Bathing Suits Banned on Asbury Park Boardwalk

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

summer, beach, heat, suntanning (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Beach-goers sporting bathing suits on the Asbury Park boardwalk are breaking the law — and tarnishing the classy name of the Jersey Shore city, according to one GOP leader.

Louise Murray, chair of the city’s Republican party and former City Council woman, bristled at the scantily clad clientele on the city’s boardwalk during a council meeting last week, according to the Asbury Park Sun, invoking a decades-old ordinance that enforces dress codes:

 “I don’t want to go back to 1940 or 1950 but the bottom line is you have on your books an ordinance — no person clad in bathing attire shall be on the boardwalk or public walks adjacent thereto,” Murray said. “Asbury Park was known for being the classiest boardwalk in the summertime. You never went down there unless you were dressed.”

The ordinance says that “no person clad in bathing attire shall be on the boardwalk or the public walks adjacent thereto,” according to the Star-Ledger.

But Deputy Mayor John LoFreddo told WNYC that the Council would not pursue enforcing the ordinance, and may take it off the books entirely if it interferes with business.

"I don't know if it's been enforced for over 50 years. I mean, things have changed so drastically, you know, as far as people's attitudes go," he said. "What beach community would stop people from walking on the boardwalk in a bathing suit?"

The ordinance was likely passed shortly James Bradley founded the city, which was named after Francis Asbury, the first Methodist Episcopal Church bishop in the U.S.

Richard Schlossbach, co-owner of a boardwalk restaurant, told the Ledger that patrons at Langosta Lounge haven't complained about state of beach-goers dress -- or undress.

"It goes with the environment," he said. "There is a thing down here that we don't want to be like Seaside Heights. But I don't think Asbury will ever be like that."

Annmarie Fertoli contributed reporting


Comments [3]


Glad to see that this elected official can find nothing more significant in the city with which to concern herself.

Considering that the city no longer provides changing facilities (they're there above the shops, just boarded up), I'd like to know now someone is supposed to wear something other than a swimsuit to and from the beach.

Jun. 26 2012 02:56 PM

It's a shame there's no city ordinance against idiocy in Asbury Park, because that's what Ms. Murray's observation is: pure idiocy.

Asbury Park suffered with blight and decay for decades. Now that the waterfront resembles something attractive and safe, she hopes the cash-strapped city should enforce a long-dead ordinance about respectability? Enforcement of this ordinance would be sure to drive away the tourists and bennies that as Asbury Park patrons and guests.

It's also worth noting that nearby Ocean Grove NJ (settled as a Methodist Camp Meeting association) has been revitalized by a burgeoning LGBT community. I expect the same will happen or Asbury, and it will be better for it.

Something tells me Ms. Murray's observations reflect social conservatism, not just modesty. As Ms. Murry is the Chair of the Asbury Park GOP, this shot across the bow is a dud.

Jun. 26 2012 02:14 PM
N Clarke

Please correct your story: Although a staunch Methodist, Bradley was not a bishop in the Methodist Church. He named Asbury Park after Francis Asbury, a founding bishop of the American Methodist Church.

Jun. 26 2012 01:49 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.