Sunday, June 6, 2010

Jungle Island - Buena Park, California

This week (Thurs.,June 10th) the Orange County Historical Society is hosting its annual summer luau meeting. The main event of the evening will be Chris Jepsen's presentation on the history of Orange County tiki. In keeping with that theme, I present what's left of Jungle Island in Buena Park, California. I imagine Chris will share some fantastic images and stories from this place from back in the day. So, today I will only share some pictures of its current status.



Great clash of architectural styles (colonial vs. tiki)


Jungle Island is part of Knott's Berry Farm and has since closed as an attraction, but I remember as a kid, my sister and and I exploring this tropical playground when we still lived in adjacent Anaheim. Knott's has since redeveloped this portion of their property into the Soak City water park and an area with pavillions to rent out (four of them designed with a Polyneisan flair) for private parties. Independence Hall is still there and you can see what's left of JI behind (the lagoon and lush landscaping remain).





The landscaping and the lagoon around the property make this place a incredible tropical oasis in the center of the urban jungle of Southern California.










See you Thurs. night at Don the Beachcombers!

15 comments:

  1. Strangely enough, I won't be talking about Jungle Island. It was pretty cool an unique, but not very "tiki." Those Polynesian Pavilions were actually built AFTER the big Tiki boom of the 1950s/60s that is my subject.

    Frankly, I started out with a segment on all this. However, my initial draft for my talk came in at about an hour and a half. I think the most I can expect to inflict on ANY audience is about 40 minutes. So I'm doing some serious trimming.

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  2. I didn't know those pavillions were put up afterwards, thanks for the correction.

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  3. Looking forward to Thursday!

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  4. That second photo looks like something straight out of an old tarzan/bwana movie! Beautiful!

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  5. james f. webb w/ wife,and walters consent created the most unique 1/4 square mile on the planet! from 1964 thru sept 1982 this place was magic.you had to be there! jim rip greg i miss you

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    1. Hey Greg,
      Just saw this. I'm Jim's son, and I think you are the Greg I remember that worked there? Thanks for the post. I miss my Dad too!


      John Webb

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