Mesmerizing Motels of the Atomic Age

Mark Havens spent his childhood exploring the Jersey Shore's kitschy jewel: Wildwood. Once home to the country's largest concentration of midcentury hotel architecture, the barrier island's distinctive plastic-palm facade has given way to modern condominium development. “As motel after motel was demolished, I gradually began to realize that some part of myself was being destroyed as well,” Havens said. He started photographing the tourist destination nearly 10 years ago, capturing the kidney-shaped pools, the looping neon signs, and the barrage of faded colors before they were gone. The images have been collected for his book, Out of Season,  published this month.

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