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Doo Wop Discussion #41 - Mar-Lane Motel (Read 5397 times)
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Doo Wop Discussion #41 - Mar-Lane Motel
Aug 2nd, 2010, 12:00am
 
Mar-Lane Motel
4310 Atlantic Ave. (at Montgomery Ave.)
Wildwood, NJ 08260
609.522.7463
marlanemotel@comcast.net

 
Official site:
http://www.marlanemotel.com/
 
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_m_PDRgjULmk/Rl9FegnxpkI/AAAAAAAABUY/hlTuyvitzHM/s640/IMG_5 601.JPG

 
 
Wildwood Doo Wop profile:
http://wildwooddoowop.com/MarLane+Motel/
 
 
Tripadvisor page:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g46931-d121348-Reviews-Marlane_Motel-Wil dwood_New_Jersey.html
 
 
Various photos taken by guests – posted to the Mar-Lane’s TripAdvisor page:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotos-g46931-d121348-Marlane_Motel-Wildwood_ New_Jersey.html
 
 
Vintage “Hotel Court” post card from CARD COW:
http://www.cardcow.com/225797/mar-lane-hotel-court-wildwood-by-sea-new-jersey/

 
 
Vintage roadside neon/incandescent sign
http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/wooda/njmarlane.jpeg

 
 
 
(Note: The previous "Doo Wop Discussion" - for The Matador Motel - was incorrectly numbered as #41, and should be #40)
 
The Mar-Lane began life as a “Hotel Court”.  This style of lodging was the beginnings of the Motel form we most commonly associate with the word.  Court-style Motels typically were one-level structures, with a common area between the units for guests to share.  These had grass, tables, chairs, etc.  While it has quite a different feeling, the pool area and decks that most of our Motels have in The Wildwoods, seem to be the evolution of these “courts”.  The current, more typically Motel-like form the Mar-Lane has had for some time is said to have been built from the original “Hotel Court” building, but it’s a little hard for me to picture this.  The original one-story, pitch-roofed Court, had a U-shape to the structure housing all the units that were around the property perimeter.  The Motel has all its units in a two-floor, flat-roof, L-shaped building.  Its attached 2nd floor deck extends this to a reverse J-shape.  For the Motel to have been built from the Court, a piece of the U-shaped structure would have to have been removed.  If so, I’d guess the section removed would be at the property’s southern end, to free up space for parking.  Not to mention the building in the center of the Court, to make way for the pool.
 
The Mar-Lane is centrally located in beautiful, downtown Wildwood Cheesy, at Montgomery and Atlantic Avenues.  Whether this is a “good” location or not is somewhat dependent on what one is looking for in a stay in The Wildwoods.  If you’re one to visit the Boardwalk every chance you get, but doesn’t necessary need to see it all the time, and/or you like to be amongst the “action” of Center City Wildwood, it’s a great location.  If you’re one to visit the beach every day, would at least like some sort of view of it from your Motel, and want a little more peace - especially at night, etc. - it might not be.
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Martin Melucci


...no matter how much you like an old building, someone will eventually come along and knock it down to build a "better" one. But that rarely happens. - Tony Visconti
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Re: Doo Wop Discussion #41 - Mar-Lane Motel
Reply #1 - Aug 2nd, 2010, 12:05am
 
As noted above in the comparison to its “Court” era, the Mar-Lane is a two-floor Motel, and is L-shaped along the structure housing its rooms.  I believe it has approximately 27 units spread across both floors - some of them face south to Montgomery, and the rest east to Atlantic.  The structure is painted white, with the doors in a deep burgundy.  These colors somewhat recall the Mar-Lane’s Court era, which had its walls in white, and its roof in a deep, somewhat blood red.  Windows to the units are appx 2/3 view from the top down, with light green backed curtains.  Lamps styled like lanterns are posted up high between each unit.  Railings across the balcony, down the middle of the “L” staircase, and across the ground level outer perimeter appear vintage Mid-Century.  They are of an interesting style that has a bunch of 90 degree angled twists and turns, with small, square flat centered portions.  Nondescript white resin chairs are placed outside the units.  A sundeck extends east from the Motel’s southwest end, and is accessible from the 2nd floor balcony.  The deck doesn’t seem to be connected to the pool area,.  Railings around the deck and pool area are metal, but plainer than the others, and consist of vertical bars.  These obviously were added years after the other railings (though are still not “new” at this point), and, along with the deck not having its own staircase to the pool, leads me to believe the deck was added some years after the Mar-Lane transitioned from “Court” to “Motel”, and also that the pool likely spent some years unfenced from the Motel.  The deck obscures something that likely stood out previously as a design feature - the southwest corner room on the 2nd floor “floats”, without a 1st floor unit below it.  It is not a “no means of visible support” styled unit like the corner room in a similar position at the Eden Roc (it has a visible support pole to the ground), but still helps gives that corner, and the Motel overall, a little more distinction.  The pool area is in the middle of the “L”.  The pool itself is rectangular, with rounded corners, tile around the top of its walls, and a fenced off shallow portion for small children, using newer railings for it than elsewhere.  White chairs, angled with a fan-shaped back, are around the pool, as are canvas loungers, with white & green striped fabric, which coordinate with the other colors on the Motel well.  More lantern styled lamps are used around the pool and deck, though on posts.  White flagcrete is below the outer perimeter railings, making a nice border to the parking area.  Towards the northeast corner, a section in front of the 1st floor units was extended to form a patio-like area, with a steps and a ramp to help with accessibility.  It has different railings than the rest of the grounds that are more countrified in style, and appear to be resin.  In the same area, closer to the sidewalk, is a structure with a more house-like appearance than the main part of the Motel, and includes the use of shutters.  A portion of this building is 3 stories, with a 1-story portion on the east end of it.  At the least, it houses the office, and considering its height, possibly more (which I can’t confirm).  The same white/burgundy used on the Motel continue here.  Adjacent to this, street-side in the main Motel building, appears to be more “public” space, but I can’t identify it’s use either.  An additional ground level section continues the countrified look, uses a sort of sage green, and contains the BBQ’s/grills + tables and chairs.  At the southeast corner is a wooden roadside sign, with tall green posts, and tan/burgundy/green artwork.   The sign says MarLane Lodging (rooms chambers), lit by more lantern style lights.  A weathervane sits above it all, topped by a fish!
 
As you can probably tell from the above, the Mar-Lane’s look ends up being a bit of a mix – some genuine “Doo Wop”, some things with more traditional residential look, others with a country feel - neither of which have a trace of Mid-Century character whatsoever - and a few minor bits that don’t seem to belong to any of this (but overall aren’t of too much consequence).  It also gives me mixed feelings about its appearance.  When I look at parts of Mar-Lane, like its oldest railings, I see things to admire from a “Doo Wop” perspective. Then I look at other portions of it, like the more country styled stuff, and get the impression of a place that’s tried to get away from roots.  At the same time, given it’s “Court” origins, the Mar-Lane got away from its real roots a long time ago.  Perhaps the "house" portion is a nod to it's "Court" years.  While most of its “country” touches do not give the feel of a potential new Doo-Wop “style” (Phonee Colonee, Tiki, etc.), they mostly aren’t executed in a sterile way, so the Mar-Lane overall still has charm.  It also always looks very well kept, and has a great reputation in its TripAdvisor reviews – typically rated on their site #1 among all Motels in Wildwood proper.  I believe we had a member on the Forum who recently stayed at the Mar-Lane and didn’t seem quite as impressed with it, but didn’t have anything negative to report either.  Still, the top standing with TripAdvisor is a fine accomplishment, which I’m sure the Mar-Lane’s owners are proud of.
 
I welcome your thoughts on the Mar-Lane.
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Martin Melucci


...no matter how much you like an old building, someone will eventually come along and knock it down to build a "better" one. But that rarely happens. - Tony Visconti
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Re: Doo Wop Discussion #41 - Mar-Lane Motel
Reply #2 - Aug 2nd, 2010, 7:58am
 
WOW! Great information and pictures, Martin!!! Thank you for posting! We have to try this place out!
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Re: Doo Wop Discussion #41 - Mar-Lane Motel
Reply #3 - Aug 2nd, 2010, 9:57am
 
Here's a question for the group. When was construction season in the Wildwoods? It seems motel owners would want to get as much income as possible in peak season. With a place like the Mar-Lane, I'd wonder when the original building was replaced. It's unlikely that the original structure was retained.
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Re: Doo Wop Discussion #41 - Mar-Lane Motel
Reply #4 - Aug 2nd, 2010, 11:32am
 
Quote from crazyaboutwildwood on Aug 2nd, 2010, 7:58am:

WOW! Great information and pictures, Martin!!! Thank you for posting! We have to try this place out!

 
Thanks Mike.
 
I thought you have already stayed in every Motel on the island. Smiley
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Martin Melucci


...no matter how much you like an old building, someone will eventually come along and knock it down to build a "better" one. But that rarely happens. - Tony Visconti
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Re: Doo Wop Discussion #41 - Mar-Lane Motel
Reply #5 - Aug 2nd, 2010, 11:35am
 
Quote from markcpeyko on Aug 2nd, 2010, 9:57am:

When was construction season in the Wildwoods?

 
 
Not sure how things were years ago, but last I heard you can't perform construction work in July and August, at least in the Crest.  Perhaps exceptions apply...
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Martin Melucci


...no matter how much you like an old building, someone will eventually come along and knock it down to build a "better" one. But that rarely happens. - Tony Visconti
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Re: Doo Wop Discussion #41 - Mar-Lane Motel
Reply #6 - Aug 2nd, 2010, 4:43pm
 
Stayed at the Marlane in the mid 90s, 96 I believe. Wanted something a little closer to the action as my youngest was out of a stroller. It was(and based on reports) still is a nice place it got a little loud at times being across the street from Kellys
but that bothered my wife more than my kids.
 
Looked to see if I had any pics of the Marlane but the only thing I have is one with the parking lot in the background.
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Re: Doo Wop Discussion #41 - Mar-Lane Motel
Reply #7 - Aug 3rd, 2010, 8:49am
 
The Mar-Lane always looks to be well cared for.
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Re: Doo Wop Discussion #41 - Mar-Lane Motel
Reply #8 - Aug 4th, 2010, 6:46am
 
Quote from MMM on Aug 2nd, 2010, 11:32am:
Quote from crazyaboutwildwood on Aug 2nd, 2010, 7:58am:

WOW! Great information and pictures, Martin!!! Thank you for posting! We have to try this place out!


Thanks Mike.

I thought you have already stayed in every Motel on the island. Smiley

 
 
Im around 36 places. I can honestly say that I loved all of them except for one place that was filled with mold and was very very dirty. Im going to stay at the happy days hotel owned by the quebec this month. Cant wait!
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Re: Doo Wop Discussion #41 - Mar-Lane Motel
Reply #9 - Aug 10th, 2010, 9:37am
 
This place always fascinates me.  It's not located in one of the island's nicest areas and the decorative elements don't fit into any doo wop themes but the place always looks very clean and well-maintained, which is more than I can say for other places in the area.  Like Martin, I have a hard time believing the current structure has anything to do with the original court-style structure.
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Re: Doo Wop Discussion #41 - Mar-Lane Motel
Reply #10 - Aug 12th, 2010, 11:23am
 
I've stared at that postcard rending of the original "court," and often wondered the same thing, guys.
 
I would really like to see an actual photo of the court to get a better idea of how it was situated. That could help answer some questions.
 
I've wanted to stay at the Mar-Lane for years, for the simple fact that it's located right across the street from Kelly's! But, as Rob noted, the motel itself always looks like it is so well maintained. If I'm not mistaken, the railing pattern is identical to that of Knoll's, and many past motels, including the Sans Souci.
 
Seems to be one of the last examples of that particular design...
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Re: Doo Wop Discussion #41 - Mar-Lane Motel
Reply #11 - Aug 12th, 2010, 11:34am
 
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Martin Melucci


...no matter how much you like an old building, someone will eventually come along and knock it down to build a "better" one. But that rarely happens. - Tony Visconti
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Re: Doo Wop Discussion #41 - Mar-Lane Motel
Reply #12 - Aug 12th, 2010, 11:40am
 
Thanks, Martin!
 
After I typed that, I started to second guess myself about the Knoll's railing pattern. I'm trying to think of another example of this style, but surely Knoll's and the Mar-Lane are two of the last remaining. I think the Sea Winds at Atlantic & Burk was another property that had this style.
 
Shore Plaza, LaVita, and others were similar, but a little different...
 
That pic of the Sans Souci by our friend Mark is simply AWESOME.  Cool
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Re: Doo Wop Discussion #41 - Mar-Lane Motel
Reply #13 - Aug 12th, 2010, 3:46pm
 
The only knock I have on the mar-Lane is the Wooden sign in the front. When was the old one taken down?
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Re: Doo Wop Discussion #41 - Mar-Lane Motel
Reply #14 - Aug 13th, 2010, 4:57pm
 
Totally agree, Hulk. Especially in that area of town, where the marquees should be outfitted with neon or at least dancing bulb lights, a la Kelly's. The Mar-Lane is also one of the closest motels to the Doo Wop Experience museum. Wish that whole area could be spruced up a bit in terms of signage and display.
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