After more than 18 months closed, the gates at the Garden pier are open once more.
"Atlantic City's Garden Pier is the only municipally owned pier right now and we are home to the Atlantic City Historical Museum and the Atlantic City Arts Museum, both free museums that celebrate Atlantic City's culture and its heritage,” said Atlantic City Free Public Library archivist Heather Perez.
During Hurricane Sandy, the Pier's terra cotta roof took the worst damage, but the new roof they put on is built with and extra layer to protect against water damage.
"Sandy ripped off our roof, did a lot of damage to the pier itself so it's taken us a while to get the insurance money to rebuild,” said Mayor Don Guardian.
For its reopening, the Historical Museum has put together a collection recognizing the city’s greatest athletes.
"We also have an exhibit about the Summer of 1964, quite a few things happened that year with the opening of the Expressway, the Beatles concert and the Democratic National Convention,” explained Perez.
Next door, the Atlantic City Arts Center shows the works of local artists, along with an exhibit on Atlantic City’s north side and the vibrant culture of its African American Community.
"We happen to have the sign from the Club Harlem. We have the doors from the Club Harlem. We have the story of our black fire department and our black police department,” said Ralph Hunter of the African American Heritage Museum of South Jersey.
"This! Oh it just captures... I mean, my wife she just jumped a mile high when she came in and she saw these exhibits,” said Adam Wade, who performed at the north side hot spot Club Harlem.
"As we build ourselves as a city and truly become better, we have to always recognize the arts and the culture and history. And when you can present history in an entertaining way, people remember that and they appreciate what's going on,” said Guardian.
The Garden Pier is open seven days a week and is completely free of charge.
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