Historical Images: Flanders Hotel Still an Ocean City Landmark

A weekly feature includes photographs from the Ocean City Historical Museum collection and from the modern era.

This week's "Then and Now" features the famous Ocean City landmark . It was designed by Vivian Smith (who also was the architect of City Hall and the Music Pier) and when built in the early 1920s, it was the largest construction project undertaken in Ocean City. The Flanders is named for Flanders Fields, the American Cemetery in Belgium where soldiers killed in World War 1 are buried.

The first image shows the Flanders while under construction on April 21, 1923. The hotel opened in the summer of 1923 -- while still incomplete!

The second image shows the Flanders circa 1925. You will notice the Boardwalk was right at the back of the hotel. After the fire in October 1927, the Boardwalk was rebuilt closer to the ocean. This gave the owners more land to use, and the salt water pool was added in 1929.

The third image shows the Flanders as it appears today. There were a number of renovations and additions over the years. Where the salt water pool once entertained thousands of visitors now is home to shops and amusement rides. Most recently in the 1990s, the property was converted to a condo-hotel by a local developer, James M. Dwyer.

The Flanders was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 20, 2009.

To see more historical photos of Ocean City, visit the Ocean City Historical Museum in the  at 1735 Simpson Ave.

Patrick Piriano July 16, 2011 at 12:12 PM
Love these pic's I say it all the time, I loved that salt water pool as a kid, I went to the Flanders Pool on "Family" days, just snuck in with other "Family's" LOL I was a little kid, but it was fun! LOL
Tired of Hypocrisy July 19, 2011 at 06:39 PM
Ahhh, the Flanders Pool, what fun! Dolphin stamp on your hand so you could go out on the boardwalk & re-enter the pool. The snack shop had great hot dogs. It was a treat for all of us on Wednesdays when our mom's would allow us to go to the 'pool' instead of the beach. Bittersweet but happy memories of enjoyment during a time that has passed by.
Florence Moyer April 07, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Fond memories of the pool for me, too. Love seeing these pics every week.
Sko Hayes April 07, 2012 at 01:26 PM
I don't think I ever got into the salt water pool, but I sure remember seeing all the people splashing about. I always thought how silly it was with a beautiful beach and the ocean only a few hundred feet away. I'm glad the Flanders is still around, and being taken care of, it's a great OC landmark.
Doug wing April 07, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Great picture..I worked for 14 yrs out front at the flanders grill..great memories there
Mike Impagliazzo April 21, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Remember the clorine smell ( not in a bad way ). Salt water was before my time. And yep, the black light to check your stamp and .75 cents to get in?? I'm pretty sure I still have pieces of the pool after they removed it. In a box somewhere or lost them moving. Found them in the sand a long time ago.
Helen L Young Berry May 15, 2012 at 06:15 AM
I grew up in Ocean City and lived at the Flanders pools! :) Loved the high dive and going all the way to the bottom of the 10-foot pool. After getting married in 1965 I was thrilled to return to Ocean City but had no idea that the pools were gone. Such a shame. Of course I had told them all about the pools and also mentioned that I had taken swimming lessons there. Truly a missed attraction for me and my children.


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