June 16, 2015 Mid-Century Modern

Documenting the MCM Architecture of Wildwood, N.J.


If you don’t follow architectural photographer Darren Bradley, you should. His photos of mid-century modern and modern architecture are just stunning. As someone who grew up in New Jersey and still goes up to the Jersey shore every summer, I had to link to Darren’s amazing photos and monumental post about the mid-century architecture in Wildwood, N.J. (I took the shot above of the Panoramic years ago.)

Less than 200 miles from Washington, the Wildwoods (Wildwood, North Wildwood, Wildwood Crest) at the Jersey shore have the country’s largest concentration of mid-century commercial architecture from the 1950s and ’60s. The architecture of the motels, diners, restaurants and vintage neon signs reflect the era’s fascination with the automobile, air and space travel and all things Tiki/Polynesian. The architectural style in Wildwood was dubbed Googie. Many of the Doo Wop motels in Wildwood were built by Will and Lou Morey.

With more than 100 Doo Wop buildings having been destroyed amid the boom in real estate, the National Trust for Historic preservation named the Doo Wop motels to its “Most Endangered” list in 2006.

If you plan to go this summer, check out the Doo Wop Preservation League for great information and a map to the area. Also check out this site and this one.