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. [20 photos total]

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1
The pool deck of the Blue Marlin Motel, built in 1962, pictured in 2005 (Mark Havens) #
2
The Sans Souci Motel, photographed here in 2006, was meant to appeal to French Canadians vacationing in Wildwood, according to the book. In French, sans souci translates to “no worries.” (Mark Havens) #
3
The colorful doors of the Rus Mar Motel are pictured in 2007. (Mark Havens) #
4
A pirate statue stands atop the Jolly Roger in 2007. The motel was built in 1960. (Mark Havens) #
5
Two chairs and an ashtray: the standard features outside each room at many of Wildwood’s motels. Here, the trappings are photographed in 2004 at the Crystal Sands. (Mark Havens) #
6
Left: The shuffleboard court at the Ocean Sands Motel, photographed in 2006 Right: Poolside at the Mango Motel, photographed in 2005 (Mark Havens) #
7
The green wall of the Lurae Motel, photographed in 2006. The Lurae has since been demolished. (Mark Havens) #
8
Photographed in 2007, The Chateau Bleu Motel features the swooping arches and arresting shapes that characterize classic midcentury modern design. (Mark Havens) #
9
The concrete sundeck of the beachfront Oceanview Motel, shot in 2005 (Mark Havens) #
10
This photograph of the Caribbean, shot in 2007, showcases the distinctive curved ramp leading to the motel's second level. (Mark Havens) #
11
The vibrant colors of the Hialeah, photographed in 2006. This motel was demolished several months later. (Mark Havens) #
12
The Tropicana Motel, photographed in 2008. (Mark Havens) #
13
The beachfront Swan Motel, with its freestanding neon sign, was built in 1957. Havens photographed it just days before it was demolished in 2005. (Mark Havens) #
14
Havens photographed the Satellite Motel, built in 1958, in 2004, the year it was demolished. (Mark Havens) #
15
A solitary pilapa on the sundeck of the Waikiki Inn. Photographed in 2007, the Waikiki is one of many motels in the Wildwoods to draw on Polynesian themes. (Mark Havens) #
16
Left: Photographed in 2007, the whimsical sign of the Lollipop Motel in North Wildwood has been a beacon to guests since 1959. Right: Many Wildwood motels took their names from exotic vacation locales like the Isle of Capri, photographed in 2006. (Mark Havens) #
17
The hippo and giraffe figures on the miniature golf course at the Compass Motel, pictured in 2008, are wrapped in plastic and duct tape at the end of the season to protect them from the harsh winter ahead. (Mark Havens) #
18
Like many of Wildwood's motels, the pool area of the Bel Air is adorned with faux palm trees. It is pictured in 2007. (Mark Havens) #
19
The distinctive bowed railings and flagcrete pillars of the Trylon Motel in North Wildwood are pictured in 2008. (Mark Havens) #
20
Built in 1954, the Breezy Corner was one of the oldest motels on the island. Havens photographed it in 2004, the year it was demolished. (Mark Havens) #

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