Shore Report

Avon Loses Its Last ‘Grand’ Hotel to the Claw of an Excavator

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After standing at the corner of Norwood and Second Avenue for 130 years, the Norwood Inn has been torn down, making way for what is expected to be homes. Credits: Paul Spennrath
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AVON-BY-THE-SEA, NJ — In less than two days, an Avon-by-the-Sea landmark that stood for 130 years was reduced to a huge pile of rubble. The Norwood Inn no longer stands on the corner of Norwood and Second Avenues — the last of the stately hotels that once graced the streets of Avon.

As onlookers gathered around the demolition site on March 15 and March 16, an excavator clawed its way through each floor of the four-story wooden building, which offered views of Sylvan Lake.

A mainstay of the community, the Norwood Inn was a place to stay, eat and be entertained for decades, attracting locals and summer visitors alike.

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The inn has a history that dates back to 1888 when it opened as the Marlborough Hotel.  In the mid-1930s, it became Norwood Hall and about 20 years later underwent a major renovation — and a name change to the Norwood Inn. In addition to a swimming pool, several of its 52 rooms became equipment with private bathrooms, according to the book, Images of America: Avon-by-the-Sea.

The vacant parcel that now remains is expected to give rise to several homes.

It’s the second landmark lost in less than a year in Avon. In October 2017, fire ripped through Schneider’s restaurant on Main Street. Known for its “Old World” German food, the eatery is not expected to be rebuilt.

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