Wildwood Crest, New Jersey facts for kids
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Wildwood Crest, New Jersey
|Borough of Wildwood Crest|
Wildwood Crest arch
Wildwood Crest Borough highlighted in Cape May County. Inset map: Cape May County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Wildwood Crest, New Jersey
|Incorporated||April 6, 1910|
|• Type||Walsh Act|
|• Body||Board of Commissioners|
|• Total||1.48 sq mi (3.84 km2)|
|• Land||1.30 sq mi (3.36 km2)|
|• Water||0.19 sq mi (0.48 km2) 12.50%|
|Area rank||452nd of 565 in state
13th of 16 in county
|Elevation||3 ft (0.9 m)|
| • Estimate
|• Rank||442nd of 566 in state
9th of 16 in county
|• Density||2,884.0/sq mi (1,113.5/km2)|
|• Density rank||221st of 566 in state
2nd of 16 in county
|Time zone||UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))|
|GNIS feature ID||0885445|
Wildwood Crest is a borough in Cape May County, New Jersey, United States. It is part of the Ocean City Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 3,270, reflecting a decline of 710 (−17.8%) from the 3,980 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 349 (+9.6%) from the 3,631 counted in the 1990 Census.
Wildwood Crest was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 6, 1910, from portions of Lower Township. The area of the borough was first developed by Philip Baker in the 1910s as a southern extension to the resort of Wildwood. The borough's name comes from Wildwood, which in turn was named for the area's wild flowers.
It is a dry town, where alcohol cannot be sold, affirmed by the results of a referendum held in 1940. Wildwood Crest joins Cape May Point and Ocean City among municipalities in Cape May restricting the sale of alcohol. Adjoining Wildwood allows the sale of alcohol, including at bars on its boardwalk.
The borough was ranked the second-best beach in New Jersey in the 2008 Top 10 Beaches Contest sponsored by the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium. Wildwood Crest is one of five municipalities in the state that offer free public access to oceanfront beaches monitored by lifeguards, joining Atlantic City, North Wildwood, Wildwood and Upper Township's Strathmere section.
The motels of Wildwood Crest are characterized by a distinctive "Doo Wop" or Googie style of architecture. Collectively, Wildwood and Wildwood Crest contain the nation's largest collection of mid-century "Doo Wop" resort architecture.
The term "Doo Wop" was coined by the Mid-Atlantic Center For The Arts in the early 1990s to describe the unique, space-age architectural style that was common in the 1950s and 1960s. Post World War II America was an optimistic, confident, and enthusiastic society. The new age style of architecture evolved into a showcase of colorful, flashy, modernistic architecture that captured the spirit of the times; it incorporated modern, sweeping angles, bright colors, starbursts, boomerang shapes, plastic palm trees, and angular wall and roof styles. "Doo Wop" was a celebration of the architecture, design, music, and pop culture of the 1950s and 1960s. During the 1950s, the economy had grown to unprecedented levels. Americans achieved a level of prosperity they had never known before. In response to this unprecedented growth, hundreds of motels were constructed in Wildwood and Wildwood Crest with the distinct "Doo Wop" style of architecture. The first motel to reflect this style was the Ebb Tide Motel, constructed in 1957, which was designed and built by Will and Lou Morey, who specialized in such designs.
Several "Doo Wop" motels, such as the Caribbean Motel, are registered on the National Register of Historic Places. In recent years, historic "Doo Wop" motels have been demolished to make way for the construction of condominiums, leading to organized efforts to preserve the remaining examples.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 1.309 square miles (3.390 km2), including 1.134 square miles (2.937 km2) of land and 0.175 square miles (0.454 km2) of water (13.38%).
Part of the borough's beachfront has been closed off for the protection of native birds such as the piping plover. These small birds have this area all to themselves so that their eggs may be protected from beachgoers. There is a nature trail one may take through the dunes to explore this sheltered area of the beach.
Wildwood Crest and its neighboring towns of Wildwood, North Wildwood, and West Wildwood make up "The Wildwoods" resort, a popular vacation destination for those living in all parts of New Jersey as well as the Philadelphia and New York City metropolitan areas. Many vacationers and tourists have come from as far away as, New England and Canada and have made The Wildwoods a vacation hotspot, due to the area's mild summer climate. Unlike its sister communities of Wildwood and North Wildwood, Wildwood Crest is generally set apart from the all-hours excitement that the resort area is known for. Many vacationers will find some of the quietest and most undisturbed beach space.
In recent years, condominiums have replaced many of the motels the area was known for, such as The Grand, The Ocean Breeze, El Coronado, and The Arcadia. Some restaurants have been torn down and replaced with condominiums, including The Captain's Table, The Surfside, and Duffenetti's. These changes in housing have significantly changed the demographics of this area, from being a more family oriented one-vacation-per-summer place (for the middle class) to being a weekend retreat for wealthier families.
1930-1990 2000 2010
As of the census of 2010, there were 3,270 people, 1,532 households, and 918 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,884.0 per square mile (1,113.5/km2). There were 5,569 housing units at an average density of 4,911.6 per square mile (1,896.4/km2)*. The racial makeup of the borough was 93.18% (3,047) White, 1.68% (55) Black or African American, 0.15% (5) Native American, 1.01% (33) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 1.80% (59) from other races, and 2.17% (71) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.63% (184) of the population.
There were 1,532 households out of which 18.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.1% were non-families. 35.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 18.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.13 and the average family size was 2.73.
In the borough, the population was spread out with 16.6% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 19.6% from 25 to 44, 30.7% from 45 to 64, and 26.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 49.8 years. For every 100 females there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 92.9 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $46,111 (with a margin of error of +/- $13,652) and the median family income was $67,917 (+/- $15,113). Males had a median income of $49,567 (+/- $20,496) versus $54,250 (+/- $12,982) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $40,032 (+/- $8,687). About 8.1% of families and 11.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.2% of those under age 18 and 5.2% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 3,980 people, 1,833 households, and 1,114 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,453.9 people per square mile (1,336.2/km2). There were 4,862 housing units at an average density of 4,219.3 per square mile (1,632.4/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 94.87% White, 1.23% African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 2.21% from other races, and 1.11% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.22% of the population.
There were 1,833 households, out of which 20.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.7% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.2% were non-families. 34.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 18.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.76.
In the borough the population was spread out, with 18.2% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 26.6% from 45 to 64, and 25.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.4 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $36,579, and the median income for a family was $47,462. Males had a median income of $42,727 versus $27,500 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $23,741. About 4.4% of families and 6.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.1% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.
Parks and recreation
The borough is bordered on the bay side by Sunset Lake. This was once connected to the Atlantic Ocean by Turtle Gut Inlet, which was closed in 1922. The Sunset Lake and Turtle Gut Park is located at New Jersey and Miami Avenues. A nearby memorial commemorates the Battle of Turtle Gut Inlet fought on June 29, 1776. This was the only American Revolutionary War battle fought in Cape May County.
Roads and highways
The borough has a total of 31.88 miles (51.31 km) of roadways, of which 29.83 miles (48.01 km) were maintained by the municipality and 2.05 miles (3.30 km) by Cape May County.
Parking in the beach area of Wildwood Crest is regulated by parking meters between mid-May and mid-September.
NJ Transit provides bus service to Philadelphia on the 313 and 315 routes, with seasonal service to Philadelphia on the 316 route and to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan on the 319 route.
The Great American Trolley Company operates trolley service in Wildwood Crest during the summer months. The company runs a trolley route that provides service from Wildwood Crest to the boardwalk at Schellenger Avenue in Wildwood daily during the evening hours. The Great American Trolley Company also runs trolley service to the Irish Fall Festival in North Wildwood, with a route connecting Wildwood Crest to the festival site during the weekend of the festival.
- Crest Fishing Pier
- Sunset Lake
Portions of the borough—together with areas in North Wildwood, West Wildwood and Wildwood—are part of a joint Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ), one of 32 zones covering 37 municipalities statewide. The four municipalities in The Wildwoods were selected in 2002 as one of a group of three zones added to participate in the program as part of a joint zone with. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment and investment within the Zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3.3125% sales tax rate (half of the 6 5⁄8% rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants. Established in September 2002, the borough's Urban Enterprise Zone status expires in December 2023. The joint UEZ is overseen by the Enterprise Zone Development Corporation of the Wildwoods Board, which includes representatives from all four municipalities.
The Wildwood Crest School District serves public school students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade at Crest Memorial School. As of the 2019–20 school year, the district, comprised of one school, had an enrollment of 275 students and 34.4 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 8.0:1.
For ninth through twelfth grades, public school students from Wildwood Crest attend Wildwood High School in Wildwood as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Wildwood Public School District, together with students from North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest. As of the 2019–20 school year, the high school had an enrollment of 245 students and 29.9 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 8.2:1.
Students are also eligible to attend Cape May County Technical High School in the Cape May Court House area, which serves students from the entire county in its comprehensive and vocational programs, which are offered without charge to students who are county residents. Special needs students may be referred to Cape May County Special Services School District in the Cape May Court House area.
Wildwood Catholic Academy in North Wildwood (prior to 2020 it was two separate schools: Cape Trinity Catholic elementary school and Wildwood Catholic High School) operates under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden.
Cape May County Library operates the Wildwood Crest Library.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Wildwood Crest include:
- J. Thompson Baker (1847-1919), one of the original developers of Wildwood and Wildwood Crest, who was also a politician who represented New Jersey's 2nd congressional district from 1913 to 1915.
- Aliki Brandenberg (born 1929), children's literature author, was born in Wildwood Crest.
- Joe Maloy (born 1985), professional triathlete.
- Hampton Mears, scout for the Los Angeles Lakers.
- Bill Osborn (born c. 1966), football scout and color analyst who played in the National Football League, World League and the Arena Football League.
- Bernie Parent (born 1945), goalie for the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs and most notably Philadelphia Flyers where he back-stopped the team to two consecutive Stanley Cups.
- Maddie Peterson, professional surfer.
- Frank Vogel (born 1973), head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.
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