How The Oceanfront Used To Look

How The Oceanfront Used To Look
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Motel Row developed in the mid-1950s and early 1960s in part because of the post-World War II “baby boom” and the opening of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Easier travel to the beach and the desire of young families for casual accommodations with easy parking spurred the development of the vacant land between 15 and 33rd streets. Within a decade, over 25 new motels would be built.

This circa 1960 view looks north from 15th Street. Harrison Hall (the white building in the left foreground) was the last hotel on the Boardwalk when built in 1951. Above, it shares 15th Street with the Santa Maria Motel (1956), which is bordered to the north by the Seascape (1954), which is expected to be demolished this offseason for a new Hyatt property.

Further north between the vacant lots, the Ocean Park (1955) and the Sandy Hill (1959) share the block between 17th and 18th streets. The Santa Maria, Ocean Park and Sandy Hill motels have all been replaced over the last 15 years.

Photo by F.W. Brueckmann