In the early 1890s, when this promising plot of land was first called “Wildwood,” the Baker Brothers had good reason for giving it that name. It was, at the time, more of a forest than a beach. But within only a few short years, the Bakers had ambitiously developed a valuable piece of real estate, founding the borough of Wildwood in 1895. Eleven years later, the development pressed southward, and the first house was built in the new community of Wildwood Crest. By 1910, Wildwood Crest was already fitted with hundreds of homes, apartments and hotels-quite a development in only four years time. Over the decades that followed, the Wildwoods would come to be enjoyed by visitors of all types for its soothing shores and its invigorating sea breeze.
American popular culture of the 1950s and 60s made a lasting mark on the Wildwoods. Due to the rapid economic growth of the time, more people than ever were ready to go on vacation; and due to the recent construction of the Garden State Parkway, vacationers from all over the Northeast were easily connected to the Wildwoods. New motels and restaurants began to spring up all over the community, and as Wildwood continued to please its many visitors, the town became known to some as “Little Las Vegas.” Many of the newly constructed businesses carried a distinctive architectural style.
Colorful neon lights, sweeping angles, and space-age imagery all characterized these new buildings. The style is officially known as Doo-wop architecture, but most of us simply know it as the look of the 1950s. Plenty of Doo-wop architecture – Wildwood’s footprint of the 50′s – is still enjoyed by our community today.
Now, over one-hundred years after the founding of this beachfront community, Wildwood offers its visitors a rich landscape of historic treasures and never-ending fun and excitement.