A Different Perspective
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No matter how sad the fall of the hotel is, as is sometimes the case, the demise was not simply a result of age and finances.  A visitor to my site, Brian, shared his historical perspective, and I am pleased to share the original email letter here. 

Some "Editor's Notes" before you read: The Congress Hall Hotel has been renovated and reopened.  The web site is www.congresshall.com - but be careful if you visit the site and it may lock up Internet Explorer.  I was disappointed to see NO mention of the Hotel Cape May / Christian Admiral in the History section.  For the loss of this hotel, was supposedly done to help save the Congress Hall hotel.  A warped deal indeed.  And finally, the expressions and comments of others throughout my web site are not necessarily those of myself, the site host and creator.  In other words, I may or may not agree with what you see and read, unless I wrote it.

Brian's Story:

Another little tidbit - Trump had offered to buy the hotel some years back, but Rev. refused to sell it to him, based on the "gambling" thing. Trump had the interest, and the resources to do this - and to save this place, but the Rev. would never do anything in the best interest of a property of his - because - to be honest, I don't think that any of these buildings meant anything to him... As much good as he may have done, he was stubborn, and self-serving as they get, regardless of what others may say. His refusal to pay property taxes, and fighting back each and every time the smallest most trivial expense had to be paid for things like utilities (mainly - back Water and Sewer Bills) - and it is still questionable whether or not he was involved in the fire that destroyed the Windsor - since the back taxes and utility bills came off of the top of the insurance settlement, he fought that tooth and nail for that not to happen - and lost... If nothing else, he was directly responsible for the demise or loss of all of his own buildings in Cape May - because of his lust for money and power....

There are detailed accounts from my friend about this. He has told me just about every story he can think of about it, and what was happening there in the last 4 years... A lot of what I said above is true - some of it is also my opinion on the matter based on what I have learned about Rev. McIntyre, and after reading articles in the local paper where I grew up about him...

The demise of the CA makes me angry and sad... So much could have been done - but - he would not sell to anyone that he didn't feel fit... In this case - no one would have fit the bill - particularly anyone who had roughly $10,000,000 laying around for making repairs and updates... This was a historically significant place, as well as a landmark for ships and on maps for 90 years. For some people, $10,000,000 is a drop in the bucket. Liquidating his properties, and generating capital would not have been a problem. The CA could have very easily become a very profitable "condominium" building, or served its function as a luxury hotel - as it was intended to. The building would have been saved, and people would be living in it, and enjoying it. Trump had his hand in, but Rev. said no... He could never sell to someone that he had moral objections to - even though - I hate to say this - but - I find that what he was doing could be considered just as morally objectionable to some people - greed behind a shroud of fundamentalist Christianity... It's just very sad... I agree that he was very influential and passionate in his religious endeavors, and may have had good intentions at one time, but I think that all of that changed dramatically when he discovered that good people were generous and regular sources of income. He used this income to build his own personal kingdom, and to maintain his lifestyle. These poor people believed that a "donation" was to be used to spread the word of God, and for education and worldly purposes. Unfortunately, most of that money is sitting in crumbling real estate... Very Sad...

I have personally seen most of his buildings in the last 10 years - in and out. Conditions inside of these hotels were deplorable, and he should have been ashamed of himself for taking good people's money away from them. Particularly Congress Hall...

I know that his grandson claims that he needed to part with the Admiral to get funds to save Congress Hall - last time I checked (and I admit, it has been a few years) - NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE...

I adamantly disagree with the opinion that Cape May officials had made the process of restoring this hotel to its former glory impossible. If it was cheap, and there was a way around a repair, or in response to a code violation, Carl McIntyre begrudgingly paid the money - for inexpensive easy fixes - instead of attacking the big problems and doing what was right. GREED GREED GREED - call it what you want... That building should have had sprinklers - heat - a good roof - any number of things - if they had been maintained properly in the first place, the problems would have been small and relatively inexpensive to repair, and chances are , the building would still be standing. The East Coast weather is notoriously hard on structures - and buildings there require maintenance... This was a foreign concept for him... His greed, extreme conservatism, and frugality killed these beautiful buildings...

I'm sorry if I have offended you - but this is how I feel...

You have my permission to use whatever you wish, and you can certainly use my name.

Have a Merry Christmas, and please post more pictures and memories... I sure miss the place...


Brian Eastburn - bmeastburn@comcast.net


Tuesday February 08, 2011 02:04 AM