"Doo Wop Experience" Finally Opens Its Doors
After years of planning, months of anticipation, and a "soft opening"...
Message from the President
1997-2007... Ten Years Later... Here We Are, But Where Are We?
by Dan MacElrevey
National Trust for Historic Preservation Adds Doo Wop Motels to 2006 "Most Endangered" List
I became a member of Preservation New Jersey several years ago...
by Michael Hirsch
Not Gone... Not Forgotten... "Doo Wop Back to the '50s Tour"
Doo Wop Back to the Fifties Tour returns for 2007. The re-vamped tour will debut April 28, 2007...
by Mary Fox
Educational Opportunities at the “Doo-Wop Experience” Museum
The Doo Wop Preservation League is planning an educational program for students in grades K-12...
by Joan Husband
Lights, Camera, Action,
Doo Wop!

Doo-Wop themed Ice Cream Parlor in North Wildwood featured on cable TV's "Trading Spaces"...
by Paul Russo
Owning a Landmark
An account of owning and renovating the newly restored Doo Wop landmark Caribbean Motel...
by Carolyn Emigh
Neo-Doo Wop
How to make Wildwood more Wildwoodian...
They Are Everywhere!
Some are big, some are small, some are new and some are... blue?
2007 Edition
 

Not Gone... Not Forgotten...
"Doo Wop Back to the '50s Tour"

Thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Investment and Development Authority (GWTIDA), the Doo Wop Back to the Fifties Tour returns for 2007. The re-vamped tour will debut April 28, 2007 to coincide with the Greater Wildwoods Chamber of Commerce Salute to the Sixties Weekend and the grand opening of the Doo Wop Experience, a salute to all things Doo Wop.

The Back to the Fifties Tour celebrates the island's quirky, kitschy, tacky, tawdry mid-century buildings that have survived both the slow, dreary decline of the late 1980's and the rocketing, roller-coaster boom of 2001 through 2005. Where the downturn once preserved the Doo Wop treasures with almost maudlin authenticity, the boom bulldozed approximately 300 Doo Wop style motels, diners and restaurants into oblivion. Yet, despite the dire headlines throughout the island's economic cycles, Doo Wop not only survived but became the claim to fame that put the Wildwoods-by-the-Sea back on the map, this time to stay.

Riders on the Back to the Fifties Tour (Will it be a trolley or a decorated bus or even a tram car for 2007? Stay tuned!) are treated to a leisurely ride through the island, narrated by knowledgeable guides whose love of all things Doo Wop is exemplified by their willingness to appear in public in poodle skirts, bobbie socks, and bowling shirts. In 2006, the capable drivers of Sheppard Bus Company (which provides transportation) also embraced the Doo Wop message and dressed like Joanie and the Fonz. To the tunes of era which the tour celebrates, riders gape and gaze and snap photos of the island's still abundant collection of Blast-Off, Pu-Pu Platter, Chinatown Revival, and Phonee Colonee hotels and motels, diners and nightclubs.

The Back to the Fifties Tour also salutes business owners who have embraced the Doo Wop message in designing new buildings. America's first Doo Wop Wawa, Doo Wop Acme and Doo Wop Commerce Bank branch are also featured on the tour and characterize what has been lovingly dubbed "neo Doo wop" style. The Doo Wop Preservation league(DWPL) born in 1997 as the brainchild of Jack Morey of the Morey Organization and Steve Izenour, AIA, encourages Doo Wop design and provides pointers in its definitive treatise: How to Doo Wop (available for sale on the DWPL website www.doowopusa.org).

Begun in 1991 as a cooperative effort between Wildwoods-by-the Sea business owners and the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts (MAC), the Doo Wop Back to the Fifties Tour remained a "sleeper" for a number of years, primarily an educational experience and an inventory of the island's previously unacknowledged mid-century, roadside architecture. Originally dubbed "Doo Wop" as early as 1991, the term and the tour languished.

Enter Steve Izenour, reknown architect of Venturi Scott Brown, whose book "Learning from Las Vegas" was the definitive salute to and salvo for American roadside architecture. Where others saw tacky, tired motels and diners, Izenour saw buried treasure. Teaming up with Jack Morey of the Morey Organization, Izenour and architect Dan Vieyra of Ken State University invited architecture students from University of Pennsylvania, Yale University and Kent State University to inventory and catalogue the island's sleeping beauties and to offer advice and design ideas to Doo Wop property owners. So the term "Doo Wop" entered the national lexicon as the name which best characterizes the mid-century roadside architecture and the Wildwoods-by-the-Sea entered the national and international consciousness as the "Doo Wop Capital" of both the Jersey Shore and the whole US of A.

For 2007, the Doo Wop Back to the Fifties Tour will run on Saturday, April 28, 2007 during the Salute to the Sixties Weekend; summer, on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 7 PM and will include the new Doo Wop Experience; and on Saturday, October 20, 2007 during the Fourth Annual Back to the Fifties Weekend. Tour prices have not been set but are likely to range from $10.00 to $12.00 for adults, $5.00 to $6.00 for children 12 and under, and free for children 3 and under. Check the DWPL website for more information!