Wop Preservation League Holds Annual Awards Dinner
A selection of food prepared by Alumni Grill was offered prior to the awards ceremony. The dinner theme focused on the 50th anniversary of the TV dinner that changed the way a faster pace mid-century American family ate their evening meal. An assortment of food was served in typical "TV Dinner style" aluminum trays like those Mom used for serving dinner when she came home from work. It is that 1950's automobile based lifestyle, and the shorter family vacations that became the norm when both a husband and wife began working after World War II, that made the Wildwoods more and more popular during the Doo Wop era. Alumni Grill's servers were dressed in typical 50s dress to make the meal even more fun.
Dinner chairperson Mary Fox, MAI and stalwart of the Doo Wop Preservation League board then introduced each of the award winners who received specially marked Lava Lamps memorializing their contribution to the Wildwood By-the-Sea. They also received one of the Doo Wop gift calendars that will be a popular souvenir for tourists to take home from their 2005 Wildwoods vacation.
The Cape Cod Motel won the award for Doo Wop Property Restoration for their great Doo Wop style 4th floor addition and upgraded guest accommodations. The Cara Mara Motel received honorable mention for their Doo Wop exterior including new neon, color scheme and signage. Summer Nites received the award for Doo Wop Retro Rehabilitation and Restoration for the great 50's theme seen throughout their creative rooms and public spaces as this exciting Wildwoods B&B. Sweets BBQ won honorable mention for upgrading a very plain building with neon and a beautiful new sign. The award for Best New Doo Wop Sign went to the Doo Wop Diner that opened this year on the Wildwoods World Famous boardwalk. Juan Pablo's on Pacific Avenue won honorable mention in the same category for the beautiful neon sign that is typical of signs that have made the Wildwoods famous. The Biscayne Motel shared its award for Best Restored Doo Wop Sign with the honorable mention award winner, Bel Air Motel.
Catamaran Publishing won this year's Doo Wop Hero award in recognition of all the contributions they have made to publicize and support the Doo Wop movement. The contributions include publishing the annual Doowopolis Times for the past four years and the Doo Wop pages in their weekly publications. The newspapers and Doowopolis Times are read by more than 200,000 more tourists who gain an appreciation for the wonderful mid-century boutique motels and the resort's "fun based" Doo Wop lifestyle. Coastal Broadcasting received honorable mention as Doo Wop Hero of the year for their radio announcements and promotion of Doo Wop all year. This year the station and its affiliates also promoted the very successful Fabulous 50s Doo Wop weekend with contests and announcements all through the summer and fall as a contribution to the community. The stations format and announcements about the station's located in the Doo Wop Capital of the World makes Coastal Broadcasting the "Official Voice of Doo Wop."
The awards for best Doo Wop events in 2004 went to winner Cool Scoops for developing and promoting the Wildwoods Music Award including the Sunday street party in North Wildwood that was enjoyed by both tourists and entertainers who were singing and dancing in the street in October 2004. The Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce received honorable mention for developing and leading the island's many organizations that participated in what many consider the best event of the season, the Fabulous 50s weekend. This new annual event brought thousands of baby boomers and their children of all ages to enjoy the Wildwoods lifestyle and music during that special weekend.
The City of Wildwood received an award for their Land Use Ordinance creating a hotel and tourism district. This ordinance puts the brakes on townhouse condo development that many fear will destroy both our Doo Wop properties and the Wildwoods lodging industry that supports the resort's tourism based economy. The Doo Wop Preservation League's Board congratulated the City of Wildwood for taking the lead with ordinances that also establish historic designation for the Doo Wop properties in legislation which the League hopes will be a model for all the Wildwoods. The Borough of Wildwood Crest received an award for donating land and participating in the restoration of the Surfside as an exciting Doo Wop museum and welcome center.
The league presented letters of appreciation to the Byrne Fund that funded both the Doo Wop Welcome Center and museum and the new How To Doo Wop Guidelines that is quickly becoming the standard for owners and developers who want to rehabilitate and restore existing Doo Wop properties or build new neo-Doo Wop properties on the island. Neither of these projects would have been possible with generous contributions by the Byrne Fund that has been an active supporter of Doo Wop for many years.
Nancy Zerbe of Arch4 spoke after dinner about the status of historic applications for the Wildwoods. Nancy is the professional working with the Doo Wop Preservation League to obtain state and federal recognition for Wildwood Crest's historic district and for individual properties that apply for historic designations. She addressed several often misunderstood points regarding historic districts. First and foremost, she said, is the fact that historic buildings can be changed or even demolished in an historic district because restrictions on development are imposed only by local government, not state or federal government. She highlighted incentives including generous tax credits that can pay as much as half of the cost for rehabilitating or expanding a Doo Wop property. The credits are available only for historic properties so this designation is important. She complimented the Doo Wop Preservation League for its focus on incentives rather than restrictions to encourage preservation and renovations.
Several award winners including Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano praised the work of the Doo Wop Preservation League. He pledged to support League goals including preservation of Doo Wop design for both present properties and the new properties coming to Wildwood By-the-Sea.
The awards dinner and meeting ended with coffee and some great desserts. The Doo Wop Preservation League thanks Cool Scoops, the Alumni Grill and the volunteers who put this exciting awards dinner together. The meeting ended with an agreement to continue working aggressively to preserve and promote Doo Wop design and the historic motels and residences throughout the resort.
The Doo Wop Preservation League and its hundreds of members are committed to having a resort that is based on the best of the past as the Wildwoods build the resort of the future based on the South Beach Florida model. The annual awards dinners recognize those who make a special effort to reach that goal.