bench:

She has an open upper deck, built like a howdah on top. Here's a shot back down the rather steep stairs that get you up there:

Once up in the howdah, you could sip cool drinks while waiting for your glue-ups to dry, or it would be the perfect place to cool off after ruining something...

In 1970, this dream shop was almost destroyed to make way for the condos visible here:

Who in their right mind would destroy this elephant to build that? Luckily, calmer, more far-sighted individuals succeeded in moving Lucy to her new location.

Here you can see the window that provides light for the steep, twisting stairs within the back leg:

Of course, those stairs would make getting wood up into the shop difficult, but I've already found a possible solution, although it might still be a pane in the...


Anyway, even if you don't agree with me that Lucy would make the ultimate woodworking shop, you might want to check her out the next time you are down the shore.


  1. I had guessed the punch line, but it's hilarious nonetheless.

  2. I had to complete a couple of reports on HABS (Historical American Building Survey) entries last semester and wish I would have known about Lucy when I wrote them. It would have made for a great presentation. Thanks for another awesome post, Dan!

  3. What an amazing er.. place to visit!

    Looking for new blogs to read? ExposeYourBlog!

  4. I really enjoyed your comments about this dream shop. I look forward to reading your additional posts in the future. We’re in the industrial knife and blade industry also and would like you to check out our web site: We offer CA, AZ and NV customers high quality industrial knives as well as industry grade professional sharpening services. Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  5. I’m a novice woodworker that has been selling items on classified sites for over the last year and doing well, however, I hate the fear of viruses and scams. I’m attempting to build my first safe classified site for woodworkers at If you could check it out and give me some feedback I would appreciate it.

    Thanks Ron

  6. Love your personality and your woodworking projects! You make woodworking fun for me! Love the clean look of your blog too!

  7. That's one cool elephant design. Nice work.


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