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The Palace of Depression

By Linda Tancs

As far as quirky tourist attractions go, the Palace of Depression in Vineland, New Jersey, fills the bill. As its name suggests, the structure was completed following the Great Depression triggered by the stock market crash of 1929. As the story goes, a grifter built a palatial residence out of mud, concrete and junkyard debris. After he landed in jail, the property eventually fell into disrepair and was razed by the city. Years later a group of locals decided to rebuild it consistent with old photos, using recycled materials and relying on public donations. Today’s version is a museum offering tours.

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