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'sWildwood 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
on motel Photo by RoadsidePeek.com
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
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.