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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Mapping out tiki in Orange County, Calif.
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Mapping out tiki in Orange County, Calif.
SpaceAgeCity
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 17, 2002
Posts: 88
From: Orange County, CA
Posted: 2012-06-17 11:21 pm   Permalink

I've started a collaborative mapping project on Google Maps to identify all the places in Orange County where you can still see a bit of classic tiki. Pinpointing places like Sam's/Don's was the easy part. But I'm also trying to identify the housing tracts that featured tiki/Hawaiian designs as part of their mix. See,...

http://goo.gl/maps/248S

Your help is certainly welcomed -- Just jump in and stick pins in neighborhoods where you know tiki-style tract houses or apartments can still be seen.

And before you ask: No, I'm not trying to locate all the spots where tiki *once* stood but has since been demolished. You won't find Christian's Hut on this map, for instance. But you will find tiki apartment complexes where the theme has been compromised but is still identifiable.

Anyway, check out the map if you want to. Contribute more sites if you want to. Or maybe just drive around and check out the locations nearest you. I think this should serve as a useful resource in the future.

Aloha!

Chris


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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 7048
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2012-06-18 03:43 am   Permalink

I am truly sorry to critique your project Chris, But I have to point out a major flaw in many
of your entries, The slight A-Frame component in many of the homes you have listed are not Polynesian in origin
(So have nothing to do with Tiki)

These houses have very little crawl space/ventilation areas, A raised section was necessary for proper airflow
and heat dissipation.

This is a common architectural trait of the tract housing from the 50s & 60s in this area
(I live in one) A couple of other houses listed are just examples of classic mid century architecture

One just has an Asian style roof-line, I am a student of mid century architecture in this area, Even worked as a Roofer for a few years
When I needed to take a brake from the Computer Industry & have many Architect friends & clients
so I do have some knowledge of the subject.

So to serve accuracy & keep 100s or more of these (Non Tiki) style of houses from deterring from your worthy project
you might want to reconsider many of the entries.


 
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SpaceAgeCity
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 17, 2002
Posts: 88
From: Orange County, CA
Posted: 2012-06-18 12:15 pm   Permalink

Actually, each of the tracts I listed does have at least *some* Polynesian/Tiki/Hawaiian traits in at least *some* of its various models. I'm not just talking about a crawlspace. I'm talking about details and styling that *aren't* necessary for airflow but which hearken back to features in traditional Hawaiian or South Seas structures. You may not have FOUND those houses in these tracts yet -- or you may have overlooked ones where the styling is rather subdued -- but (barring a few errors) they're actually there. (Don't rely on the "pins" on the map to guide you. Often, I just threw a pin randomly somewhere in the tract.) In some cases, I've even found newspaper ads promoting these "Hawaiian" themes in these tracts. I appreciate your attempts to help, but I'm afraid you're wrong about this.

Chris


 
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 7048
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2012-06-18 1:20 pm   Permalink

Well from the photos pinned at your Google site, Nope.

Though your on the mark with the Apartment complexes, but many of the homes listed
are not Polynesian influenced & a few others are strictly Mid Century.

But maybe you can post some examples here and I will gladly eat crow.


 
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lucas vigor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 12, 2004
Posts: 4090
From: SOCAL
Posted: 2012-06-18 4:11 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2012-06-17 23:21, SpaceAgeCity wrote:
I've started a collaborative mapping project on Google Maps to identify all the places in Orange County where you can still see a bit of classic tiki. Pinpointing places like Sam's/Don's was the easy part. But I'm also trying to identify the housing tracts that featured tiki/Hawaiian designs as part of their mix. See,...

http://goo.gl/maps/248S

Your help is certainly welcomed -- Just jump in and stick pins in neighborhoods where you know tiki-style tract houses or apartments can still be seen.

And before you ask: No, I'm not trying to locate all the spots where tiki *once* stood but has since been demolished. You won't find Christian's Hut on this map, for instance. But you will find tiki apartment complexes where the theme has been compromised but is still identifiable.

Anyway, check out the map if you want to. Contribute more sites if you want to. Or maybe just drive around and check out the locations nearest you. I think this should serve as a useful resource in the future.

Aloha!

Chris



I have also thought about doing something similar, mostly with the old vintage motels up and down BrookHurst and Beach streets in Anaheim. Lot's of good stuff there! But alas, I am too lazy. So, you, please.

And right off the top of my head, check out what is on Ball Rd and Loara st. in anaheim....the Kona Luanii apartments...which I drive by every day. Just street view that intersection and you will see it!

[ This Message was edited by: lucas vigor 2012-06-18 16:18 ]


 
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Big Kahuna
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Joined: Apr 11, 2007
Posts: 2482
From: SoMass
Posted: 2012-06-18 4:59 pm   Permalink

Thanks for mapping out my November vacation!

 
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TikiG
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 17, 2008
Posts: 1560
From: Riverside, California
Posted: 2012-06-18 5:04 pm   Permalink

You wanna talk about ironic? I grew up on Mauna Lane in Huntington Beach and my neighborhoods' streets all had Polynesian names i.e. Halawa, Maikai, Pua, Fiji, Samoa, Pago Pago etc.

This neighborhood is within the Brookhurst St, Yorktown Ave, Ward St, and Garfield Ave grid.

I can say no "tiki" archetural stylings we would expect are to be found here, even in their original configurations (circa 1961.)

We did have the small A-frame roof peak, but it wasn't "tiki" and it served as a crawlspace as ATP stated above.

All the tiki trappings I remember in this neighborhood growing up were added later by the individual homeowners and even then that would have been simple adornments around a usually kidney-shaped pool or at best a Polynesian themed rumpus room. A carved tiki here and there and tiki torches mainly...then the 70s came along and the horrible wrought-iron/velvet furniture era set in - the "south pacific" motifs became fodder for the garbage can.
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SpaceAgeCity
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 17, 2002
Posts: 88
From: Orange County, CA
Posted: 2012-06-18 5:11 pm   Permalink

Lucas: How could I forget the Kona Luanii, with it's great signage? Good catch. Thanks!

ATP: Again,... The pins aren't attached to any particular image or house. They only indicate the overall *tract* in which multiple tiki-style houses can be found. Use the ground-level feature on Google Maps to "virtually cruise around" those neighborhoods and you'll soon see various forms of "Hawaiian modern."

Chris



 
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SpaceAgeCity
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 17, 2002
Posts: 88
From: Orange County, CA
Posted: 2012-06-18 5:19 pm   Permalink

TikiG: I know that area quite well. I grew up in Southeast H.B. also. And no, there isn't anything tiki-ish to recommend the homes over there. Likewise, I know of tracts in both Fountain Valley and Cypress that have great Polynesian street names but no sign of South Seas design anywhere. Alternately, you sometimes find *great* tiki-style homes in tracts with "Olde English"-sounding street names or other unrelated themes. There doesn't seem to be a reliable pattern.

Chris


 
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aquarj
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 02, 2002
Posts: 1107
From: SF bay area, CA
Posted: 2012-06-18 10:15 pm   Permalink

Sorry, another reply not really what you're asking for...

This sounds like a great idea. Actually, Chris, I used some kind of guide you put together of googie spots for a tour something like 10 years ago. All that great stuff like La Habra Bowl, gravity defying car washes, etc. When I saw this topic, I remembered a little insignificant tiki out front at Little Joe's, on Chapman in Orange. I was curious if you had it in your list, but then, it was 10 years ago I ate there, so the odds are it's gone. I'm sure this is one of a zillion stories (and not what you're looking for in this thread), but sadly Google street view confirmed that Little Joe's is gone.

They had this great mural in the back - one of those maps with exaggerated sense of scale. See the tiny Little Joe's sign with the tiny moai?


Here's the tiki outside, in 2002.


2012 street view - "Extremes". Really, is that name a joke? I don't see Elmer Dills, Max Jacobson, and Kitty Morgan recommending this place!!?!


-Randy


 
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nui 'umi 'umi
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 21, 2011
Posts: 2599
From: La Mirada Atoll
Posted: 2012-06-18 10:47 pm   Permalink

Hey Space I'm liking dis thread.Keep it up.
Cheers,David


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11594
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2012-06-19 02:36 am   Permalink

I know Chris Jepsen as a very dedicated and professional historian, and if he says there is Tiki in dem burbs, there is. But I also share ATP's sense of caution to declare just any lil' A-frame peak with an outrigger beam "Tiki". As I have said here repeatedly, the A-frame was common feature in all kinds of mid-century buildings.

From my research I gather that the A-frame was first used by modern architect R.M. Schindler, who worked in California from the early 20th century, building MOSTLY International Style boxy buildings - but there were exceptions:


Laura Davies residence, 1924

He helped Frank Lloyd Wright to build the imperial Hotel in Tokyo from 1915 - 1923. This might have influenced his Asian design of the DESERT HOUSE near Palm Springs in 1946:







This is the earliest example of a modern house with the A-frame/outrigger beam combo I could find. I would call it Asian Modern, but not Tiki.

To make a building clearly Tiki is a question of degree of how much of the other elements exist, or have existed:

Hawaiian/Polynesian/Tropical names
Not just rock walls, but preferably lava rock
The elaborateness of the outrigger beams
Pool rec rooms with bamboo and rattan interiors
Landscaping like waterfalls, gas torches, bridges, and big tropical flora
...and of course Tiki carvings

I am sure Chris has found several of the above elements in his map locations. And since he is friends with Mike Skinner/Zulu Magoo, I am sure he is aware of Mike's L.A. apartment map. I am glad that Chris is keeping urban archeology going, and the discussion alive.


[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2012-06-19 02:38 ]


 
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Luckydesigns
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 15, 2002
Posts: 2331
From: Costa Mesa
Posted: 2012-06-19 08:44 am   Permalink

I posted something about a 'tiki neighborhood' in Newport Beach back in 2003.

Of course the photos aren't there anymore, but I do remember these houses having lava rock walls and a distinct Hawaiian A-Frame. The apex of the A-Frame was usually decorative as to set it apart from just being a 'mid-century' feature. There were a couple of places on the peninsula in Newport that still had aged and period correct styled tikis out front too. Very 1960's modern but well worn with age. They are gone now...

Newport Shores is the best example of the tiki neighborhood that I was referring to. Unfortunately some real-estate lady came through, during the housing boom, and remodeled and 'updated' a bunch of them, trying to flip them for 700-800k each. The use of stucco over lava rock and wood on an A-Frame house is just offensive.

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=3738&forum=1&hilite=neighborhood


Here is a web photo of three of the 'remodled' ones in that neighborhood. I guess it can be subjective whether that is considered 'modern architecture' or 'tiki'... When it had the lava rock walls, it looked WAY more tiki to me. Now it just looks midcenury-modern.




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SpaceAgeCity
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 17, 2002
Posts: 88
From: Orange County, CA
Posted: 2012-06-19 09:52 am   Permalink

My thought was to identify place where one could see that the architects or builders were significantly influenced by the Mid-Century tiki trend. (Of course, I also threw in a few more recent sites, for fun.) Much like identifying Googie architecture, I don't think tiki architecture can be defined by any one trait -- although sometimes that's all it takes. But often, it requires a mix of several traits, and sometimes they're a bit subtle. For instance, having a little peak at the top of the house doesn't make it "tiki." But do the ends of that peak cantelever out at an angle that mimics traditionl Indonesian buildings? That might be an indicator. Is there an outrigger beam, cut with a longer-on-the-top/shorter-on-the-bottom notch? That's another indicator. And so on.

Is flagstone less "tiki" than lava rock? You bet. But often, developers used whatever was least expensive. Remember, during the early 1960s (the peak for tiki tracts in O.C.), homes were being built at a truly unbelieveable rate. We shouldn't be surprised that the ideal materials weren't used in many cases. In any case, I've seen some very cool tiki-style buildings that incorporated Palos Verdes stone.

Also complicating matters is the fact that so many people have (like that Newport Beach realtor) tried to disguise their tiki-style homes as something else, or at least to downplay the tiki elements. But often they are only partially successful, and the home's "tikiness" would be relatively easy to restore.

Folks, we've come to the point where a lot of our classic tiki architecture now qualifies as historic. (Really!) We have to start looking at it the way preservationists look at Victorian homes or Craftsman bungalows. The question is not just, "Does this all look original and pristine," but rather, "Does enough of the building's original design and structure remain that it could be thoughtfully restored?"

Hopefully, some of us tiki fans will seek out these homes (when we're in the market) and nurse them back to health. If we don't, who will?

Chris

P.S. -- Thanks for the kind words, Sven. And yes, Mike's excellent research (and yours) has certainly informed some of my thinking.


 
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 7048
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2012-06-19 11:25 am   Permalink

I am cautious about declaring any A-Frame "Tiki"

If that was the case then all "Wienerschnitzel" Restaurants & half of Switzerland would be Tiki!
remember the A-Frame is a common Mid Century Architectural design trait.


 
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