At one time, Brigantine Castle was the most popular attraction here on Brigantine Beach. Originally located at 14th and Brigantine Avenue, the castle pier was originally known as Seahorse Pier. Click thru for pictures and video.
Entrepreneur Carmen Ricci renovated the pier and constructed the castle. Ricci got city approval for the project by presenting a scale model and artist renderings. Construction began on January 1st, 1976. It was completed by Memorial Day weekend of that year.
Visitors swarmed until it was damaged by a storm in 1982. With declining attendance and a $500,000 repair bill, it was closed in 1984. Ricci sold it in 1987 to the city…. for $1 million dollars. It burned to the ground on September 26th, 1987…… just as demolition was about to begin.
UPDATE from DARK IN THE PARK: Carmen J. Ricci, the person responsible for building Brigantine Castle as well as the Long Branch Haunted Mansion, passed away peacefully on July 21, 2012. He was a talented visionary that brought joy and fear to thousands of people. Our condolences go out to his family.
There’s a cool display devoted to the Castle at the Brigantine Beach Historical Museum – 3607 Brigantine Blvd. Call the museum at (609) 266-9339 to check for operating hours.
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