Take a Walking Tour Through the Wildwood Shore Resort Historic District

  • January 07, 2014

Wildwood Crest New Jersey has one of the largest concentrations of mid-century Doo-Wop architecture in the country. This unique style emerged in the 50s and 60s and influenced the design not only of buildings but of cars and consumer goods. It is characterized primarily by eye-catching “space-age” design elements inspired by the shapes of atoms, flying saucers, and jet planes.

In the case of the more than 100 motels and resorts that make up the Wildwood Shore Resort Historic District, the Doo-Wop style is accented by neon signs, plastic palm trees and bright colors. One example is our very own Biscayne Family Resort, constructed in 1968!
The Biscayne Family Resort, constructed in a Doo-Wop inspired style

The Doo-Wop style, sometimes referred to in architectural circles as the “Googie” style, is very much a product of 50s and 60s pop culture. These were exciting times, when a range of new technology was bursting on to the scene. Television, rock and roll and space travel were all exciting and novel concepts. This was also a period of unprecedented economic prosperity for the United States, and automobile culture was thriving.

With more people having the time and means to take vacations, Wildwood Crest grew to meet the demand. Enterprising hoteliers rapidly constructed motels to accommodate the automobile traveler and to appeal to the hip new aspects of pop culture. Thus, what we now know as the Doo-Wop motel district was born!

A motel pool displaying the characteristic plastic palm trees of the Doo-Wop style

Unfortunately, like many buildings and styles of the past, the Doo-Wop motels weren’t always seen as historically significant. As the 20th century drew to a close, many of the Wildwood Crest motels faced an uncertain future. However, following a renewed interest in the styles and architecture of the period, the Wildwood Crest motel district is now recognized and celebrated as one of the finest collections of the Doo-Wop style in the country.
Another local motel displaying typical features of the Doo-Wop style

For anyone visiting Wildwood Crest, we recommend you take the time to explore the Wildwood Shore Resort Historic district on a self-guided walking tour. Be sure to take lots of pictures. And when it comes to choosing a resort to spend your vacation at, look no further than the Biscayne Family Resort for comfortable and affordable Wildwood Crest accommodations.


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