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Tiki Central Forums » » General Tiki » » 1958 pics Waikikian / Tahitian Lanai
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1958 pics Waikikian / Tahitian Lanai
Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Central Poet Laureate

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2792
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2006-04-17 12:13 pm   Permalink

Thanks aquarj & bigbro for the historical updates. Here's another old photo to add to the archive:



Sabu
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Humuhumu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3619
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2006-05-01 12:16 am   Permalink

This Tahitian Lanai napkin is one of the more favorite items in my collection:



I'm really into the hand lettering used for old logos. These days, computers are almost always used in place of handcrafted work when creating logos like this. Today, this logo would probably be full of identical "A"s, "I"s, "T"s, "e"s and "a"s, and it while it would look "perfect," it would look relatively soulless. This is such a beautiful example of how just a small amount of handcrafting makes a huge difference -- not everything is better when done by computer.

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Humuhumu
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Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3619
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2006-07-10 12:37 pm   Permalink

We found this great postcard from the Waikikian yesterday, it has a nice view of the iconic lobby. It has no date on it, so it's a bit hard to peg. The cars in the lot can probably be dated right away by some of you lovely gearheads (how would we date our postcards without you?), but the way the photo has been cut into a picture of a sunset makes me wonder if the postcard is not as old as the photo.



As lovely a view as that is, the back is even better. It appears to have been used by someone as part of some sort of trip diary, rather than being mailed. The upper left corner has a numeral "2", as if it was one in a series describing her trip. I get the feeling reading it that she's trying hard to not have fun in paradise, but Hawaii is getting the best of her. It makes for much more interesting reading than the nearly-ubiquitous "the weather is great, having the time of our lives, don't want to come home!" stuff you typically see on the back of Hawaii postcards.



Here's my effort at transcription:
Quote:
2/ And here is the Waikikian - built like the prow of a nature ship - where I spend my final week in a "jungle suite" + my "half gone native" room mate with her Hawaiian boyfriend hovering. Now that I've moved to the centre of tourist activity "on the strip" I begin to be glad of the Waikikian week - believe it is rightfully the best surviving proponent of old Hawaiian hospitality - despite the bell boys who persistently put an arm across my shoulder + an obsequious manager who persisted in addressing me as Miss Jones! The "Jungle" tapers off to a bay lost beyond this picture - to the right beyond the glaring electric sign. Lobby illumination so "full of atmosphere" too dim to even read newspaper headlines.



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GatorRob
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Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1770
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2006-07-10 3:29 pm   Permalink

It must be fairly old. These days, most people don't have the language skills to use a word like "obsequious".

 
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LowKat
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 26, 2006
Posts: 24
From: Oregon
Posted: 2006-07-21 3:59 pm   Permalink

OK, this is a long post but the Waikikian / Tahitian Lanai holds a special place in my and Mrs. LowKat's hearts.

We spent a two week honeymoon at the Waikikian in November of 1973, then a 2nd honeymoon there in 1990. We had planed on celebrating our 30th anniversary at the Waikikian but discovered the closure so stayed in Maui again. We did book a couple nights at the Royal Hawaiian for nostalgia purposes but it just didn't have the romanticism the Waikikian offered so haven't been back to Ohau since.

For our 1973 trip we were 19 years old but looked like we were 15 or 16. The legal drinking age was 18 so some of the trip is a blur thanks to abundant Mai Tais, Chi Chis, Daiquiris and Pina Coladas. One night at Trader Vic's and too many Fogcutters later had me spending an hour or more talking to the caged macaw parrots outside near the door.

We stayed in the two story garden section of the Waikikian and every night would receive a Hawaiian serenade from the strolling muscians if we were in our room at the correct time. The maid would come in sometime during the day and fold the bed back then place an Orchid flower on each pillow. It was the most beautifully amazing place I'd ever seen, heard or smelled. Being from Oregon I was amazed with no windows in the room, only shutters on the openings.

We'd hit the Tahitian Lanai almost every morning for breakfast by the pool. Then we'd spend the day doing tourist stuff and come back to the hotel to get cleaned up for some night life. Also spent a few nights at the Tahitian Lanai and became the center of attention for the locals since we were such young honeymooners.

Hawaii became a part of us then. The culture, music, food and people make me think I was born wrong. Should have just moved to there in '73 when we talked about it then. Still talking about it now but looking at the Big Island.

Since I learned the fate of the Waikikian 2002 I began looking for memorabilia while on vacation in Hawaii. I've scored a few goodies including a Hawaiian shirt but I don't have an uploaded photo of it.





A few more notes about our 1973 trip:

The legal age for renting a car was 21 so we had to find a rent-a-wreck. Our rented wreck was a Mercury Comet that had 4 missmatched tires, no hubcaps, no air conditioning, a flapping headliner and had severe wobbles if you went over 51 miles per hour. (I think that was the "locals" speed governor)

One day we traveled to the North Shore for the "Smirinoff"?? surfing championships and being stupid tourists, stashed all of our cash in the car's trunk. You can guess what happened. I'm sure 'da local boys partied hardy later. Luckily I'd kept 20 bucks in my pocket. We had Thanksgiving dinner that night at Kobe's Japanese Steak House and the bill was $18.

The next day we had wired money "wired" to us. We took the money order to the Bank of Honolulu but it had come in my wife's new married name (because I thought it would be cool) and she didn't have any identification to support that. We explained this to the bank teller but she still turned us down. On the way out, we stopped in the lobby to figure out what to do. Then I noticed the building directory and the bank President's location on an upper floor. Up we went to the President's office but were stopped by his secretary. As luck or loudness had it, the President came walking out and wanted to know what the problem was. He told us to ride the elevator down to the bank with him. Then wanted me to point out the teller and told me to go to her window. After chewing her butt in front of everyone he stood behind her while she cashed the money order.

A couple days later we were standing close to the boats that shuttle out to the Arizona Memorial trying to figure if it was in our budget to visit. Well, we couldn't afford it and started to walk away when the "Captain" asked if we were going. I said "no money" and he says in his best Pidgin "Dis tine iz free"

I'm gonna have to look for the old photos from that trip. I do remember seeing one with a windsurfer. Photo was titled on the back with "Skiing with sails on a surfboard"

*EDIT* Mrs LowKat just reminded me that about the 3rd or 4th day of our stay at the Waikikian we were left a note in our room to check with the front desk. When I went up to the desk they asked "how would you be paying for your stay?" so I said "I'll pay for the previous days and the rest of the time in cash" The clerk then told me "a couple days of advance payment would be fine" I inisisted on paying for the entire stay and it was a good thing because it was the day before our car was broken into.

[ This Message was edited by: LowKat 2006-07-22 14:39 ]


 
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PremEx
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 23, 2006
Posts: 290
From: Houston, Texas
Posted: 2006-08-24 1:57 pm   Permalink

(Arriving late to this thread as I just found it during a Don The Beachcomber's Search)

Quote:
Posted: 2003-04-22 16:53

I remember being at a place that I think was called Davy Jone's Locker in Honolulu when I was a kid. I remember being on the second floor eating lunch and that the floor was covered in peanut shells(which I thought was pretty cool). Am I remembering the name of the place correctly, anyone? Does this vague description sound about right.



There was another "Davy Jones" in Waikiki that was mainly a rib joint. But if you were in the infamous "Davy Jones Locker"...I think you'd remember it for another reason.

Davy Jones Locker was underground at the main pool of the Outrigger Reef Hotel. It was famous (and infamous) for having one of those great 60's huge windows behind the bar looking in at all the swimmers as if they were in a giant aquarium. Like a lot of those old Florida Coco Beach hotel/bars had in the early NASA Mercury days.

Long gone to the public (I believe it closed in the mid '80s), but it's still down there beneath the small poolside "Chief's Hut" restaurant/bar. Sadly, the window has been long ago plastered over on the pool side. I had a nice Security Manager take me down there for an "old times sake" nostalgic visit. Some of the bar stuff is still down there collecting dust, and it's just used as a storage room now with boxes and equipment piled everywhere. The Security Manager and I swapped some great stories of our "adventures" down there in it's hey-day. I bet if someone put the window back, and reopened it as a new-age-retro bar, it would be a huge hit with the younger crowd.

Here's a couple of postcard shots of it:



As you can sorta tell...it was not so much of a "Tiki" place as it was a general "Nautical" place...although they did have a few Tikis. Mainly glass balls and fishing nets and dive equipment and that sort of thing.

Swimming girls (and I'm sure a few guys) were always exposing themselves to the bar patrons (voluntarily and sometimes involuntarily with an "assist" from a friend), which may have lead to it's eventual closure in the later "PC" years.

A shore leave excerpt from a Submariner's diary (USS Tunny), that pretty much sums up one of the attractions of this once famous, but still infamous bar:

Quote:
Briefly, the story about pig is that he got some gal naked and took her in the swimming pool at the chief's hut bar. The side of the pool that he backed her up against was glass...In the bar downstairs (Davy Jones Locker) the back of the bar was a glass looking into the swimming pool...need I say more...





Regarding the Waikikian and it's Tahitian Lanai Restaurant...both were favorites of mine in the 60's and 70's, and we stayed there and dined there often. That was such a great place. True Hawaiiana at it's best! I was there during it's last days when the staff was still holding out hope that it would be kept open. They taped a Miss Hawaiian Tropics contest there that year, and somewhere I've got it on VHS tape. It has some great video shots of the hotel and restaurant on it (not to mention the ladies!). Hope I come across it someday.

A lot of the Tahitian Lanai "regulars" relocted to the La Mariana Sailing Club after TL closed. It was another really great Tiki Bar:

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2001/Jul/16/il/il01a.html

Don't know if it's still in business or not. Last time I drank there was in 2003, I think.

Here's a web site that's been around for a long time on the Waikikian and Tahitian Lanai:

http://members.tripod.com/gregg-n/waikikian_tiki_gardens.htm

Miss all those old haunts of mine.




[ This Message was edited by: PremEx 2006-08-24 14:00 ]


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naugatiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 833
From: Port Angeles, Wa
Posted: 2006-08-24 4:20 pm   Permalink

[quote]

Swimming girls (and I'm sure a few guys) were always exposing themselves to the bar patrons (voluntarily and sometimes involuntarily with an "assist" from a friend), which may have lead to it's eventual closure in the later "PC" years.




I use to go there semi regularly in the late 80s for a drink after swimming off Waikiki beach and the management was good natured about the underwater flashing and the bartender (Who looked unnervingly like Sonny Bono) kept a Polaroid camera behind the bar and took snapshots of any unsuspecting cheeks happened to swim by. They even had a thick photo album of these exhibitionists you could leaf through on request. I wonder where that book is now?


 
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Rattiki
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Joined: May 03, 2003
Posts: 422
From: Key West, FL
Posted: 2006-08-24 6:05 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-07-10 12:37, Humuhumu wrote:
It has no date on it, so it's a bit hard to peg. The cars in the lot can probably be dated right away by some of you lovely gearheads (how would we date our postcards without you?), but the way the photo has been cut into a picture of a sunset makes me wonder if the postcard is not as old as the photo.



The two cars, as I can make out, are a mid 50's Chevy and I believe a 1960-61 Mopar station wagon.


 
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tikipedia
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Joined: Aug 25, 2004
Posts: 490
From: San Diego
Posted: 2006-08-24 8:33 pm   Permalink

To add to the collective knowledge of the Waikikian, here is a pix of a matchbook (top right) I picked up at a flea market some months back.


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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Central Poet Laureate

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2792
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2006-08-25 8:52 pm   Permalink

I really enjoyed reading LowCat's description of his honeymoon in Hawaii.

Here are some photos from the April 1957 issue of INTERIORS magazine which had a small article about the Waikikian:


The Waikikian is by willful intention the soul of the Song of the Islands. The 9-building, 100-room compound swirls with Pan-Polynesian decor and pivots around a hyperbolic paraboloid structure reminiscent, according to architects Wimberly and Cook, of the sway-backed roofs of "half the grass shacks in the Pacific."


It houses lobby, offices and a series of balcony shops reached by a staircase that wraps around a tiki god by sculptor Edward Malcom Brownlee.



A restaurant and bar adjoining this unit is enclosed on two sides by Paul Heinley's custom made shutters that open into an awning, close to form a solid wall in inclement weather.


Interiors of this building, by Decorative Services, borrow basketry fish traps for lights...


...and are dominated by a copper clad broiler area that has a hood faced with carved redwood, a counter faced with sculptured lava rock and limestone, also by Mr. Brownlee.


Guest rooms all have their own lanais and are furnished in rattan, bamboo and Philippine mahogany. Heinley shutters here are inset with plaques of Polynesian gods and masks. Flooring is rush squares, and beds convert to punees by day. A palette of lime, pumpkin, cocoa, and turquoise complements the dark-stained cathedral cielings. Guest room interiors were all done by Mrs. Fred Dailey, wife of the hotel's general manager. The Waikikian's luxuriant gardens were designed by landscape architect George S. Walters.

Sabu

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naugatiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 833
From: Port Angeles, Wa
Posted: 2006-08-26 06:38 am   Permalink

Nice pictures Sabu, I think the beauty of that place is even before it was torn down it look nearly identical as it was 30 years ago with all its Polynesian glory and kitsch, unlike surrounding Waikiki.

I was wondering if anyone has any photos of that fountain that is depicted on that common stylized drawing that you usually see on the matchbook covers and postcards. I don’t remember it in person and have never seen a photo of it. Maybe it was part of the illusion.


 
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ZuluMagoo
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Joined: Jun 26, 2002
Posts: 469
From: Denver, CO
Posted: 2006-12-07 8:53 pm   Permalink

bump

 
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naugatiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 833
From: Port Angeles, Wa
Posted: 2007-10-20 1:50 pm   Permalink

Here's a photo of the lagoon behind it taken last month, I'm not sure if it's going to be renovated or built on but it sure is strange seeing it drained.



 
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tikiyaki
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 18, 2004
Posts: 2706
From: The Exotic Port of REDONDO BEACH, CA
Posted: 2007-10-20 5:54 pm   Permalink

Damn, where is my time machine ?

I think the Waikikian is probably the coolest example of MCM / TIKI Architecture ever built. Hands Down.

I wonder if we should have a poll of best Tiki architecture building. If someone has the photos, that'd make a great thread.

I'd most likely vote for the Waikikian.


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11137
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2007-10-20 9:37 pm   Permalink

I remember my urban archeological foray of wading through that lagoon (the water was that shallow) with Doug Miller to get past the construction fences into the closed down Lanai/Waikikian compound, only to be surprised by a guard that escorted us out emptyhanded. It was several Hawaii visits later that Doug found some of the lamps and door masks from the rooms at a used furniture store...not in Honululu, but in Hilo on the Big Island. I got to take some home to LA.

Waikikian screen door masks:





Tahitian Lanai bar stool:




 
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