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The Wildwoods
New Jersey
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Wildwoods, NJ --- The Wildwoods is located off the Jersey Shore and has been a popular resort for families for years. For fans of the mid-century Doo Wop architecture, the Wildwoods have almost no peer with scores of roadside signage from the 50's and 60's. However, with the turn to the 21st century, real estate values soared and a condo explosion ensued. Many unique old signs and buildings have been demolished this decade. Here are many of the Wildwoods finest, some of which are present and some of which are now gone.

The Wildwoods features a trove of mid-century motels and marquee in danger of being lost.As you travel down the street along the Jersey shore, you are greeted with an intersection of space-age mid-century motels. You step out and walk to the end of the block to get a look down the long drag. What's this? Oh, a fake palm tree. Welcome to the Wildwoods.


Casa Bahama Motel (Demolished)
Wildwood Crest, NJ
Photo courtesy Paul Bauke

The fabulous Casa Bahama Motel in Wildwood Crest features multiple A-frames along the complex. The marquee in the parking lot is vintage Wildwoods. Unfortunately, this motel was demolished during the Winter season of 2004.

See the former Casa Bahama Motel and many other motel treasures past and present at Roadside Peek's Wildwood Motels


Made up of Wildwood Crest, Wildwood, and North Wildwood, the Wildwoods feature doo wop signage and architecture that looks like they came straight from the 50's and 60's. In fact, there is a local non-profit preservation group dedicated specifically to fostering awareness of this era and the "largest collection of mid-century or Doo Wop architecture found in the United States" called the Doo Wop Preservation League.



Satellite Motel being demolished closer view
Photo by RoadsidePeek.com

Mural on motel
Photo by RoadsidePeek.com



Unfortunately, like all good mid-century areas these days (as the area around Disneyland in Anaheim comes to mind), threats of becoming "resortized" or "blandified" are becoming all too real. And yes, these threats also create new words that should be added to the English dictionary for all you Scrabble addicts out there.

Columbus weekend of 2004 saw the demolition of the Satellite Motel in full force. A few other motels such as the Avanti and the Carousel had "demo" written on them. The Tally Ho's office area already had the windows and doors busted out. The Eden Roc was closed... and eerily silent.


All throughout town, new homogenized condominiums have sprouted up, much like magic mushrooms after a hard rain. While there's always a place for living quarters of all types, it would be a shame and a mistake for the Wildwoods to lose both its identity and architectural capital. If the area does indeed hold the largest collection of mid-century architecture in all the land, it would be a shame to see it disappear.



Tally Ho Motel
Photo by RoadsidePeek.com

Tally Ho Motel office
Photo by RoadsidePeek.com


For information on how to lend some help to saving the Wildwoods, contact the Doo Wop Preservation League.









© Copyright 1998-2021 Syd Nagoshi. All rights reserved. No portion of this document may be reproduced, copied or revised without written permission of the author.