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Tiki Central Forums » » General Tiki » » Crossroads of the Pacific Sign
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Crossroads of the Pacific Sign
tigertail777
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 25, 2004
Posts: 671
From: Oregon
Posted: 2011-09-27 7:46 pm   Permalink

I ran across this photo on ebay:


And I am curious because I have never heard of it before; is it still there (according to the 'net' it was at Kau Kau Korner, located at the intersection of Kalakaua Avenue and Kapiolani Blvd) and if not what happened to it? I love the late 30's/early 40's style it has, does anyone know any history or anything about it? I would love to see a color photo of the neon lit up at night. I figure if anyone knows the history behind it or any color photos, people on TC will.


 
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Slacks Ferret
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 1272
From: Calgary
Posted: 2011-09-28 08:00 am   Permalink

http://waikikitimemachine.blogspot.com/2010/06/crossroads-of-pacific-sign.html

The above link has a photo in colour and a bit of info as well. There are others out there on the interrupting-webs, I just google image search "crossroads of the pacific sign" and found these too:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/katclay/6142066728/
This above link is a nice and clear B & W photo. Almost looks vintage...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lfur/5907864018/
This link has a nice colour photo too.

But, yeah, I couldn't find anything in colour with a night-time shot of the neon.

Cool Picture BTW! Thanks for posting this.



[ This Message was edited by: Slacks Ferret 2011-09-28 08:14 ]


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arriano
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2006
Posts: 1302
From: Dog Patch - San Diego
Posted: 2011-09-28 08:54 am   Permalink

Looks like it may be gone, but a replica is now outside the O‘ahu Gallery.

http://www.oha.org/kwo/loa/2010/12/story03.php


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tigertail777
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 25, 2004
Posts: 671
From: Oregon
Posted: 2011-09-28 10:36 am   Permalink

Slacks, and Arriano: Thanks for the replies I appreciate it. I still can't find a neon lit up picture as well, nor can I find any history of what happened to the original sign. How does something so historically significant just disappear?

The replica is close, but not exact. You will note in particular the extra neon around the "crossroads of the Pacific" words on the original: on the replica they only did the neon around the edging. The original had neon around the yellow "X" missing on the replica too. Also the original had an extra part on the top (added at some point as it is not in the black and white pic) that read "Kau Kau Korner" that is missing entirely. And I think even withstanding time wear etc that the paint colors on the new sign are brighter and a little more garish. From that one color photo of the real sign, the background in the circle area is either very light blue or silver, not that bright blue they put on the new version, but I would need more than one original color photo to compare.





[ This Message was edited by: tigertail777 2011-09-28 10:48 ]


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4427
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-10-07 8:53 pm   Permalink

A few color photos of the original sign.





DC


 
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tigertail777
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 25, 2004
Posts: 671
From: Oregon
Posted: 2011-10-07 9:54 pm   Permalink

Awesome! Mahalo Dustycajun for the wonderful pictures! I love how it shows not only the sign but it's surroundings. Really appreciate the post. I still wonder what became of the original sign though? Anyone have any idea?

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11265
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-10-08 12:21 am   Permalink

Probably what happened to most great neon and motel signs of the 40s and 50s:

A new owner takes over the business, the sign is dilapidated and the neon is broken, he gets a quote how much renovation would cost, and decides to scrap it. There is nobody present right then and there who would be aware of its value, so it just disappears as scrap metal.

Iconic value or popularity are rarely a deciding factor on if a some architectural gem gets saved, ownership and cost is. Preservation organizations have won some battles, but most of the time it is a question of who is willing to pay for it.

Later on, when time has passed, and in retrospect, enough people have become aware of the intrinsic value of what has been lost, there is a big uproar of "How could they?" and "Why didn't somebody...?", but it really is a matter of being there at the right time, and stepping up to the plate of taking over responsibility.


 
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tigertail777
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 25, 2004
Posts: 671
From: Oregon
Posted: 2011-10-08 01:51 am   Permalink

Sadly, what you say is more than likely true BigBroTiki. I suppose we must be grateful for the numerous photos of it. Though I would still like to find one photo with the neon lit up at night, not sure why that is proving so elusive.

On a side note, that replica is even worse than I previously thought after taking more looks at the original and comparing. Even the fonts are wrong for the part where it says "Kau Kau Korner" and points to the island (look at the horrible "K") and I think the font is also wrong on "Honolulu". And they didn't even bother to do the airbrushing around the edges of the circle that is present in the original. It's a botched job all around that adds up to a garish nightmare; not at all what the original was and is a mockery of the original 40's art deco look it had. (Sorry... the graphic designer in me is coming out I can't help it; these kinds of things make me silently scream inside.The kerning and leading not to mention the size of type on ALL the type are all wrong too....AAAAAA!!!!)





[ This Message was edited by: tigertail777 2011-10-08 01:58 ]


 
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kraken
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Jun 17, 2011
Posts: 95
From: SF Bay area
Posted: 2011-10-08 02:18 am   Permalink

Often the case, but not always. A resident of Walnut Creek,
California collects old, large neon signs and places them in
his driveway. They're not up on poles but he does illuminate
them at night. He undoubtedly gets them at giveaway prices
and the cost of prop-up placement must be minor, too. Just
the ticket for preserving any tiki-related signage that seems
to be headed for the scrapyard.

City government, prodded by a few of his neighbors, seems
to want to require permits for this activity, but they realize
this most probably can't be done. The city has ordinances
regulating commercial signage, of course, but they don't
apply because the businesses these signs were made to
promote ceased operations long ago. Any new regulations
aimed at these signs would at least arguably run afoul of
the first amendment--a thicket the city does not want to
entangle itself in.

(re BigBroTiki's pessimistic analysis above.)

[ This Message was edited by: kraken 2011-10-08 02:26 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11265
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-10-08 6:07 pm   Permalink

No pessimism, merely pragmatism, forged by 20 years of experience in observing and preserving midcentury architecture. Just the facts, ma'm.



 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4427
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-10-09 10:07 am   Permalink

Now where have I heard that phrase before?



There is a greater appreciation for preserving historical icons these days, particularly in California. But, as Bigbro points out, some one (or group) needs to step up to save the day.

Case in point, the Santa Barbara Santa Claus that lived on a roof next to U.S. 101 for many years. It was about to be destroyed when a group formed to save the Santa.




He was given a pair of shades and now resides in Oxnard next to U.S. 101.



We can see a similar effort to resurrect for the Redondo Beach Barney West Tiki in this thread.

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=41150&forum=1&hilite=redondo

Next up for saving in my area are the Wagon Wheel sign in Oxnard - the buildings are gone but the sign remains - for now.




And the old Greyhound bus station sign in downtown Santa Barbara. The building is set for razing.






A little bit of a derail here, back to the Kau Kau Korner sign. Lets see that night-time color image.




DC


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Phillip Roberts
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 09, 2003
Posts: 1611
From: OAHU/Seattle
Posted: 2011-10-09 1:14 pm   Permalink

Aloha,

...And there below the sign on the Ted Mundorff drawn carhop place mat is owner of the Kau Kau Korner, Hanley P. "Sunny" Sundstrom and his dog. His partner was Clifford Kau. The business started in 1935, was at that location until it lost its lease in 1960.

He kept it open 24 hours, even during World War II. He complied with wartime blackout regulations by putting up blue denim curtains.

Interior shot here shows all of it's diner glory. In fact there's a load of interesting images here. Fixed link

There is another replica Kau kau Korner sign in Honolulu. It is at Aloha Tower Marketplace.



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Available now from Bess Press Hawaii.

[ This Message was edited by: Phillip Roberts 2011-10-09 13:55 ]


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phenix76
Member

Joined: Sep 09, 2011
Posts: 10
Posted: 2011-10-09 1:33 pm   Permalink

Link doesn't work, here it is again:

http://hawaiiantimemachine.blogspot.com/2010/10/interiors-kau-kau-korner.html

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tigertail777
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 25, 2004
Posts: 671
From: Oregon
Posted: 2011-10-09 4:48 pm   Permalink

WOW! Thanks for all the wonderful info and pics, Dustycajun and Phillip Roberts (and Phenix for pointing out the broken link originally).

Now I am all confused and wondering how many times in it's lifetime this sign was changed. If you look at the black and white photo I posted originally off ebay, the airplane is on the left, the ship on the right and they are pretty small.
In the color photos the ship is on the left, with the airplane on the right and they are much bigger.
The wonderful placemat art seems to echo this second design (what year was this made?)
In the second re-creation at Aloha Tower not only is the color scheme completely different, but there is a sailboat and an outrigger added.

I am really wondering what the original design was now. The larger ship and airplane are more iconic and have a more art deco feel to them to me, but the first photo is obviously also quite old and possibly the first version. Logically I think it must be, because it doesn't have the additional "Kau Kau Korner" neon topper. So probably when they added the topper they changed the design scheme.

[ This Message was edited by: tigertail777 2011-10-09 16:53 ]


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4427
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2012-01-21 06:03 am   Permalink

While not featuring the sign, here are a few menus from the Kau Kau corner.






And a few more photos of the sign.








And an early photo of the sign and the drive in building.



The Kau Kau Corner building was actually enveloped with the Coco's Coffee shop, as discussed in this thread.

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=39185&forum=2&hilite=coco's

DC


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