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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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July 1, 2005

Contact: Katie Smith
(609) 984-1795


(05/91) TRENTON -- New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced that the Caribbean Motel, located in Wildwood Crest in Cape May County, was added to the New Jersey Register of Historic Places. The motel’s inclusion on the Register is part of Acting Governor Richard J. Codey’s “Coast 2005” Initiative to preserve the Jersey Shore’s natural and historic resources and the character of Shore communities.

“The Jersey Shore is one of our greatest natural resources and most important economic engines,” Governor Codey said. “Listing the Caribbean Motel reaffirms the commitments made in the coastal initiative to improve the Jersey Shore experience for future generations.”

“Sites such as the Caribbean Motel have contributed greatly to the tradition of fun and style that attracts visitors to the Jersey Shore year after year,” said Commissioner Campbell. “Preserving the architectural integrity of this historic area is necessary for maintaining the landscape and the character of the Wildwood Crest community.”

The Caribbean Motel was built in 1956 as one of the “Doo Wop” style motels popular in the Wildwoods during the post-World War II era. The design incorporated ultra-modern architectural elements like a futuristic "levitating" ramp, canted glass walls, and recessed "spaceship" lights along with "exotic" landscaping and thematic decoration. These design elements provided a vacation destination that indulged the 1950s fantasy of tropical paradise despite the economic constraints typical of post-War times. This combination of attraction and affordability triggered the development of the Jersey Shore as a popular resort destination.

The New Jersey Register of Historic Places is a list of properties and areas worthy of preservation for their historical, architectural, cultural or archaeological significance. New Jersey Register sites have some measure of protection from state, county or municipal undertakings. The New Jersey Register is administered by the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office, which is a subset of the Division of Natural and Historic Resources within DEP.

Commissioner Campbell will also recommend that the property be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The nomination will be sent to the National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior to be considered for National Register listing. The National Register listing offers a measure of protection from federally sponsored or assisted undertakings.



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