Tiki Apartments in Redondo Beach

La Vida Tiki: Southern California’s Polynesian Apartments

Tiki Apartments in Redondo Beach
Tiki Apartments in Redondo Beach

In the mid- to late-1960s, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego had literally dozens of apartment complexes with a Polynesian design, and a marketing message to prospective tenants that their complex was an oasis, and escape from big city living into a personal tropical hideaway. Tikis, gas-powered flaming torches, tropical foliage, and water features abounded. Not many have survived intact, but it’s not difficult to see hints of them remaining: a lava rock wall here, outrigger beams there, spindly palm trees poking up… the tikis may be gone, but their shadow remains.

ZuluMagoo is a man possessed… by a love for Polynesian apartment complexes. He recently paid a visit to the L.A. County Library in downtown Los Angeles, and pored through the old Yellow Pages looking for suspect names; he’s posted a list of them for local tikiphiles to explore. ZuluMagoo, Sabu the Coconut Boy and others have recently posted a spate of reports from site visits to tiki apartments on Tiki Central, with many lovely pictures, and a few people have been able to dig up original promotional brochures. I won’t link to all the apartment threads in TC here, there are simply too many, but do look for them in Locating Tiki!

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