Tillie Asbury Park Commemorative T-Shirt
Tillie is the character name of two identical, flesh colored grinning face murals overlooking Cookman Avenue & the Boardwalk of Asbury Park, NJ. ̴Ì_A locally employed artist, Lesile W. Thomas, painted these 2 faces on the sea foam green fa_ade of Palace Amusements (Fun Palace) during the winter of 1955 1956. For forty-eight years, Tillie watched over all things representing a seaside community: the merry-go-round, the ferris wheel, the boardwalk, wheels-of-chance, cotton candy, etc. The Palace Amusements building was constructed in 1888 and closed a century later in 1988. Unfortunately, the neglected unmaintained historic building fell into disrepair.
When the Fun Palace site was targeted for demolition and redevelopment Asbury Park residents, Tillie fans, and Bruce Springsteen fans formed a grassroots movement̴Ì_ to Save Tillie_. lobbying the state to block the demolition or at least remove the mural prior to demolition. The group was partially successful, as the left-side Tillie (a 16 ton section) and "bumper girl" murals were successfully removed for historic preservation. Sadly, the remaining historic building structure was demolished in July 2004. The name Tillie is likely a nod to George C. Tilyou, the owner of Steeplechase Park in Coney Island, NY, as a similar grinning face was featured on Steeplechase Park signage. Currently, a full size replica of Tillie can be found on the fa_ade of the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, NJ.
Sea foam green ink was used on this shirt to resemble the original color of the fun palace. The tag features the quote "Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ".
$1 of each Tillie shirt purchase will be donated by All Star Tee to the Asbury Park Historical Society, whose mission is to advance the understanding, appreciation, preservation and restoration of anything of historical value to the City of Asbury Park, New Jersey.