The Wildwoods, New Jersey’s Atlantic Ocean resort area on the Island of Five Mile Beach.
Public domain film from the Prelinger Archive, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
The Wildwoods are a group of five municipalities in Cape May County, New Jersey, all of which are situated on the Island of Five Mile Beach, a barrier island facing the Atlantic Ocean. These Jersey shore communities have relatively small year-round populations and swell significantly during the summer with vacationers.
While each community has its own independent government, and the five municipalities have no shared governance (other than Cape May County), the term is often used to refer collectively to the area.
The five communities from (south to north) are:
– Diamond Beach (2000 Census population of 218), a place in Lower Township
– Wildwood Crest (3,980)
– Wildwood (5,436)
– West Wildwood (448)
– North Wildwood (4,935)…
The Wildwoods Shore Resort Historic District, or Doo Wop Motel District, is an area in The Wildwoods, New Jersey, that was home to over 200 motels built during the Doo-Wop era of the 1950s and 1960s. Officially recognized as a historic district by the State of New Jersey, it lies primarily in the municipality of Wildwood Crest, along a two mile stretch between Atlantic and Ocean avenues, and includes areas in Wildwood and North Wildwood. The term doo-wop was coined by Cape May’s Mid-Atlantic Center For The Arts in the early 1990s to describe the unique, space-age architectural style, which is also referred to as the Googie or populuxe style.
The motels are very stylized, with Vegas-like neon signs, plastic palm trees, and fantastic architecture. Construction of condominiums in the area has resulted in the demolition of many motels, but the Wildwood Doo Wop Preservation League has taken action to help save and restore the remaining historic buildings. The Caribbean Motel in Wildwood Crest, and the Chateau Bleu Motel in North Wildwood are both listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
A 1950s Doo Wop museum has recently been built which contains property from demolished motels such as neon signs and furniture. Neo-Doo Wop buildings in the area feature a neon lit Wawa and a 1950s styled Acme Supermarket.
Motel construction in the Wildwoods began in the early 1950s. 1958 was a banner year for construction in Wildwood Crest, with the opening of the Satellite, Caribbean, El Reno (later the South Beach Motel), Sand Castle, Swan Motel and Tangiers motels. The Rio Motel, in Wildwood proper, also made its debut that spring. New motels were built into the 1970s.
Many of these Doo-Wop motels were designed by the brothers Lewis J. (Lou) and Wilburt C. (Will) Morey, born in West Wildwood in 1925 and 1927, respectively. In 1952, their company Morey Brothers Builders built Wildwood’s first motel, the single-story Jay’s Motel, at the corner of Hildreth and Atlantic Avenues. In 1955 they dissolved their formal business partnership and began to work more independently on motel designs.
Doo Wop motels generally include U-shaped or L-shaped designs of two or three stories, asymmetric elements, swimming pools, adjacent parking or second story sun decks over parking spaces, plastic palm trees, angular walls or windows, flat overhanging roofs, prominent neon signs and railing, bright colors, and a contemporary or fantasy theme. References to popular culture or history were also common. The themes or sub-styles have been classified as: Modern/Blastoff, Vroom, Chinatown Revival, Tiki/Polynesian and Phony Colonee. The Blastoff style is reminiscent of the jet-age airports of the 1950s and 1960s. The Vroom style includes forward-thrusting building elements. Phony Colonee imitates the mass market Colonial Revival architecture of the 1950s and 1960s with Colonial American brick and lamppost elements.
The Caribbean Motel in Wildwood Crest, built in 1958 and now restored, was the first motel to use the full-size plastic palm trees that now adorn most of the Doo Wop motels in the area…
Googie architecture is a form of modern architecture, a subdivision of futurist architecture influenced by car culture, jets, the Space Age, and the Atomic Age…
Video Uploaded by: Jeff Quitney