MARGATE, N.J., July 6 (UPI) -- Lucy the Elephant, a building that has stood on the Jersey Shore for almost 130 years, survived her second lightning strike in four years almost unscathed.
Richard Helfant, head of Save Lucy, said air conditioning, computers and other electrical systems were damaged by the hit early Sunday, The Press of Atlantic City reported. But the structure of the building in Margate appeared unharmed.
In May 2007, lightning hit the howdah, the carriage on Lucy's back. It had to be lowered to the ground for repairs and then hoisted back up at a total cost of $162,000.
"They say lightning doesn't strike twice," Helfant said. "They lied."
Lightning rods installed after that strike may have saved Lucy from more damage this time, Helfant said.
Lucy was built by James Lafferty, a specialist in "zoomorphic" architecture who went on to build elephant-shaped buildings at Coney Island in New York and Cape May, N.J., that no longer survive. The building was originally named the Elephantine Bazaar and renamed in 1900, although the tusks and body shape suggest she is a male Asian elephant.
The building was scheduled for demolition in the 1960s but instead was moved and renovated.
The Save Lucy Committee said in a statement the 130th birthday party will be held July 16: "This is not the kind of shock Lucy needed, but the celebration will go on as planned."