A fascinating collection of mid-century motel neon lights.
As the sun sets over southern New Jersey, the neon signs adorning the Wildwoods motels flicker into light.
The motels, in all their over-the-top, brightly colored glory, have accommodated travelers since the 1950s.
In their gleaming automobiles, tourists sped off the newly built Garden State Parkway to be welcomed by pools lined with plastic palm trees and car parks shaded with asymmetrical roofs.
With names like The Fantasy, The Ebb Tide and The Astronaut, they encapsulated what became known as “Doo Wop” architecture: mid-century style with bold, occasionally thematic, features.
The Crusader, which still stands, has a mural of a medieval knight and mock ramparts.
The Kona Kai, which closed in 2005, was a Polynesian-themed motel with pool-side palm trees and tiki-style neon lettering.
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