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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki The Leilani... Brookfield, WI
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The Leilani... Brookfield, WI
Lake Surfer
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 21, 2002
Posts: 3382
From: Milwaukee, WI
Posted: 2003-02-20 12:47 pm   Permalink

A client of mine did some digging and emailed me some info he found on The Leilani that once stood in Brookfield, WI. Thanks Peter!

I caught a glimpse as a child in the mid 70's in the back of Mom and Dad's car, and the memory of flaming tiki torches still sticks.

Amazing what happened to the hotel in 1961... lava tikis and a huge expansion. Such a shame I was born too late.



June 20, 1961

'Tiki' Taking Shape in Front of Motels; They're Made of Lava

By Tom Barber
Freeman Staff

BROOKFIELD - A German sculptor carved South Sea island stone idols for a Polynesian restaurant in Brookfield today.

It all happened at The Leilani motel, 18615 W. Blue Mound Road, whose owners are in the midst of a $750,000 expansion program.

The motel is being doubled in size. But of more interest to most passers-by is a steep roofed supper club under condstruction just east of the motel.

Sculptor Gerhard E. Kroll, Milwaukee, is at work on the lawn in front of the restaurant fashioning large Hawaiian "tiki" stone images of a religious significance in primitive South Pacific cultures.

The tiki will be used to decorate five dining rooms and two cocktail lounges in the restaurant. A large one will be placed outdoors.

Kroll has resided in Milwaukee for about two years. He studied art at the University of Wisconsin there.

The lightweight rock he is using actually is lava. Its porosity makes it easy to work. Saws, axes and knives replace the traditional hammer and chisel. Kroll expects to work a large pile of the stones into figures in about two weeks.

Along with Krolls sculpture the restaurant will be docorated with fireproof thatch ceilings, tabletops of monkey pod wood, monkey pod and coconut carvings, Hawaiian lighting fixtures and tropical plants.

Outside there will be live palm trees (to be stored indoors during the winter), fountains, and a sign illuminated with jets of fire.

Owner Paul Fecher said waitresses in the restaurant and the Malahini and Homaka cocktail lounges will wear sarongs. He hopes to hire a Hawaiian-born chef and a group of Tahitian dancers and singers to perform at the restaurant's opening about Sept. 1.

The menu will be "about 60 percent Polynesian food and 40 percent American," Fechner predicted. Dining rooms will seat 275. Banquet rooms below will be large enough for 500 to 600 persons. An automobile manufacturer will have a display downstairs.

The sharply gabled roof over the new restaurant carries out the style of the nearby motel. Both were designed by Milwaukeean Alan Wiederman. The motel addition is a two story wing attached to the south of the existing building.

Fechner has elaborate plans for future additions at "Leilani Village." East of the restaurant, on land formerly occupied by a competing motel which the Leilani bought, a heliport will be built.

Nine acres of land south of the motel have been purchased for a nine hole pich-and0put golf course. A pond on the tract will be enlarged. The purchase of 12 to 14 more acres, where an olympic sized pool and cabana club will be constructed.

The golf course and pool are on the agenda for next year. Sometime later, Fechner said, he hopes to build several town houses along the south edge of the golf course. They would be rented for longer periods of time than the motel units.

Then, the sad demise... I'm sure by the 1980's there were no traces of tiki















[ This Message was edited by: Lake Surfer 2007-08-17 22:17 ]


 
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Lake Surfer
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 21, 2002
Posts: 3382
From: Milwaukee, WI
Posted: 2007-08-17 10:21 pm   Permalink

More news to come... I've been doing some digging on my own. Have to see what developes.

[ This Message was edited by: Lake Surfer 2007-08-17 22:22 ]


 
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pablus
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Joined: Jul 23, 2003
Posts: 2155
From: www.crazedmugs.com
Posted: 2007-08-17 11:27 pm   Permalink


Thanks for the bulldozer shots tearing it down.
Hooray for progress.
What is it now, a Walgreens?

A lava carver.
Not too many of those around.
That your new medium, Lake?



 
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uncle trav
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Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1799
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2007-08-18 05:13 am   Permalink

Great research Lake. Makes my guts churn even looking at an old picture. I've been watching the old Upjohn company headquarters building being torn down here in Kalamazoo over the past couple of weeks. A huge classic mid-century modern building almost gone now. Thanks for the post.

_________________
"Anyone who has ever seen them is thereafter haunted as if by a feverish dream" Karl Woermann


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11193
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2007-08-18 06:05 am   Permalink

I can't wait, I can't wait! Did you get ahold of the architect? That part of the A-frame that's visible looks so cool! You know I have a whole page of Leilani images in Tiki Modern: The rendering/postcard (showing the heliport), the matchbook and the menu cover. I once already related the story of how in the early 90s, I found the matchbook cover glued into the all matchbook wallpaper of the Neptune's Net mens room in Seal Beach, and I called the number, and some guy answered and after questioning said he would look for this stack of slides he had from when the Tikis were being carved!
...Never heard from him again, or followed up on it, Wisconsin was just too far away...Sigh

Or did you dig up the carver !!? Oh Boy! A German, how funny.


 
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Rumbuddy
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 09, 2007
Posts: 21
From: Dallas Area
Posted: 2007-08-18 08:54 am   Permalink

Yes, I deleted my post. How embarrassing!

 
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Tikinaut
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 26, 2006
Posts: 87
From: Milwaukee
Posted: 2007-08-18 09:23 am   Permalink

>>A client of mine did some digging and emailed me some info he found on The Leilani that once stood in Brookfield, WI. Thanks Peter!

You're welcome Dave!

A good place to find photos of old Tiki establishments is your local historical society. I just took a shot in the dark and was able to locate these great articles.


 
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mtnrunner
Member

Joined: Jan 02, 2008
Posts: 1
Posted: 2008-01-02 6:57 pm   Permalink

My family and I used to go swimming at Harold's Leilani Motel on Sundays back in the late 1970's - early 80's. It would cost 2 dollars a person to swim in the warm water. The pool had a curving slide and a diving board. I can still hear the trickling of water running down that slide to make it slippery. We used to burn the backs of our legs as we sat in the super hot sauna. There were many tropical plants lining the walls of the pool (possibly plastic, I am not sure) to give you the appropriate feel. There was also some sort of sun deck, but it was always winter when we went. So I remember seeing the snow piled up on top of the lawn chairs on the deck while we played inside in the 86 degree water. Leilani was a wonderful escape from the harsh Wisconsin winters.

In the lobby there was some sort of early microwave device that cooked various foods that were sold in a revolving vending machine. I recall eating reheated burgers, possibly fries and hotdogs. As kids we were fascinated with the quick heating machine. There was also a vending machine in one of the hallways back by the bathrooms that swimmers were allowed to use. The big treat for me was the Milkshake Bar. Haven't seen one of those in a while!

I have such fond memories of Harold's Leilani. We moved far away from Brookfield, WI in 1987. I was shocked to find that it was gone on a visit a few years ago. Bluemound Rd wasn't even recognizable except for the occasional tavern I remember from childhood.

My sister stumbled on this site looking up whatever happened to Leilani. She was hoping to take her kids there on a visit to recreate an old memory. It looks like it's going to have to stay the wonderful childhood memory forever. Thanks for posting the newspaper clippings.


 
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Lake Surfer
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 21, 2002
Posts: 3382
From: Milwaukee, WI
Posted: 2008-01-02 9:03 pm   Permalink

Very interesting that this topic is up at the top... I don't have to search for it now!

Good to hear your story, and that someone else remembers The Leilani.

Someone dropped this menu off just before Christmas at the Foundation Tiki Bar... I got to see it during the holiday party. I was back at Foundation today doing an install and took some pictures to post up here.

The front of the gatefold menu



With the front flap flipped over the inside



Front inside flap with the bowl drinks



Back inside flap




Inside spread




Back
I doubt these ever happened? Or did they?

The plans seem a bit ambitious!




So... some more evidence uncovered on this Milwaukee area paradise... still need to find interior shots! Slowly but surely!









[ This Message was edited by: Lake Surfer 2008-01-02 21:06 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11193
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-01-03 09:45 am   Permalink

Great find! The menu I use in Tiki Mod was a dinner menu, sans cocktail illustrations. I think this is the first time I have ever seen that weird PINK Wahine bowl actually used in a menu. I always marveled at it in Bob and Leroy's mug collection (the girls are sculpted really sexy) but never was sure it was used in the field, being so ....PINK!

And that Moorish Idol fish bowl I have only seen in the Aku Aku menu before. "Ticklish Tiki", that's a good one! And that announcement! Proves again that many Tiki temple builders were dreaming of a Don/Vic/Steve-like expansion.

I am dying to see more not only interior, but also exterior shots. With the Tikis being carved by that German local, they must have a never before seen look to them!


 
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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1771
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2008-01-03 10:44 am   Permalink

You mean this one?



I think Bob and LeRoy could fund their retirement with their collection.


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11193
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-01-04 12:23 pm   Permalink

Lookey here what I just came across in my files:



Check out these hot mommas! Love the way I can carve out things in my I-Photo. I think this bowl actually looks better in B&W, when you don't know they are pink!


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4351
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-04-17 4:45 pm   Permalink

I finally found one of those great oversized postcards from the Leilani Village, have been looking for years.

Here is the card with the view of the hotel, restaurant and helipad - yes I said helipad! I wonder if that was actually ever built?



Here is a blow-up view of the restaurant, with the amazing sign and lots of Tikis shown on the grounds. Great port cochere



Here is the motel side of the complex, check out the crossed tiki torches along the parking lot frontage.



I also have the matchbook with the Leilani sign - another top 5 of the all time tiki signs.



Here is the rest of the matchbook with a rendering of the restaurant.



This place was really cool.

DC


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11193
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-04-17 4:49 pm   Permalink

We want to see PHOTOS of this place in its heyday!

 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4351
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-04-17 4:56 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-04-17 16:49, bigbrotiki wrote:
We want to see PHOTOS of this place in its heyday!



Well you the damned Tiki historian, so where are the photos?

DC


 
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