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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki The Leilani... Brookfield, WI
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The Leilani... Brookfield, WI
grtlks233
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 10, 2013
Posts: 11
Posted: 2013-04-10 08:53 am   Permalink

The sculptor Gerhard Kroll is still alive and working. Other works by him can be seen in Milwaukee. He did the facade panels for the bank on the corner of Capital Dr. and Oakland Ave. He has a granite piece in the Manpower Collection displayed on the Milwaukee River downtown. He has a huge welded steel piece displayed at Manpower's suburban HQ and even did the brass gate for the J.I. Case Family Crypt! The original door handle for the Leilani Lodge is attached to a hamburger joint in the Wisconsin Dells as well as the huge brass sunburst that adorned the double front door.

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11127
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2013-04-11 09:50 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-05-10 12:13, exotica59 wrote:
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.



Attempts were made in 2010 to contact him, but it seems his wife is protective or is not taking the interest in his Tiki work serious. As is sometimes the case, "commercial" jobs such as Tikis done for a Motel may not seem resume-worthy to artists that strive to be recognized for their more "serious" work.


 
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grtlks233
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 10, 2013
Posts: 11
Posted: 2013-04-12 11:47 am   Permalink

Ms Kroll is very excited about present interest in Gerhard's tiki's and looking for photos and articles. I may try and get a podcast of Mr Kroll explaining their "origination". Her and Gerhard are constantly at work on projects and don't have time for cataloging. When contacted originally she did not know how to use email or the internet.

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11127
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2013-04-12 11:52 am   Permalink

Great news! Thanks for the update, that is very nice to hear! I hope she can find some good photos of the artist at work on the Tikis.

 
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SlovakTiki
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jul 07, 2002
Posts: 96
From: Minneapolis, MN
Posted: 2013-04-12 12:12 pm   Permalink

This is quite an excellent piece of research.

 
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grtlks233
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 10, 2013
Posts: 11
Posted: 2013-04-21 11:01 pm   Permalink

Tiki lava sculptures by Gerhard Kroll-Racine, Wisconsin for Leilani Supper Club-Brookfield, Wisconsin.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/grtlks233/

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meega
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 19, 2007
Posts: 39
From: Pewaukee WI.
Posted: 2013-04-22 06:51 am   Permalink

Excellent!!

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11127
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2013-04-22 08:58 am   Permalink

Wonderful! Thank you very much! Wonderful examples of original Polynesian POP Tikis!

Did he start at the opening of the Leilani and added on more Tikis over the years?

Also these are the first PHOTOS of this vanished Tiki Temple I have seen!





 
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grtlks233
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 10, 2013
Posts: 11
Posted: 2013-04-22 09:03 am   Permalink

These photos are from the artist Gerhard Kroll's private collection and haven't been seen outside the family.


 
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grtlks233
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 10, 2013
Posts: 11
Posted: 2013-04-22 3:31 pm   Permalink

Gerhard Kroll carved all 16 original tiki inspired lava sculptures in the summer of 1961 for the owners of the Leilani Supper Club. It was his first gig after graduating from Milwaukee's Layton School of the Arts. The owners provided the stone (shipped from Mexico) and Gerhard was paid $1,500.00 for labor. He and his wife bought a brand new VW Bus with the money and an abandoned WWII era factory that they rehabbed and live in to this day. According to Mr. Kroll the original owners claimed that all of the sculptures were shipped in from "the islands" and denied him credit until confronted by his Mother in Law!!
The final "Giles" of Gile's Lelani owns a small restaurant in the Wisconsin Dells area and has "lots of stuff in storage". I will see him this summer.


 
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Or Got Rum?
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 29, 2009
Posts: 331
From: Wisconsin
Posted: 2013-04-22 4:17 pm   Permalink

grtlks233...Thank you very much for your diligence....it is much appreciated. Your contribution is awesome, for so little is known about this Brookfield wonder. OGR

 
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Lake Surfer
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 21, 2002
Posts: 3379
From: Milwaukee, WI
Posted: 2013-04-22 7:31 pm   Permalink

Awesome work grtlkes233. I've been too swamped with carving and my new son to get out and do more research.
It's so cool to see the new contributions to this thread, and more info about this Wisconsin tiki temple!

Cool to see this tiki being carved in this photo...



And then the finished tiki in this photo...



I can't help but notice how the Leilani borrowed the "shield" sign design from the Islander of Los Angeles.


 
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grtlks233
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 10, 2013
Posts: 11
Posted: 2013-04-23 09:54 am   Permalink

Hello Lake Surfer and all on thread, this is the finished sculpture in the newspaper article.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/grtlks233/8670166213/in/photostream
also Lake Surfer, not to change the thread, but still on a Wisconsin note, do you know anything about the tiki style structures constructed on Bradford Beach, WI?


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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11127
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2013-04-23 11:32 am   Permalink

Looks like you found a fellow Wisconsin Tiki archeologist, Dave! Very good...- and with stellar results!

I was at the Dells two years ago to photograph the Del Bar for Pete Moruzzi's "Classic Dining" book - wish I would have known about Giles! The only once-Polynesian place I found was Tommy Bartlett's water ski show:

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=28811&forum=1&vpost=492046

Glad to see this thread revived so successfully, I am looking forward to new discoveries.


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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4271
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2013-04-23 3:39 pm   Permalink

Grtlks233,

Thanks for all of your great contributions to this thread. Hopefully you will find some more photos and history to add.


Quote:

On 2013-04-23 11:32, bigbrotiki wrote:
I was at the Dells two years ago to photograph the Del Bar for Pete Moruzzi's "Classic Dining" book - wish I would have known about Giles! The only once-Polynesian place I found was Tommy Bartlett's water ski show:




What about the Tiki Motel in the Dells?

Tiki Motel

DC


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