The Essex and Sussex
The Essex and Sussex, located in the heart of Spring Lake, has been a cornerstone of the Jersey Shore for over a century. Towering over the Atlantic Ocean, the illustrious glow of the cupola lights can be seen for miles down the beach. Essex and Sussex is an Active Adult Condominium Association.
Nestled inside the Essex and Sussex is our spacious dining room which is regally decorated and has the comfort of a full bar and lounge area. With the combination of a stunning ocean view, unparalleled ambiance and gourmet food and service, it is the perfect setting for any event.
The Essex and Sussex can host events as intimate as 10 people in our private dining room or as large as 150 people in our main dining area. Our glass enclosed solarium, which presents a picturesque view of the ocean, is also available for special events. Custom menus and party planning assistance is available to you upon request. We have a variety of local vendors and can coordinate such amenities as DJs and entertainment, flowers, a dance floor, special lighting, photo booth rental, refreshment options, valet parking, coat check and much more upon request. It is your event and we want it to not only meet, but exceed your every expectation.
The Essex and Sussex Historical Timeline
The block between Essex and Sussex Avenues on the east side of First Avenue is known as Hastings Square. Ten free standing double cottages are built each with its own entrance and name. One of the cottages is called the Essex and another is called the Sussex.
Mrs. Susan Urie purchases Hastings Square for $80,000 from Mrs. Anna Baird.
A fire starts in the laundry room of one of the cottages, destroying the Essex Cottage, Monmouth House, stores, and other cottages on First Avenue.
Mrs. Urie sells complex to the Hastings Square Hotel Company. The Guy King & Co. then designs the landmark Colonial Revival Essex and Sussex Hotel with its colossal columns. Two Hastings Square cottages, known as Essex and Sussex, become part of the new hotel. The owner is Frederick F. Stock Sr.
The Essex and Sussex Hotel with a capacity for over 400 guests opens for business as a seasonal resort with elegant Edwardian furnishings. It becomes a popular place for upper society from New York and Philadelphia who appreciate tradition, elegance, and gracious service.
Jersey Shore is plagued by shark attacks during the summer of 1916. An E&S bell boy captain, Charles Bruder, is killed by a great white shark while swimming in front of the Hotel. This was shocking because at the time, experts did not believe sharks attacked people.
75-rooms are added to the building which becomes the north wing along Sussex Avenue.
The Morro Castle burns off the Coast of New Jersey.
The Essex lounge opens offering dance and entertainment. It becomes a popular night spot for local residents. The Hotel flourishes as a summer residence of the socially and politically prominent, as well as hosting both private and public social events.
The Essex and Sussex Hotel celebrates its 50th Anniversary with a Grand Ball that included such invited luminaries as future President Richard Nixon, Governor Richard J. Hughes and Mrs. Charles S. Krom, widow of the man who managed the hotel for 34 seasons. During this time, generations of children attend dancing lessons every summer.
Frederick L. Schock, third generation of the Schock family to own the Essex and Sussex hotel, leases it to Charles and Terri Carroll owners of the nearby Warren Hotel.
The Carrolls sell their interest in the Warren Hotel to a brother-in-law and buy the Essex and Sussex Hotel for $875,000 with the intention of owning and operating it. Through the years, many local events such as St. Catharine-St. Margaret Parish's Candlelight Ball are held there.
The Essex and Sussex Hotel is used as a backdrop for the movie, "Ragtime", set in 1906, starring James Cagney. 225 area residents are used as extras in the film. They were paid $3.10/hour.
Andrew Befumo (E&S Development Co.) buys the Hotel for $4.5 million with plans to convert the 400 rooms into 206 luxury suites that would sell from $125,000 to $1 million.
Essex and Sussex Hotel closes for good at the end of the 1985 summer season.
It's furnishings are sold to the public by Andrew and Louise Befumo.
70 of the units are sold before the project goes into bankruptcy and is taken over by National Westminster Bank. The Hotel is abandoned.
Joseph Barry (Applied Cos. of Hoboken) purchases the property for $3.5 million with planning to convert the building into 168 luxury senior-citizen apartments.
Spring Lake Borough Council approves an agreement to convert the Essex and Sussex Hotel into a luxury residence for senior citizens.
Superior Court Judge Robert O'Hagen rules in favor of the Essex and Sussex senior residence project and the site plan is approved. Applied Cos. of Hoboken resumes construction.
Initially the Spring Lake Planning Board denies the construction permit but finally an agreement is reached. Work commences on the project.
The Spring Lake Town Council approves an agreement between the Borough of Spring Lake, its Planning Board, and Essex and Sussex Associated LP (the operating arm of Applied Cos.) with restrictions. Applied Cos. markets the building as a rental residence for active adults.
The existing ballroom is reconfigured into a dining room
The new Essex and Sussex facility greets its new residents; 31 units are leased.
A Grand Opening Celebration includes a VIP Reception.
The Spring Lake Town Council approves the agreement between the Borough and the Essex and Sussex, transitioning it from a rental property to a property with units for purchase or rental. Existing residents are given the option to either purchase their unit or continue renting.
The Essex and Sussex Condominium Association assumes ownership and control of complex.
The Essex and Sussex celebrates its 90th Anniversary. The theme is: "A Sense of History, Culture, and Class." Attendees wear attire with styles ranging from the 1930's to the present.
The Essex and Sussex Condo Association negotiates a new agreement with the Spring Lake Town Council granting relief from certain regulations imposed in the 1997 Settlement Agreement and the subsequent 1998 Amendment.
The Essex and Sussex celebrated its Centennial (100th) Anniversary with a series of events culminating with The Essex and Sussex Centennial Gala on June 27, 2014.