Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mystery tikis, Logan Barrio, Register & Mary Garcia

Today may be the first in an occasionally recurring "Mystery Photo" series -- assuming there's any interest. The photo comes from the O.C. Archives and was shot by an employee of the O.C. Planning Dept. in Nov. 1961. Unfortunately, I don't know the location of this outstanding tiki-themed apartment complex. There were many one-story faux-Polynesian complexes in Southern California in those days, which makes it tricky to pinpoint. My first thought was The Islander Apartments, at the northern edge of Santa Ana -- but it's really not a perfect match. The odds are good that it's in O.C., but even that's not 100% certain. Please post a comment if you recognize the tikis or the buildings, or if you have any other clues to share.
Today's image is also an excellent excuse to dwell on what Sven Kirsten calls "Polynesian Pop." I love this stuff, and once even created a small website dedicated to it. Interestingly, the tikis in the photo above each serve a purpose: The first holds a torch, which undoubtedly lit up with a gas-fed flame at night; and the second seems to hold a map or directory of the complex.
On an unrelated note, yesterday's Register featured an article about the past, present and future of Santa Ana's Logan Barrio. Local historian Mary Garcia and her new book about Logan's history are prominently featured. Once again, good job, Mary!
Speaking of the Register, I'm disappointed to hear that they're breaking their local coverage into six separate regions. Under the new system, my morning paper won't include most of the news I'm interested in. Some of us care about Orange County -- not just the little corner of it we happen to live in.


outsidetheberm said...

Thought the same thing about The Register when we read the news. That paper seems to be getting thinner and thinner. Sad.

Anonymous said...

So....let's put the Logan Barrio on the National Register.

walterworld said...

I vote in favor of the occasional 'mystery photo'.

And I'm fairly sure that I ran into your Tiki site a few years back, probably after I read 'The Book of Tiki' by the aforementioned Mr. Kirtsen.

I enjoyed the site back then, nice to make the connection.

Keep up the good work...

Anonymous said...

I was the Register paperboy for the the Islander apts at Bristol and Memory ln in Santa Ana 1977/78 and I agree close but no cigar.

Anonymous said...

Back in 1963 we lived on Rose St (east of Tustin Ave. There were some kind of Polynesan type places across the street from us. I will have to check out the live maps to take a look at them, if they are still there.

Thank you so much for this site - I just found it today and cannot leave my computer.

Chris Jepsen said...


I think the place you're thinking of was the Ie Maru apartments.