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Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

Tahitian Village, Reseda, CA (apartments)

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Name:Tahitian Village
Street:7923 Reseda Blvd

Aging apartment complex, the front gate was locked with several menacing signs. So I was unable to get a good look at the inside. However there does appear to be a pool and the appropriate fauna. I will post some pictures as a follow-up.

Here is the main entrance.

Mask off to the side.

Closer view of main entrance.


I used to live only a few blocks from there!

Nautice the NAUTICAL porthole windows!:) ..but also notice that jerry-rig patch-up job on the roof, uh oh.

Aaaaaah, the Tahitian Village apartments! Fondest memories! Possibly my first major Tiki Village discovery, it convinced me that there was more to Tiki than just a couple of Fu-joints. Here was proof that other Polynesian posadas did not only take over Tiki restaurant features like A-frames, lava rock, entrance bridges, waterfalls and Tiki torches, but did artfully embellish and re-interpret them. How did I find it? I think I had a tip, but also, by looking for tall palm trees sticking out from the urban sea of Los Angeles. They sometimes mark an uncharted Tiki island. Since they were planted in the early 60s, they are usually the tallest trees on the block:

Tahitian Village Apartments January 1992

This is one of the places I always regretted not having enough space for in the Book of Tiki (see images page 215, text 216)
But I also feel extremely fortunate to have come upon this haven before 1994, when the Northridge earthquake broke the entrance figures off their hinges and smashed them. I probably will use one of the courtyard shots in upcoming publications, but they really work best in context with the others. So here we go:

Here is the entrance with its original guardians:

And here, as pictured in the BOT, the (nautical!) bridge, and the MALE Gauguin-esque statue:

It was not in use when I found it, but apparently it used to spout water from its mouth into his HANDS, and then it flowed from there down into the pool, and under the bridge, to the FEMALE:

Now SHE had the coolest feature: Peering behind the statue, I discovered a gas line hook up ending in her OPEN HAND! Imagine, crossing between fire and water into this complex at night!

And now, behold the courtyard:

A classic Southern Californian Tiki Shangri La! A blue pool, tropical foliage with a Tiki hiding in it, carved Tiki support beams...

...and iron spear-and-shield railing ornaments!

Here's one of the beams, close. The each-door-a-different-color, Modrian-esque colorscheme was very 50s too.

And here is the exterior mask. I try to avoid contemporary cars and people in my shots, so they look more vintage, but sometimes a human being (well, my ex, in this case :wink: ) conveys the height and scale of a piece best.

I believe this edifice was built in 1962. I would love to find the architect's sketches and renderings for it, they must have had a story behind those great entrance statues, probably even names for them.


Ha, memories. I lived in the Tahitian Village from 1989 to late 1993. In fact, when the Northridge earthquake occurred half my friends thought i still lived there. One friend was an insurance adjuster and had work in the area and took pics right of the entrance after the big quake. I was saddened to see that the idols were damaged but glad to hear that overall the place didn't do too badly. The places next door had major structural damage. Right now, it looks like the place is not being kept up though. I haven't been back to the old neighborhood since I moved.

It was a great place to live, it was kept up very nicely. The pool was cleaned regularly, any problems were fixed right away, everyone was really friendly. Sometimes too friendly because a prostitution ring was supposedly busted in one of the first floor apartments.

Whenever I had a date coming to pick me up, I told them to look for the place that looked like Gilligan's Island and they always knew exactly which apartment complex was mine. It really stood out next to the box-like apartment complexes surrounding it.

Thanks for posting the pics of before and after. I was just googling the address to see what I could find.

I spent a good amount of time at the Tahitian Village Apartments yesterday. A lot has changed since Sven took those photos, but it's still pretty darn nice. There were so many tikis, I ended up taking about 90 pictures.

The sign has changed.

The entryway.

Just inside the front gate.

Around the pool.

It was tough getting a shot of the mask. I think the palms need a trim.

It's too bad they had to "whitewash" the place with those oh-so-boring color combos. I really liked the different colored doors and more vibrant hues. And boo for that boring sign as well. Hey, at least they haven't painted the support pillars in Native American Totem colors (yet). Very cool structure. I really wish that architectural style would have caught on up here in the Seattle area. Our buildings are SOOOOOO dull (oh, except the soon-to-be-demolished Mannings/Dennys).

Hiltiki and I revisited the Tahitian today. We spoke to the manager who informed us that many of the free-standing interior tikis had been stolen. Apparently, this is the only remaining tiki. The manager indicated that they were going to cement him down soon.

We did notice that the doors had been painted in vibrant colors and were happy to see that the apartments have been well maintained.

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