Wildwood Mid-Century Modern Motels & Hotels (page 1)

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Wildwood, New Jersey has the largest concentration of 1950s and 1960s motels in the world. Technically, the area is known as The Wildwoods which consists of North Wildwood, Wildwood Crest and Wildwood proper. The mid-century style is locally referred to as "Doo Wop". The buildings feature flashy elements like space-age or tiki themes, giant signs, pastel colors, and mid-century elements like zig-zags and boomerangs. Many of these motels have been lost in recent years and others are endangered. The driving force behind their preservation is the Doo Wop Preservation League. For more about Wildwood's motels, see this website.

Lollipop Motel
North Wildwood, NJ
The Lollipop Motel was built in 1959. It is believed to have been named after the Chordettes' 1958 hit version of the song "Lollipop". The sign is about 25 feet tall and may have been designed by Harry Lanza. A vintage photo of the sign reveals the pole was originally painted red and white like a peppermint stick. The round piece on top of the sign looked more like a lollipop with purple and white stripes. According to one source, there may have been Burma Shave style signs (phrases in sequence) promoting this motel along State Rte. 47 in New Jersey.

The photos above are from 2007. In 2012, a replica sign was created by the A.B.S. Sign Company for about $13,000. The entire steel framing of the sign was replaced with less corrosive aluminum. The neon portion of the sign was faithfully reproduced and is lit at night. The original, backlit plastic faces of the boy and girl were incorporated into the new sign. They would have been too costly to replicate and they held sentimental value. A few pieces of the original sign are now in a private collection. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Caribbean Motel
Wildwood Crest, NJ
The Caribbean Motel was built in 1958. It is a real stand-out with its flying ramp walkway, horseshoe-shaped pool and rooftop sign. This was the first motel in Wildwood to use plastic palm trees. For more, see this website. [map]

Blue Marlin Motel
Wildwood Crest, NJ
The Blue Marlin Motel was built in 1962. For more, see this website. [map]

Imperial 500 Motel
Wildwood Crest, NJ
The Imperial 500 Motel opened in 1964. In 1978, another wing was added which doubled the motel's size. These curved railings are a common element in Wildwood motels. For more, see this website. [map]

Royal Hawaiian Resort
Wildwood Crest, NJ
The Royal Hawaiian Resort was built in 1969. It was named after the Royal Hawaiian in Oahu, HI. The motel uses lava rock extensively on its facade. The flying saucer structure on the roof was once a restaurant but it is now used as the owner's penthouse. For more, see this website. [map]

Beach Colony Motel
Wildwood Crest, NJ
The Beach Colony Motel opened in 1961 as the Golden Nugget Motel. The name was changed in the late 1970s. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Jolly Roger Motel
Wildwood, NJ
The Jolly Roger Motel was designed by Will Morey and Palmer Way. It was built in 1959. The larger-than-life pirate statue has been on the roof of the office since the motel opened. It is put in storage during the winter. Employees refer to the statue as "Jolly". [map]

Wildwood Motels
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