Saint Mary by-the-Sea has been a staple of Cape May Point since it was first built as a hotel in 1889, but soon it could disappear into history. To understand what’s going on let’s jump back in time.
[Note: The Drone Video Is At The Bottom Of The Page]
In 1888 Cape May Point was in need of a new hotel. On the drawing board the Shoreham Hotel was born. Opening for Summer 1889 the resort hotel had 150 rooms, 1200 feet of porches that wrapped the entire inside and south side of the build and a 200 foot long lawn which made it’s way onto the beach. Just nine years after it’s completion it’s usefulness dwindled causing it to close it’s doors.
In 1898 the building was sold and became the Home for Aged and Infirm Colored People. It ran as a home until 1909 when it to closed it’s doors due to usefulness.
The Sisters of Saint Joseph purchased the property for only $9,000, that is roughly $249,264.98 in today’s money.
At that time the only changes made to the building was the addition of crosses and the conversion of the ballroom into a chapel. Let’s Fast forward to 2016.
In 2016 the sisters of Saint Mary by-the-Sea had announced that they no longer needed the house. With the decreasing number of Sisters and the upkeep of the building it has serviced it’s purpose. The sisters plan to use the building until 2021 and then return it back to nature.
Of course this is something that makes us sad to see such a beautiful building be turned into a pile of sand but we have to respect the sister’s wishes. One interesting thing I found out while researching the building is that back in the day Disney’s designers came to Cape May to study the victorian houses to get ideas on how to build their new resort. Saint Mary by-the-Sea became some of the inspiration for the color scheme for “The Grand Floridian Hotel.” That’s why today you see a Cape May Cafe in Disney’s Beach Club Resort.
We decided to take our drone up into the sky at sunset to give you some views of Saint Mary by-the-Sea. Granted she will be with us for a few more years but still it’s a beautiful building to video.