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Doo Wop Heroes

A salute to those who keep the spirit of Doo Wop alive in the Wildwoods

Will Morey Sr.

Wilbert C. Morey's contributions, as urban planner, designer, builder and entertainment entrepreneur defined much of the future of the Wildwoods and the Jersey Shore, and laid the foundation for generations to come. His vision of modern amusement piers and waterparks juxtaposed in a traditional seaside boardwalk setting caused revolutionary changes in the amusement industry. His design and construction of nearly thirty of the Wildwood's most themed and flamboyant motels Doo Wop motels, recognized today as classics of American resort architecture, set the stage for what is today a themed public/private resort destination.

Wilbert "Will" Morey reinvented the beach and boardwalk into a cultural icon, inspired by
Miami Beach, Disney and Germany's "Octoberfest," fashioning memories for millions
of American vacationers. 

Never losing sight of the guest experience, Wilbert Morey created a synergy between his accommodations and amusement piers to transform the entire resort known collectively as the Wildwoods into a themed resort destination. This, in turn, which set the stage for today's master plan and tourism districts which are central to quality of life for residents and the economic
vitality of the Wildwoods.

"You can go backward or forward, but you can't stand still," Wilbert Morey would say. And as he moved forward, he brought the Wildwoods along for the ride.
* This document was used for the IAAPA Hall Of Fame Award


Steven Izenour, AIA (1940 - 2001)

A renowned architect, urban planner and pop culture historian, Steve Izenour was regarded as the "great validator" of the Doo Wop movement in The Wildwoods, and led the architectural studies of the island in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania, Yale, and Kent State universities in the late 1990s, inspiring the Doo Wop movement that has come to define the Wildwoods today.

Izenour was a principal with Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates (VSBA) since 1969. He was an active participant in all architectural and urban design projects and played a leading role in the programming and schematic design phases of most of the firm's major architectural projects. He earned a substantial repuatation for combining outstanding design ability and expertise in communication technologies with a special sensitivity to their use in environmental and historical contexts. These skills have been an important component of VSBA's award-winning urban design and historic district projects.

According to a 2002 article by Melissa Milgrom in Metropolis Magazine, "Izenour spent years studying the idiosyncratic charms of this town [The Wildwoods] on a barrier island just north of Cape May: its nonarchitect-designed motels, its brash neon signs, and especially its autostrip. His "Learning from the Wildwoods" architecture studios at Yale, University of Pennsylvania, and Kent State brought national attention to this town that time forgot and helped legitimize a mom-and-pop movement to promote tourism without selling out to Disney."

"Without Izenour's interest in our resort, it is entirely possible that the theme with which the Wildwoods are now most commonly recognized--Doo Wop--would have been perceived as nothing more than a collection of aging plastic palm trees and outdated buildings," wrote Jeannine Yecco of the Wildwood Gazette Leader.

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