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Tiki Central Forums » » Locating Tiki » » Tahitian Resort and Tahitian Gardens, Holiday, FL (motel)
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Tahitian Resort and Tahitian Gardens, Holiday, FL (motel)
Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4431
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-09-02 4:42 pm   Permalink

OK, now I remember this postcard. The first few postcards I got from the Tahitian Motor Lodge listed the location as Tarpon Springs. Then I got an older card that listed it as a Quality Inn in Holiday.

Here are the cards, a slightly different view of the Tiki than the one Johnny Dollar posted.





The Tiki



The pool area at night. Sure looked cool in its prime.



DC


 
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ErkNoLikeFire
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 07, 2010
Posts: 429
From: Michigan
Posted: 2010-09-02 11:14 pm   Permalink

That place needs to be put back together before some developer comes along and razes it for parking space or a Taco Bell.
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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2965
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2010-09-03 07:19 am   Permalink

if you look at tripadvisor.com or similar, the place is considered the worst of the worst as far as accomodations go. someone with deep pockets would be required to make it viable again imho

 
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ErkNoLikeFire
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 07, 2010
Posts: 429
From: Michigan
Posted: 2010-09-03 9:52 pm   Permalink

Where are all the insanely rich Texas oilman that make outlandish purchases at?

 
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senioraqua
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 11, 2004
Posts: 405
From: Tampa, FL
Posted: 2010-09-04 04:31 am   Permalink


Here is the the current view of the pool area. I can't imagine this property being revitalized or redeveloped anytime soon. Tahitian Resort is situated in a region of US 19 best described as a land that time forgot where strip mall dilapidation runs amok.

The Tahitian Resort is in dire need of some of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money.


 
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ErkNoLikeFire
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 07, 2010
Posts: 429
From: Michigan
Posted: 2010-09-04 7:20 pm   Permalink

..and more responsible management.That property could at least you a groundskeeper. Nobody wants to stay in a place that run down. Spend a little money and fix it up and it may bring in more customers. I just hate seeing unique places falling into decline.
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JonPez
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 01, 2003
Posts: 224
From: Orlando, FL
Posted: 2011-01-10 08:29 am   Permalink

My father retired a few years back after being an architect in the Pinellas County area of Florida for almost 40 years. Most of the places he worked on were school renovations and some restaurants from what I could recall. I have been able to find a few postcards of some of the places he designed (such as the Kapok Tree Inn in Madiera Beach, the Chief Charley's restaurants and a few churches) and I wanted to give them to him as a gift. I wasn't sure of how many places he designed so I asked him if he could recall them (so I could secretly buy up some memorabilia for him).
He rattled off some names of places that I knew of, and then he said "and that Tahitian hotel up near Tarpon Springs". My jaw dropped. "The Tahitian Motor Lodge?" I stammered back. "Yep, that and the Tahitian Gardens nearby". I was floored. He didn't recall much, other than the project was one of the first he worked on with his new partners. I asked him if he knew where they got the tikis and decorations from, and he just said they came from a California company that had a a catalog. He couldn't remember the name, but when I mentioned Oceanic Arts, he said that sounded familiar.
Looking back, I remember now there was a small scale model of the place in his firm's front lobby and I used to love to look at the thatched roofs on it, but I was very young (probably 3-4 years old) and never made the connection until he mentioned it.
Unfortunately, most everything was thrown out when the company folded and everyone retired. No blueprints or renderings survived.
I have since purchased some photos for him that were in a newspaper archive that show the buildings during the construction phase and thought I should share them here...
__________

dated June 16, 1969
__________

Entrance, dated August 13, 1969
__________

Tahitian Gardens "Handcraft Huts", dated June 6, 1970
__________

The cafeteria at Tahitian Gardens, dated June 21, 1969
__________

Closeup of tiki outside cafeteria
__________

Closeup of tiki on wall of cafeteria

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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11266
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-01-10 11:26 am   Permalink

Wow, that must have been a shock! Love the pics you DID find, but this story goes to show how much material of Tiki culture got lost. When the son of the architect of such a Tiki temple as this is a committed Tikiphile but has to accept the fact that nuthin' got saved, it's the proof of the ephemeral nature of the much-too-short Tiki phnomenon.

 
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JonPez
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 01, 2003
Posts: 224
From: Orlando, FL
Posted: 2011-01-10 2:13 pm   Permalink

Yep. Wished I had known/remembered/asked about it when he retired, but tiki wasn't a high priority for me then (gasp!).
My father is astounded that there is even a passing interest in his work. I'll be trying to pull more info out of him regarding this property. He says he has a bunch of old blueprints he has saved, but doesn't think there are any from there, but I can always hope.
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4431
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-01-10 3:59 pm   Permalink

JonPez,

So glad you got those photos for your Dad, has he seen them yet?

Here is another location that I have seen a postcard from called the Tahitian Gardens, it was located on Sanibel Island. I always thought that the same architectural firm may have done this one as well given the similarities in design and name. Maybe you can ask your Dad if his firm was involved in this one.





DC


 
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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1773
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2011-01-10 4:10 pm   Permalink

Jon, that's incredible. What a great surprise that must have been. Here's hoping you can dig up some more treasures. Great story and thanks for the pics.

We need to get together again soon. The Florida ohana is in need of a shot in the arm...


 
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JonPez
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 01, 2003
Posts: 224
From: Orlando, FL
Posted: 2011-01-12 06:39 am   Permalink

DC: I'll ask him this weekend.
GatorRob: Yes, we do need to all get together. I haven't seen too many of the Ohana recently, but I did get a chance to see Kailuageoff before he went up north...
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uncle trav
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Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1821
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2011-01-12 4:50 pm   Permalink

I know the Tahitian Gardens on Sanibel very well. I used to pass by the location while working on the island from time to time. It is now the Tahitian Gardens Shopping Plaza but the restaurant and the main structure of the complex are still intact..for now. It's been a couple of years since I was by there. Here is a view from "Polysat 1" in orbit

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[ This Message was edited by: uncle trav 2011-01-12 16:55 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11266
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-01-12 11:15 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-01-10 08:29, JonPez wrote:
He didn't recall much, other than the project was one of the first he worked on with his new partners. I asked him if he knew where they got the tikis and decorations from, and he just said they came from a California company that had a a catalog. He couldn't remember the name, but when I mentioned Oceanic Arts, he said that sounded familiar.



Maybe that was the going wisdom among many builders at the time, but the Tikis at the Tahitian resort are really unique, and were most likely ALL carved by Frank Schmudde:

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=32101&forum=1&vpost=450179

Maybe if you mention his name and show your dad some of the pics, he'll remember more. It is such a bummer that this artist passed on before one of us could get to him. I am considering paying the Tahitian Resort a visit to document it as a "lost civilization"!


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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11266
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-01-12 11:21 pm   Permalink

Jon Pez, can you also ask your dad if he did this restaurant as part of the Tahitian Gardens condo development:

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=32239&forum=2

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