Steven Izenour, AIA (1940 - 2001)
A renowned architect, urban planner and pop culture historian, Steve Izenour was regarded as the "great validator" of the Doo Wop movement in The Wildwoods, and led the architectural studies of the island in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania, Yale, and Kent State universities in the late 1990s, inspiring the Doo Wop movement that has come to define the Wildwoods today.
Izenour was a principal with Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates (VSBA) since 1969. He was an active participant in all architectural and urban design projects and played a leading role in the programming and schematic design phases of most of the firm's major architectural projects. He earned a substantial repuatation for combining outstanding design ability and expertise in communication technologies with a special sensitivity to their use in environmental and historical contexts. These skills have been an important component of VSBA's award-winning urban design and historic district projects.
According to a 2002 article by Melissa Milgrom in Metropolis Magazine, "Izenour spent years studying the idiosyncratic charms of this town [The Wildwoods] on a barrier island just north of Cape May: its nonarchitect-designed motels, its brash neon signs, and especially its autostrip. His "Learning from the Wildwoods" architecture studios at Yale, University of Pennsylvania, and Kent State brought national attention to this town that time forgot and helped legitimize a mom-and-pop movement to promote tourism without selling out to Disney."
"Without Izenour's interest in our resort, it is entirely possible that the theme with which the Wildwoods are now most commonly recognized--Doo Wop--would have been perceived as nothing more than a collection of aging plastic palm trees and outdated buildings," wrote Jeannine Yecco of the Wildwood Gazette Leader.