By Michael Hirsch
I’ve always loved manufactured diners. I started volunteering with the Doo Wop Preservation League in Wildwood, NJ, around 2000. Five years later the Doo Wop Historic Motel District was added to Preservation NJ’s most endangered list.
Then the Wildwood diner was demolished in 2006. Preservation NJ reached out to me and asked if I’d be the press contact, and in 2010 the Historic Diners of New Jersey were added to Preservation NJ’s most endangered list.
This is the closing paragraph from the listing: “PNJ encourages appreciation of New Jersey’s historic diners as representative of 20th century development, culture, and architecture throughout the state and U.S. An integral part of New Jersey’s cultural landscape and more specifically, its scenic byways such as Route 1, Route 130, and the Lincoln Highway, historic diners help tell the story of the state’s 20th century development. Increased understanding of their significance, and dedication to solutions that preserve historic diners in their original locations whenever possible, are imperative to keeping this story alive.”
The pandemic made me restless, so I took some time to create a Central Jersey Diner Tour. I’m hoping we can meet in person again someday soon for a “Pop Up” diner tour!
SCA New Jersey Diner Tour Guides
I want to dedicate this to the Wildwood Diner, lost in 2006, and to Tom’s Diner in Roxbury, lost in 2021, and its owner Tom Seretis for fighting the fight.