The story of Long Branch, N.J., is embedded in the slats of its oceanfront piers and boardwalk, which stretch back centuries. In the 1800s, this Monmouth County beach community lured presidents and performers as a premier Jersey Shore resort destination, then fell into disrepair in the late 20th century as suburban shopping centers siphoned customers from local businesses. Crime rose and neighborhoods became blighted, symbolized by a 1987 fire that destroyed an amusement pier.
The city began its comeback with new investments in the 1990s, and rebuilt the boardwalk after it was all but destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Now it’s lined with new condo construction. And the pier that burned in 1987 has become Pier Village, an upscale mixed-use development.
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