We toured The Wildwoods, New Jersey— including Wildwood, Wildwood Crest, and North Wildwood! The Conference celebrated the organization’s 35th anniversary at the site of the largest concentration of mid-century resort architecture in the U.S. The conference also highlighted transportation’s impact on the growth of tourism in coastal New Jersey.
Limited edition commemorative t-shirts are still available in our store!
Wednesday, September 26 • 7 – 9 p.m.
Opening reception at the Starlux Astro Lounge
Our first event takes place at the Starlux Hotel, which has been described as a “twenty-first- century interpretation of the 1950s.” A welcome reception will be held in the Jetsonian-style Astro Lounge, where hors d’oeuvres and adult beverages will be served. Special guests include Jack Morey, founder of the Doo Wop Preservation League, and some of the owners of other Doo Wop motels that we will visit during the weekend.
Thursday, September 27 • 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Ultra-Deluxe Wildwoods Doo Wop Tour & Dinner at Vegas Diner: Combining short bus shuttles, photo stops, and walking loops, Doo Wop field trippers will be given an up-close look at the commercial architecture of the Wildwoods.
The first tour will begin at the Doo Wop Experience and Neon Sign Garden, which celebrates architecture, design, music, pop culture and everything else that made the Wildwoods famous. The building serves as the headquarters for the Doo Wop Preservation League and was the former Surfside Diner, built in 1963. We will explore dozens of the more than 100 Doo Wop motels listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places, including the National Register-listed Caribbean and Chateau Bleu Motels, the Singapore and Ocean View motels, and many more. Participants will enjoy lunch on your own along the world famous Wildwood Boardwalk. We’ll continue our tour of the Doo Wop Historic District in the afternoon, with many special stops for discussions and photo ops. The tour includes dinner at the Vegas Diner and Restaurant in North Wildwood and dessert at Cool Scoops Ice Cream Parlor. On the drive back to the Shalimar, we’ll check out the neon along the way.
Friday, September 28
Symposium and Paper session
The heart of any SCA conference is the morning and afternoon papers presentations, SCA membership meeting, and “five-minute stories”—an SCA tradition where members can share short presentations on favorite topics or interests. We’ll have a list for you to sign up that day! A poolside 50s-inspired lunch and 35th anniversary toast are included.
All activities will be held at the Shalimar.
The Attractions of Youth
Rick Kilby, “Finding the Fountains of Youth: Florida’s Magic Waters as Roadside Attraction”
Peter Glaser, “Quintland: The Dionne Quintuplets and the Commodity of Hope”
Understanding the Roadside as Cultural Landscape
Mary Cirbus, “Highway Hodgepodge: The Route 1 Corridor in Saugus, Massachusetts”
Christine Henry, “A Need for Speed: The Cultural Landscape of Stock Car Racetracks”
Catalyzing Tourism on the Roadside
Denise P. Messick, “Peanuts, Coca-Cola, and Tourism: The Story of Georgia’s First Highway Welcome Centers”
Douglas Towne, “Shenanigans on the Sunkist Trail”
Viewing the Wildwoods Through a Different Lens: Commerce and Photography
Anita Hirsch, “A Supermarket History of the Wildwoods, or, The Doo-Wop Acme”
Robert Williams, “Photography, Preservation, and the Wildwoods”
Annual Meeting, 35th Anniversary Observances, and 5-Minute Stories
Book signing reception, The Shalimar
To mark the SCA’s 35th anniversary, we invite participants to share their books, other publica- tions, and roadside-related wares at an informal reception where we’ll make space available for direct sales to conference attendees.
Saturday, September 29 • 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.
The Jersey Shore Tour: this expedition along the barrier islands and offshore Pinelands examines the evolution of the Jersey seashore resort, and the railroads, highways and byways – including Ocean Drive, the White Horse Pike, the Black Horse Pike, and Coastal New Jersey Heritage Byways – that have been taking tourists there for the last 150 years.
Our second bus tour offers another fun-filled day including our closing dinner. (Note that the tour buses will not be returning to the hotel before dinner.) We’ll travel to Atlantic City to vis- it iconic Lucy the Elephant in Margate (a National Historic Landmark) and Marven Gardens Historic District (of Monopoly fame). We will enjoy a picnic lunch of Italian sub sandwiches from Atlantic City’s famed White House Sub Shop and then will make our way to see the start of U.S. Route 40 and historic roads, including the Black Horse and White Horse Pikes. By late afternoon we’ll reach Cape May, which is known as the “Nation’s Oldest Seashore Resort,” and where late 19th-century grand hotels and houses, built to serve tourists arriving by rail, offer a striking contrast to the car-oriented mid-20th-century motels of the Wildwoods. Participants will have time to explore Cape May’s National Historic Landmark district by foot. Dinner will be held at the famous Menz Restaurant, featuring an eclectic display of taxidermy oddities, oversized plaster figurines, and other collectibles. We will return to the hotel by 10 p.m., marking the official end to the conference.