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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki The Leilani... Brookfield, WI
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The Leilani... Brookfield, WI
Dustycajun
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Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4241
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-04-25 08:50 am   Permalink

Here is another postcard I have of the Leilani Hotel. Slightly different view than the large card and shows a different sign out front - that looks strangely similar to the Cadillac Sands sign!




DC


 
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uncle trav
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Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1759
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2009-04-25 08:55 am   Permalink

This is kinda interesting. Another postcard rendering for the Leilani Village. Notice the roadside signage with a stone base. And again the roadside signage for the Cadillac sands again with stone base. Am I splitting hairs here or is this postcard also evidence of an architectural connection? This is gettig good.




well we must have found the same image on the web at the same time .....Strange. I hit submit and there was your five minutes ahead.



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[ This Message was edited by: uncle trav 2009-04-25 08:59 ]


 
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uncle trav
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Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1759
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2009-04-25 09:00 am   Permalink

sorry posted this twice

[ This Message was edited by: uncle trav 2009-04-25 09:01 ]


 
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meega
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 19, 2007
Posts: 39
From: Pewaukee WI.
Posted: 2009-04-25 8:42 pm   Permalink

This being my first post on Tiki Central, I hope everything formats OK!

Since the Leilani was a common site in Brookfield for decades, and I lived only a few miles away for most of its existance, I should have a bounty of artifacts.......but I don't - that's one of the reasons I'm drawn to TC.

For the record, I don't think there was ever a helipad built at the Leilani - a very 'Jetson's' concept, but never an economical or practical necessity at the time. Helicopters were not a common sight around here in the 60's, let alone dropping out of the skies for a bite to eat! There was plenty of space on the east side of the supper club to accomodate a helicopter in a pinch, but it seems to have been just an extended parking area.

I appreciate the Leilani in its absence more than I did before it disappeared. I was at the supper club twice......once for a wedding, and once for a Mother's Day brunch or something. This was in the mid-70s and It was a Reception/Banquet Hall area. There was a a lot of grass matting and a lot of carvings on the wall, but I really don't remember any large statues. I do remember a large tiki hut-like platform in the middle of the floor. I think it was where the wedding party ate, and where the brunch buffets were setup. The only thing I didn't really care for was that it lacked atmosphere. It was too well lit and the decore too uniformly arranged. Even if everything was authentic, it came across as sort of bland. There must have been a more intimate and interesting dining area, but I never saw it, nor the bar.

I also stayed at the motel once, but outside of the architecture, I can't remember anything too Polynesian, just standard motel decor. This was the early 80's and probably slipping into a state of decline.

These may not be what you were looking for, but should help a little with the puzzle.

The Leilani - 1963: the heydays - 3 years later It went bankrupt
The Motel & Supper Club were sold to separate buyers. I'm not sure if this is where the Gille's Leilani & Harold's Leilani came from?


The Leilani - 1970


The Leilani - 1980


The Leilani - 1990


The Leilani - 1995: The beginning of the end - destruction of the Supper Club
Shortly after the Motel would be razed too.


The Comptuter City That replaced The Leilani didn't survive more than a couple years, and now it's an Office Max(I think).

[ This Message was edited by: meega 2009-04-25 20:52 ]

[ This Message was edited by: meega 2009-04-25 20:54 ]

[ This Message was edited by: meega 2009-04-26 15:37 ]


 
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uncle trav
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Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1759
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2009-04-26 10:02 am   Permalink

Fantastic work Meega and welcome to TC. Great to see a time line like this. What kind of map software is that? Looks something similar to what I saw used at city hall in my area. Thanks for posting.


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meega
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 19, 2007
Posts: 39
From: Pewaukee WI.
Posted: 2009-04-26 4:50 pm   Permalink

Thanks! This is the sight I use to snoop around my geographical past.
www.historicaerials.com

The one problem is all of the watermarks the site overlays on the images.


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uncle trav
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Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1759
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2009-04-26 5:20 pm   Permalink

Thanks. I checked out the site. It looks like a good resource. Five dollars is what they charge per image. I think these have the watermark removed.

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Mo-Eye
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Joined: May 17, 2006
Posts: 625
From: Costa Mesa, CA
Posted: 2009-07-26 05:34 am   Permalink

Found a couple good articles describing this place. From Oct. 25, 1961:

"Leilani means gracious dining in luxurious surroundings. The new Polynesian Supper Club at 18615 W. Blue Mound Rd. must also mean that somewhere in the South Seas there is an island missing. Nearly everything from outrigger canoes and Tiki god figures to Polynesian cooks, has been imported by the owners of the newest restaurant sensation in the Milwaukee area. John and Paul Fechner, brothers, who built the club to go along with the successful Leilani Village Motel, said they have attempted to achieve the best possible quality of the cuisine and culture of the far away islands.

With the completion of the large Tahitian banquet room on the lower level, Paul Fechner said there will be room for more than 1000 people to dine and sit quietly in the plush settings, sipping such South Sea potions as Leilani Halfmoon. About 100 people are employed at the Leilani and the one who will have the most to do with making this the best restaurant in the midwest is 27 year old Joe Moy, chef in charge. Moy learned his difficult trade in restaurants in Hong Kong, Hawaii and San Francisco... ...the mahimahi fish are flown in each day fresh from Honolulu, where the natives catch them in the bay.

Some of the more popular rooms at the Leilani are the Malahini lounge, the Shell and Wahine rooms and the Garden terrace where on can dine in a jungle like setting. The numerous carved, heavy stone god heads that have caused so much comment at the Leilani are made from imported feather rock, which is the hardened foam of the lava that spews out on an erupting volcano. The wall of the stairway leading from the main floor to the lower level is composed completely of feather rock.

If it weren't for the one piece sarongs, the quiet, lovely dark haired waitresses could make one forget the Polynesian setting. They pad about the beautiful rooms and provide as much eye appeal as the Tiki gods did for the first museum collector who discovered them.

The Tahitian room, when completed, can be used for display purposes by area corporations and a specially designed wall allows cars to be driven into the banquet room for display."


Here is a great ad in the same issue





Another March 29, 1962 article had some more good descriptions:

"Romantic music of the islands floods the five dining rooms, two cocktail lounges and huge private party rooms which seat more than 1000. Outrigger canoes hang from the ceiling. Turtle backs, massive sea shells, preserved starfish, black velvet paintings (for sale if you like them) adorn the lahala matted walls. There's enough bamboo in the restaurant to build a forest. Bars are made of monkey pod wood. Feather stone god heads peer at you from a hundred vantage points and rain cape thatched canopies provide unnecessary shelter but plenty of island atmosphere.

One of the dining rooms, the Garden Terrace, would have been better named the Jungle Room. Its authentic, all right. The only things lacking are a few live panthers and spear throwing natives. Its the perfect setting for a Witch Doctor cocktail, recommended only for the initiated. Then again the famed Leilani mystery drink might be more fitting, for with it you get the spine chilling crescendos of a Fu Manchu gong. After hearing it you're about due for the potion for four bracer which is served by a mystery sarong wrapped wahine.

And another ad from this issue




Lastly, I also found some info on those other locations listed on the back of the one menu in a Jun 21, 1961 article. It says that the design concept of the Leilani Vilage has attracted people from all over the nation. The motel has had a steady 90% occupancy rate and last year had to turn away 8,000 room rentals. They catered a lot to large corporations and groups. It states that a leasing company is now handling contract work on other franchises for Leilani Village and that final transactions are now underway in Newark, NJ.

And here is a simple Oct. 1964 ad









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Dustycajun
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Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4241
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-10-02 5:39 pm   Permalink

Mo-Eye,

Some great research there, those articles and ads are great.

Here is the logo from the Leilani stationary.




DC


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11089
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-10-03 01:55 am   Permalink

Yes indeed MoEye, great research, I love that Leilani ad with the A-frame. AND the articles. Man what a fever Tiki style was in the early 60s, to inspire this classic, fully decked out Tiki temple in the middle of Wisconsin. Gerhard Kroll's stone carvings, the black velvets...WHERE did all this stuff go?

Although I can't quite follow the logic, this sentence could have been written by me:

"If it weren't for the one piece sarongs, the quiet, lovely dark haired waitresses could make one forget the Polynesian setting. They pad about the beautiful rooms and provide as much eye appeal as the Tiki gods did for the first museum collector who discovered them."


 
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boutiki
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Joined: Jun 03, 2002
Posts: 485
From: The fly-over states
Posted: 2009-10-03 07:22 am   Permalink

We need to find some interior shots. I think I have one of the large Tikis from there.
-Duke



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Haole Jim
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Joined: Jul 17, 2009
Posts: 413
From: central coast metro Chicago
Posted: 2009-10-08 9:17 pm   Permalink

Thank you for sharing...sadly, a tragic bit of urban archaeology.

 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4241
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-05-04 11:05 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-10-03 07:22, boutiki wrote:
We need to find some interior shots. I think I have one of the large Tikis from there.
-Duke



So Duke, what clues do you have that the Tiki is from the Leilani??


Here is an older matchbook when it was Gile's Leilani.










DC


 
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exotica59
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 17, 2004
Posts: 479
Posted: 2010-05-10 12:13 pm   Permalink

I tracked down Gerhard Kroll. He is still alive although in frail health. His wife seems to be in better health. I emailed them asking if they might have any info that they could share. Mrs. Kroll asked me why would I want to know about Gerhard, I tried to put her mind at ease and let her know that we were only interested in preserving history, but she never returned my email.
I suppose I should try again, as it was around the the holidays and prehaps she or whoever was helping her with the computer just forgot about my request.
Mr Kroll stayed in WI all his life and went on to teach art and is very well thought of by his former students.
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11089
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-05-10 2:58 pm   Permalink

Dang, that is fantastic! Aaaaah, what to do, what to do. Damned be the fact that the BOT is so expensive nowadays, that always seems like the simplest, self-explanatory thing, and it is a gift. Trying to explain our interests always ends up sounding like a bunch of weirdos to me.
Do you have the address? I could send them a TIKI MODERN, that has a page of LEILANI stuff in it...


 
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