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.