Tyler Haughey is an professional American photographer who was born in 1988 in Ocean Township, NJ and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Tyler received his Bachelor of Science in Photography and Art History from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. For his series “Ebb Tide”, Haughey documents the motels of Wildwood, New Jersey on the off-season.
The Wildwoods, a group of small shore towns situated on a five-mile-long barrier island along the southern New Jersey coastline, are home to one of the most important architectural collections of the 20th century. They contain a trove of midcentury modern motels that make up the largest concentration of postwar resort architecture in the United States. They remain fully functioning and virtually unchanged since their original construction, in many cases over fifty years ago.
Adopting a spare aesthetic and using contemporary materials such as poured concrete and glass, the motels brought European high modernism to America’s middle class. Applying the idea of the “decorated shed”, a term coined by renowned postmodern architects Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Steve Izenour in their seminal 1972 book Learning from Las Vegas, each motel relies on unique architectural features and symbolic ornament to form its own identity and set itself apart from the others nearby. Infused with space-age optimism and experimentation, and utilizing the iconography of faraway, exotic destinations, these structures represent the way American families vacationed during the postwar era.