Wildwood is a small barrier island at the tip of southern New Jersey. Through an improbable combination of economics, geography and chance, it harbors an architectural treasure: the highest concentration of mid-century modern motels in the United States.
Dependent largely on working-class tourism, Wildwood’s motels remained virtually unchanged – frozen in time – for over 50 years. But a large number have been demolished in recent years and for those that remain, the future is in doubt.
For ten years, I’ve documented these vanishing buildings and the eradication of an idealized past in Wildwood. A number of the motels were photographed at the end of their last season, just prior to demolition. Though the lights were still on and the pools still full, there would be no more guests, no more summers. The season is over forever.
About Mark Havens
Mark Havens is a Philadelphia-based artist whose work has been published and exhibited internationally. Reviews of his work have appeared in publications from The New York Times to The Paris Review as well as in such venues as Lensculture, Flak Photo, Curated and Tiragraffi. In addition to his studio practice, Mark is a professor at Philadelphia University. [Official Website]
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