September 12, 2005

La Vida Tiki: Southern California’s Polynesian Apartments

Filed under: History,Los Angeles,San Diego,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 11:12 pm
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!

2 Responses to “La Vida Tiki: Southern California’s Polynesian Apartments”

  1. Jordan Thomas Says:


    Can you give more info on tiki apartments?

    I’ve been looking for something like this. Right now, i’m search for redondo beach apartments on westside rental.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.


  2. Tony Says:

    I love the tiki feeling to apartments. I have to agree in that the Polynesian design does give you a feeling of being at an oasis.

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About Humuhumu
Humuhumu is the creator of several tiki websites. She is a designer and programmer based out of San Francisco.

- Website Design and Programming

- A Worldwide Guide to Tiki Bars & Polynesian Restaurants

- Tiki Mugs & More: Track & View Collections




Arkiva Tropika
Mimi Payne’s massive Polynesian Pop collection

Barefoot Bloggin’
A surfin’, ukein’, freewheelin’ monkey boy

Beachbum Berry
Author of Grog Log and Intoxica!, and one of my dearest drinkin’ buddies
Blog from the user interface designer extraordinaire

Worldwide Guide to Tiki Bars & Polynesian Restaurants

Dumb Angel
A look at the 1960s Los Angeles mod, pop, surf, and music scene

Eye of the Goof
Pop culture with a tiki tinge

Forbidden Island
My Wednesday hangout, the Bay Area’s best tiki bar

Humuhumu’s Life in Photos
Pictures of my adventures
I build websites

Junkyard Clubhouse
Random interesting things from Humuhumu & Hanford Lemoore

Kevin Kidney
Kevin loves tiki, I love Kevin, you will too

Tiki links galore

Mai Tai Online
Montreal-based tiki ‘zine

Tiki Mug Collection Organizer

The Jab
Follow the way of the jab

Tiki Bar TV
Public Access meets Modern Drunkard

Tiki Central
Community forums

Tiki Magazine
Periodical publication covering the wide world of Tiki

Tiki Talk
Hot Lava’s Tiki Blog