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Tiki Central / Locating Tiki / Tiki Apartments, Torrance, CA (apartments)

Post #284481 by bigbrotiki on Fri, Feb 9, 2007 1:44 PM

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One of my Southland faves, it is good to hear it is still around. Documented on page 221 in the Book of Tiki (and 150/153 in Tiki Style). In fact I love this place so much, I feel compelled to share some additional photos and research (for which there was no room in the BOT) with the brethren. I shot the sh*t out of this site, as they say:

This is a wide angle of the Tiki's yellow mosaic tiled front, with the support Tikis visible

My favorite of the support Tikis, the Teddy Bear Tiki

In front of those support Tikis must have been a pond at some time, because this lava rock was a waterfall fountain with THREE Tiki faces carved into it (only two visible, the second on the lower right)

A close up of one of the two gas Tiki torches in the courtyard, by the pool

A wacky courtyard Tiki hidden behind a plant. The weird, modernist shape of the mouth reminded me of this sad survivor at the Hawaiian Motel on La Brea Avenue:

Their unusual mouth shape identifies the source of the Tiki Apts carvings: Local Southland carver Mike Gildea and friends:

Apparently. Mike learned carving Tikis from this man, known as Trader Luke:

Then he and his wife then started their own business, and in the early 60s were joined by two more beach kids.

Somebody should dig these folks up, judging by their age then, the Gildeas should still be around.

Last not least, the cool font on the apartment front was apparently swiped (from page 23 of the BOT) for this popular T-shirt design, availble at Crazy Shirts in Hawaii:

Phew, that's all, folks! :)