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Tiki Apartments, Torrance, CA (apartments)

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Name:Tiki Apartments
Street:Palos Verdes Blvd. at Calle Miramar

Located a few blocks East of the South end of Torrance Beach. This classic 60s style apartment complex has about twenty 1 & 2 bedroom units. Its well maintained with tropical landscaping along with 3 large wood tikis near the entrance. Classic tiki style lettering on the signage, and what seems to be natural gas powered torches poolside. A real gem that is worth a look.

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! :)

Hey Sven,
funny you bring this up. A guy from Nor. Cal. and I were discussing the tiki apts on a music forum, and he thought his dad had carved some of the tikis. Turns out his dad said no, but e-mailed him this.

opps the Old Man sent me this and it is a great excerpt of those
surfer dudes that have come before
so respect is a given:

(it was)Not me, it was Dirty Mike, or Tiki Mike that did those. He
was a character in El Porto. Had an old Model T truck that I
several time to move my catamaran. But, yes, He carved all those
with a chain saw. An artist in his own way, He pulled those old
trunks with that truck and then sculpted them into tikis. and then
we'd drive Sched 80 pipe thru the center with a sledge hammer. I
always thought that fibrous palm would be gone in a few years, but
still saw some of them around when I was there for my Dad's thing
Redondo HS. Amazing.

Of course, the Sched 80 pipe was req'd for the building code. I was
surprised how easy it was to pound a piece of pipe down the middle
one of those old trunks.

And it's amazing how dated those places are now. Shitload of 'em in
Torrance that Dirty Mike did and so outdated now.

writtenby: Captain W. H. Mac Faden USN Ret.

this is written with pending permission from Pops
tho he's cool
and would think it mellow to be used here
kinda neat to know

And it's amazing how dated those places are now.

Ha! Funny...so dated that their logo appears on hip Japanese T-shirts in Hawaii, nowadays!
"Dirty Mike" would probably feel the same. :)


This is great info, thanks so much for sharing it! The Tiki Apartments are certainly charming. They were within walking distance of Doctor Z's place when I was staying with him upon first moving to California, and one of the first things I did was bop over there (with Sabu as my excellent tiki tour guide). Here are some of the pictures I took (I don't have Sven's eye, unfortunately):

A few more pictures can be seen on Critiki: Tiki Apartments, Redondo Beach


That is one swank spot! I'm a bit of a fountain nut, so I'd be trying to fix that pond and the lava tiki fountain. I'd give almost anything for one of those gas torches with a face on it!

I visited here this past weekend and I'm happy to report that it's doing great. It looks essentially the same as the photos appearing earlier in this thread. There were many residents outside enjoying the pool area and there are currently no vacancies. It looks like a fun place to live.

There was definitely a waterfall/pond of some sort out front because you can even now still see the remains of it.

Of the Southern CA tiki destinations, I rate this pretty high on my list. Very cool.


Very cool.... and heartening to see it so well-maintained.


About 17 years ago my sister-in-law had an apartment here and we celebrated a few family B-Days on site. Too bad I wasn't wise to "TIKI" at the time for earlier documentation. I had taken these night time shots over the last few years. Can't remember posting them in a different topic or here and since I don't see them...


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