Question of the Week
The Gondos Company, a general contracting firm, designed which two famous hotels in Atlantic City, NJ?
Answer: The Hotel Jefferson and the Hotel Madison
Victor Gondos immigrated to the United States from Hungary with his family in 1911, first settling in Chicago. In the 1920s, the family moved to Reading, Pennsylvania where Victor established the Gondos Company, a general contracting firm.
Perhaps the most famous buildings built by the Gondos Company were the hotels Jefferson and Madison, both in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Built in just over five months between 1928 and 1929, the Hotel Jefferson was described as a hotel with the “most efficiently economic layout and the most startling architectural beauty possible.” Soon after, the Hotel Madison was completed in January 1930 in a record 95 working days. Both of the hotels were built by Victor Sr. and designed by his son, Victor Jr., a registered architect.
Within the next year, Gondos joined with his two sons to form Gondos and Gondos, an architectural firm headquartered in Philadelphia that designed industrial buildings, schools, and hotels. Both sons garnered engineering degrees while Victor Jr. was also an historian and archivist, serving on the staff of the National Archives for twenty-three years.
The Gondos family papers (#3082) are available for use at HSP. The collection documents the family’s history, as well as the Gondos’s architectural and construction projects. Making up the bulk of the papers is correspondence, but there are also scrapbooks, audio materials, clippings, programs, pamphlets, journals, technical drawings, and photographs.
Image: The Hotel Jefferson, photograph of drawing (1928), Gondos family papers (Collection 3082), The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
About the Author
Look for these history stories every Sunday in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The stories, called Memory Stream, are published in the Currents section of the newspaper.