Wildwood is a small barrier island at the tip of southern New Jersey. Through an improbable combination of economics, geography, and chance, it contains a national treasure: the highest concentration of mid-century modern hospitality architecture in the United States.

A short 3-month tourist season combined with a working-class veneer resulted in Wildwood’s motels remaining virtually unchanged—frozen in time—for over 40 years. More recently, over half of Wildwood’s motels have been demolished. For those that remain, the future is in doubt.

These photos offer a memorial to a time, and to summers, gone by.

—Mark Havens