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The Turf Club

The Turf Club is the last remaining structure that once housed one of Springwood Avenue’s celebrated music spots. AP-AMP owns and is renovating the Turf Club, transforming it into a community venue for music and culture. 

Learn more about the history of Springwood Avenue here.


Follow this page for updates on the the Turf Club preservation!

What's the Turf Club?

In the 1960s, there were dozens of music venues on the west side of Asbury Park, all along Springwood Avenue. Today, only one structure remains that was once one of these venues: The Turf Club.

The Turf Club originally opened at 1125 Springwood Avenue in 1940 and moved to 1200 Springwood Avenue in 1956, where the building remains today. It represents the last chance to preserve a physical piece of Springwood Avenue’s music history.

Icons such as Billie Holiday and Count Basie as well as local talent performed along Springwood Avenue. It was part of the Chitlin’ Circuit and lined with music venues and African American-owned businesses, many cited in the Green Book. Since the late 1950s, music was a mainstay of the Turf Club, offering local (e.g., Al Griffin, Cliff Johnson, and Dee Holland) and nationally-recognized (e.g., Clarence Clemons, who would later join Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) jazz and R&B acts. In 1970, civil unrest and a period of disinvestment devastated Springwood Avenue.

Historic Preservationist Elizabeth Rosin notes that the Turf Club “provides a unique physical connection to an important cultural context – the social and entertainment heritage of the local African-American community. Its cultural significance is enhanced by the loss of other buildings that shared its connection to the once-thriving African-American west side commercial district of Asbury Park.”

Photo 1 - Turf Club c 1960s - Joseph Carter.jpg
The Turf Club in the 1960s.
Photo: Joseph A. Carter Sr. (1917-1980)
© Asbury Park: A West Side Story Collection
The Turf Club in May 2019.
The building had been empty for over 15 years.

Learn more about the Turf Club

A conversation with Jennifer Souder and Yvonne Clayton of the Asbury Park African American Music Project. The two arts and historical preservation leaders talk about the role of Springwood Avenue and its importance in the foundation of blues and jazz in the cultural history of Asbury Park. The current renovation and future of the Turf Club, AP-AMP's major initiative, is highlighted.


Visit the Turf Club 

Take a visit to the Turf Club, which is a stop on the Monmouth County Black History Trail

1200 Springwood Avenue

Asbury Park, New Jersey 07712

History of the Turf Club in Photographs
Click the photos for details.


Preservation Updates

December 2023

We're reflecting on another wonderful year! Thank you to the community for all your support in 2023. We are lucky to have been able to host another season of Tuesdays at the Turf in summer 2023, and looking forward to more in 2024!

October 2023

Roof construction on the Turf Club was successfully completed this month! A big thank you to our contractor Lewis-Graham Inc., who specialize in historic preservation, for their attention to detail and craftsmanship. We're also grateful for the skillful work by the construction crew, comprised of members of our Springwood Avenue community.

September 2023

We are very excited that construction of the Turf Club roof is underway! We so appreciate all who have been on this journey with us!  Special thanks to our design team lead by Connolly & Hickey Historical Architects for helping us make sure the character of the Turf Club is preserved. A long way to go, but we're grateful to hit this milestone and can't wait until there's music flowing out those doors again.

This project was funded in part by a grant from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation with support from the JPB Foundation.


June 2023

The installation of two new exterior doors and related work was completed in early June 2023.

December 2022

We are celebrating a fantastic 2022! Among many highlights in 2022, we are especially thrilled to have been able to present our second Tuesdays at the Turf concert series.

We’re looking forward to the music that’s coming our way in the Turf Club in 2023 – and we need your help to keep the Turf Club renovation moving. How can you help? We always need AP-AMP volunteers and we always accept donations to support our cause. Please email us if you’re interested in volunteering with us!

July 2021

This summer, AP-AMP hosted a free concert series called "Tuesdays at the Turf." This marks the first time that there has been live music inside the club in over 20 years! Thank you for coming out and supporting our organization and local musicians!

Tuesdays_at_the_Turf concert, July 2021 (photo cred Conni Freestone).jpg

June 2021

In preparation for Tuesdays at the Turf and next steps, the AP-AMP team cleaned out additional items, added a new (temporary) corner door for easier access, and have been working with our design team to identify and plan for addressing the Turf Club’s most urgent needs for rehabilitation. You can help with a donation today! 

43 - Turf Club clean-up (October 2020).JPG

September 2020

Huge thank you to this efficient crew for a speedy record-breaking clean out of the legendary Turf Club!
– Asbury Park Environmental and Shade Tree Commission
– Asbury Park Department of Public Works
– Asbury Park Quality of Life Committee
– Springwood Avenue Rising
– and ALL the volunteers!


September 2020

Come help the Asbury Park African-American Music Project clean out the interior of the historic Turf Club on Saturday, September 26 between 9am and 12pm. Please wear long sleeves, pants and a mask. Tools will be provided.

AP-AMP is working to preserve this important part of AP’s history. It’s a community effort and that means you! Thank you in advance for your time, your passion and your dollars – any amount will help!

July 2020

AP-AMP is happy to collaborate with Springwood Avenue Rising on a beautiful mural on the Turf Club, painted by Mr. Larry Walker. The artwork, painted on the Springwood Avenue and Atkins Avenue exterior walls, celebrates the music and history of Springwood Avenue.

Turf Club side entrance, with murals by Larry Walker (2021) (photo cred Conni Freestone).j

January 2020

This is what the Turf Club currently looks like.

34 - TurfClub (pc Keeling).JPG

The Story of the Turf Club

Interested in learning more about the
history and future of the Turf Club?


Download the PDF booklet by clicking the button below.

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