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Good Bye, Cape May Convention Hall

Posted 4/04/08

Cape May, NJ - Cape May Convention Hall, the community hub for over 40 years, has been closed to the public, possibly for good.

The sudden move came Friday, after an annual inspection by an outside engineering firm discovered "serious structural deficiencies."

The firm, Pennoni Associates, said the deterioration had worsened in the last year, severely compromising the structural integrity of the floor framing.

The news set off a scramble to find new venues for April and May events, like the Cape May Jazz Festival, the annual Spring Festival and the Cape May Music Festival.

A new, 10 million dollar convention hall is on the drawing board. City Manager Lou Corea says it's up to city council to decide whether to pay for the extensive repairs to the old building, while completing plans for the new building.

The convention hall sits right on the beach.

Corea blamed the deterioration on the years when sea water washed under the hall, soaking into the cement underpinnings.

This is not the first Cape May Convention Hall to fall victim to the sea.

A hurricane in the 1940's seriously damaged Cape May's convention hall. A northeaster in 1962 destroyed the building.

Ironically, plans for the new convention hall call for it to be built on the exact spot.

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