Wildwood Crest, New Jersey
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, 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
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||April 6, 1910|
|• Type||Walsh Act|
|• Body||Board of Commissioners|
|• Mayor||Donald Cabrera (term ends December 31, 2021)|
|• Municipal clerk||Patricia A. Feketic|
|• Total||1.309 sq mi (3.390 km2)|
|• Land||1.134 sq mi (2.937 km2)|
|• Water||0.175 sq mi (0.454 km2) 13.38%|
|Area rank||470th of 566 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-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern (EDT))|
|GNIS feature ID||0885445|
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, joining 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 2010 United States Census, there were 3,270 people, 1,532 households, and 917.668 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 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 older 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.
During the summer months, frequent episodes of high humidity occur. Occasionally, heat index values exceed 95 °F (35 °C). During most summer afternoons, a sea breeze dominates the coastline keeping high temperatures several degrees cooler compared to areas farther inland. During most nights, relatively mild ocean waters keep the coastline several degrees warmer than areas farther inland. On average, July is the annual peak for thunderstorm activity. During the winter months, wind chill values occasionally fall below 0 °F (-18 °C). On average, the snowiest month of the year is February which corresponds with the annual peak for nor'easter activity.
|Climate data for Wildwood Crest Beach, New Jersey (1981 – 2010 averages).|
|Average high °F (°C)||41.9
|Average low °F (°C)||27.9
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.36
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||4.3
|Climate data for Atlantic City, New Jersey (Ocean Water Temperature).|
|Daily mean °F (°C)||37
|Source: NOAA |
Portions of Wildwood Crest are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone in The Wildwoods. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the Zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3½% sales tax rate (half the 7% rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants.
Parks and recreationEdit
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.
Wildwood Crest has been governed under the Walsh Act, by a three-member commission, since 1937. All three commissioners are elected at-large on a nonpartisan basis to serve concurrent four-year terms of office, with the vote taking place as part of the November general election. At a reorganization conducted after each election, the commission selects one of its members to serve as mayor and gives each commissioner an assigned department to oversee and operate. As part of an effort to reduce the costs of conducting a standalone election for commissioners and to generate greater participation from voters, the election for borough commissioners was shifted from May to November by an ordinance passed in 2012, with the first November election held in 2013.
As of 2018[update], the Board of Commissioners consists of Mayor Don Cabrera (Commissioner of Public Works, Parks and Public Property), Deputy Mayor Joyce Gould (Commissioner of Revenue and Finance) and David C. Thompson (Commissioner of Public Safety), whose terms of office all end on December 31, 2021.
Federal, state and county representationEdit
For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Second Congressional District is represented by Jeff Van Drew (D, Dennis Township). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (Paramus, term ends 2025).
For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 1st Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Jeff Van Drew (D, Dennis Township) and in the General Assembly by Bob Andrzejczak (D, Middle Township) and R. Bruce Land (D, Vineland). The Governor of New Jersey is Phil Murphy (D, Middletown Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Sheila Oliver (D, East Orange).
Cape May County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders consisting of five members, elected at-large in partisan elections to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with one or two seats coming up for election each year; At an annual reorganization held each January, the freeholders select one member to serve as Director and another to serve as Vice-Director. As of 2018[update], Cape May County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton (Republican Party, Cape May Court House in Middle Township; term as freeholder expires December 31, 2019, term as freeholder director ends 2018), Freeholder Vice-Director Leonard C. Desiderio (R, Sea Isle City; term as freeholder and as freeholder vice-director ends 2018), E. Marie Hayes (R, Ocean City; 2019), Will Morey (R, Wildwood Crest; 2020) and Jeffrey L. Pierson (R. Upper Township; 2020). The county's constitutional officers are County Clerk Rita Marie Fulginiti (R, 2020, Ocean City), Sheriff Robert Nolan (R, 2020, Lower Township) and Surrogate Dean Marcolongo (R, 2022, Upper Township).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 2,341 registered voters in Wildwood Crest, of which 436 (18.6%) were registered as Democrats, 1,052 (44.9%) were registered as Republicans and 850 (36.3%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 3 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 61.1% of the vote (1,046 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 38.5% (659 votes), and other candidates with 0.4% (6 votes), among the 1,724 ballots cast by the borough's 2,419 registered voters (13 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 71.3%. In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 59.2% of the vote (1,090 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama, who received 39.6% (729 votes), with 1,842 ballots cast among the borough's 2,319 registered voters, for a turnout of 79.4%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 60.4% of the vote (1,203 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry, who received around 38.4% (766 votes), with 1,993 ballots cast among the borough's 2,644 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 75.4.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 77.4% of the vote (920 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 20.9% (249 votes), and other candidates with 1.7% (20 votes), among the 1,233 ballots cast by the borough's 2,410 registered voters (44 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 51.2%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 60.8% of the vote (806 ballots cast), ahead of both Democrat Jon Corzine with 32.9% (436 votes) and Independent Chris Daggett with 4.5% (59 votes), with 1,325 ballots cast among the borough's 2,448 registered voters, yielding a 54.1% turnout.
The Wildwood Crest School District serves public school students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade at Crest Memorial School. As of the 2014-15 school year, the district and its one school had an enrollment of 322 students and 31.2 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.3:1.
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 2014-15 school year, the high school had an enrollment of 252 students and 38.6 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 6.5:1.
Students from Wildwood Crest, and all of Cape May, also have the option of attending Cape May County Technical High School in the Cape May Court House section of Middle Township, which offers vocational education to students from across the county as part of the Cape May County Technical School District.
Roads and highwaysEdit
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.
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
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.
- Lois Lombardo.
- 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 Orlando Magic. Vogel has also been with the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and Washington Wizards.
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- 2012 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, March 2013, p. 8.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Borough of Wildwood Crest, Geographic Names Information System. Accessed March 14, 2013.
- DP-1 - Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 for Wildwood Crest borough, Cape May County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed July 24, 2012.
- Municipalities Grouped by 2011-2020 Legislative Districts, New Jersey Department of State, p. 1. Accessed January 6, 2013.
- Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2010 for Wildwood Crest borough, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Accessed July 24, 2012.
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- Strauss, Robert. "Real Estate; Save Our Mansion", The New York Times, December 5, 2004. Accessed August 7, 2018. "So far, Wildwood Crest, founded and developed by Philip Baker in the 1910s, at the same time the house was built, has eluded much of the tear-down syndrome."
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- Giordano, Rita. "More towns catching liquor-license buzz; Moorestown considers ending its dry spell", The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 24, 2007. Accessed February 16, 2014.
- Schaad Jr., Jacob. "Bizarre History of Cape May - Wet or dry?", The Cape May Gazette, October 30, 2013. Accessed November 11, 2013. "Wildwood Crest, Ocean City, West Cape May and Cape May Point have opted to stay dry while the 12 other communities in the county still permit their people to lift a few."
- Hart, Joe. "Boardwalk Alcohol Gets First Nod in Wildwood", Cape May County Herald, March 23, 2010. Accessed October 16, 2017. "Wildwood Crest is a dry town, thus no alcoholic beverages can be sold."
- Urgo, Jacqueline L. "Triumph for South Jersey", The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 23, 2008. Accessed October 29, 2015. "Neighboring Wildwood Crest came in second, followed by Ocean City, North Wildwood, Cape May, Asbury Park in Monmouth County, Avalon, Point Pleasant Beach in northern Ocean County, Beach Haven in southern Ocean County and Stone Harbor."
- Spoto, MaryAnn. "Surfers fighting to save dwindling free beaches", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, May 20, 2015. Accessed October 30, 2015. "New Jersey has five free guarded ocean beaches – Atlantic City, Wildwood, North Wildwood, Wildwood Crest and the Strathmere section of Upper Township."
- The "Doo Wop" Architecture of Wildwood Crest, Wildwood Crest Historical Society. Accessed December 7, 2015. "The first motel to reflect this style in Wildwood Crest was the Ebb Tide Motel at 5711 Atlantic Avenue, built in 1957."
- "The Origins of Wildwood's Fabulous Doo Wop", Doo Wop Preservation League. Accessed December 7, 2015.
- Gilfillian, Trudi. "Once in jeopardy, Wildwood's 1950s doo-wop buildings now imitated", The Press of Atlantic City, July 24, 2014. Accessed December 7, 2015. "Tim Maher knew the doo-wop motels of the Wildwoods were in trouble. A booming real estate market meant the island's 1950s and 1960s-era properties were being torn down and replaced with rows of very un-doo-wop, very profitable condominiums."
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- Geographic & Urban Redevelopment Tax Credit Programs: Urban Enterprise Zone Employee Tax Credit, State of New Jersey, backed up by the Internet Archive as of May 25, 2009. Accessed September 4, 2011.
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- Staff. "Doo Wop sings the blues; They twisted and shouted, and rocked around the clock in the southern tip of New Jersey before they did it anywhere else. And, once the sun slips below the horizon, there's enough neon to set your eyes ablaze if you stare at it too long.", Montreal Gazette, October 21, 2006. Accessed November 11, 2013. "But Miller and Caroline Emigh have gone the opposite way. Two years ago the Washington, D.C., natives bought the 30-room Caribbean, built in 1956 and one of the finest examples of Doo Wop architecture remaining in the Wildwoods area. They have succeeded in getting the property placed on the national historic registry."
- The Battle of Turtle Gut Inlet, Wildwood Crest Historical Society. Accessed November 11, 2013.
- "The Commission Form of Municipal Government", p. 53. Accessed June 3, 2015.
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- Gilfillian, Trudi. "Three incumbents seek re-election in Wildwood Crest", The Press of Atlantic City, October 15, 2013. Accessed November 11, 2013. "Borough voters will choose their next commissioners in just three weeks, a switch from the May elections that had been in place for decades. Like many New Jersey towns, the borough opted to switch the quadrennial elections, passing an ordinance in 2012. The move was designed to save money - the last May election in 2009 cost $20,000 - and increase voter turnout."
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- Cape May County School Directory, Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden. Accessed September 4, 2011.
- Cape May County Mileage by Municipality and Jurisdiction, New Jersey Department of Transportation, May 2010. Accessed November 11, 2013.
- Cape May County Route 621 Straight Line Diagram, New Jersey Department of Transportation, August 1999. Accessed November 11, 2013.
- "Wildwood Crest Parking Meter Information" (PDF). Borough of Wildwood Crest. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- Cape May County Bus / Rail Connections, NJ Transit, backed up by the Internet Archive as of May 22, 2009. Accessed November 11, 2013.
- South Jersey Transit Guide, Cross County Connection, as of April 1, 2010. Accessed September 2, 2014.
- "Wildwoods Boardwalk Trolleys". Great American Trolley Company. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
- "Irish Fall Festival". Great American Trolley Company. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
- History of Wildwood Crest, NJ, VisitNJShore.com. Accessed October 29, 2015. "They were both taken with the large beaches and beautiful wilderness, and, in 1895, they joined with their brother J Thompson Baker to form the Wildwood Beach Improvement Company.... The Wildwood borough expanded quickly and was very successful, so the Baker brothers decided to expand their development to the land south of the borough. This land would later become Wildwood Crest, and was an unspoiled wilderness of dense thickets and sand dunes."
- Picture Books Author of the Month: Aliki, Greenville Public Library. Accessed May 1, 2008.
- Joe Maloy, USA Triathlon. Accessed June 27, 2017.
- Hilt, Ed. "NBA Covers Tourney", The Press of Atlantic City, December 18, 1993. Accessed August 5, 2007. "Said Lakers scout Hampton Mears, who lives in Wildwood Crest and covers part of the East Coast..."
- via Associated Press. "Pittsburgh's Osborn Plays Three Sports", Los Angeles Times, May 31, 1987. Accessed August 10, 2016. "His friends call the Wildwood Crest, N.J., native 'The Wizard of Oz.'... Osborn won 11 varsity letters at Wildwood High before being recruited by former Pitt football coach Foge Fazio."
- Brooks, Melissa. "Hall of Famer Bernie Parent's locker a GNPAL raffle prize", The Times Herald, September 5, 2010. Accessed October 31, 2015. "When retrieving his locker from the Spectrum with business manager and friend Dean Smith, Parent, who lives in Wildwood Crest most of the year, was hit with emotions."
- Melhorn, Mark. "Wildwood Crest surfer Maddie Peterson advances in World Junior Championships", The Press of Atlantic City, January 6, 2017. Accessed June 27, 2017.
- Staff. "Wildwood High School graduate Frank Vogel promoted to interim head coach of Indiana Pacers", The Press of Atlantic City, January 30, 2011. Accessed January 30, 2011. "Wildwood Crest native Frank Vogel took over as interim head coach of the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, after the team fired Jim O'Brien. Vogel, a 1991 Wildwood High School graduate who was promoted from assistant coach, will take over for the rest of the season."
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wildwood Crest, New Jersey.|
- Wildwood Crest homepage
- Crest Memorial School
- Crest Memorial School's 2015–16 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- School Data for the Crest Memorial School, National Center for Education Statistics
- Wildwood Crest history
|Beaches of New Jersey||Succeeded by|