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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Tonga Room SF (Not) to be demolished?
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Tonga Room SF (Not) to be demolished?
Polynesiac
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 29, 2004
Posts: 2094
From: San Pedro, CA
Posted: 2008-11-07 08:18 am   Permalink

I'm hearing rumblings that the fairmont is planning to demolish the tower that holds the Tonga Room, which would destroy the Tonga Room

Has anyone else heard this?

Can any of you arcitecture types and historians give some tips on finding out what really is going on so we can do something about this?

We don't want one of the last original and REALLY nice tiki restaurants to be gone!

Locating tiki
Tonga Room thread

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Sneakytiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2003
Posts: 1795
From: Boise, Idaho
Posted: 2008-11-07 08:29 am   Permalink

DAMN IT, DAMMIT, DAMMMMMITT!!!

 
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Tom Slick
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 26, 2005
Posts: 1092
From: The Beaches of South Bay, SoCal
Posted: 2008-11-07 08:30 am   Permalink

That would suck....Never made it there, but always wanted to see it! I hope it is some type of bad joke or rumour....

 
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LOL Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 06, 2007
Posts: 932
From: San Diegoish
Posted: 2008-11-07 09:44 am   Permalink

This seems unlikely. The Tonga Room is located in what was essentially the basement of the original hotel. So based on the rumor it's the original hotel itself (which is a historic location in its on right) not the adjoining tower that would have to be destroyed.
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Polynesiac
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 29, 2004
Posts: 2094
From: San Pedro, CA
Posted: 2008-11-07 2:10 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-11-07 09:44, LOL Tiki wrote:
This seems unlikely. The Tonga Room is located in what was essentially the basement of the original hotel. So based on the rumor it's the original hotel itself (which is a historic location in its on right) not the adjoining tower that would have to be destroyed.




Exactly...and this is where the architecture type people would come in handy. It is in the basement, but it doesn't look like it's in the basement of the original hotel (though the ephemera posted on TC and in the hallways leading to the tonga room would say otherwise), which is why this rumor confused me and I was hoping TC could help.

I'm not sure if the tonga room portion is part of the original hotel and the newer tower (the one that the fairmont supposedly is considering demolishing - I think was built in the '60's sometime) is built on top of where the tonga room is located - which would mean that it all would go.

I don't know about historic titles for buildings and whatnot and what is allowed as far as construction is concerned, but if you're going to demo a tower and this is in the basement, I don't know how you could not demo the basement too.

I sure hope that this is never going to happen, but from what I've heard the fairmont is seriously considering this option.

Anyone work in the city planning area of SF? (or whatever city department it would be?)

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JenTiki
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 16, 2006
Posts: 2346
From: Home of the best rum collection in NC
Posted: 2008-11-07 3:21 pm   Permalink

Considering that the Tonga Room just underwent a rather costly "renovation" earlier this year, I think it's highly unlikely that it would be demolished so soon after.

 
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hanford_lemoore
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 23, 2002
Posts: 1874
From: Tiki Central
Posted: 2008-11-10 11:08 am   Permalink

Unfortunately, it looks like this rumor has some truth to it. I've been asked by some who are studying the proposal to point out anything "that makes the Tonga Room really stand out in the world of Tiki- either today or when it first opened. If you can point me in the direction of any interesting or unusual information, or people, or history that would be great!"

How about we start a collection here of links to good Tonga Room threads, and post any history we know of it? I could direct them to this thread to make it easy for them.

Mahalo,

Hanford



 
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LOL Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 06, 2007
Posts: 932
From: San Diegoish
Posted: 2008-11-10 11:11 am   Permalink

What is the proposal?

Incidentally - if you walk the hallways of the Fairmont you will find pictorial histories of various aspects of the hotel, including its many restaurants. That might be a good starting point.

[ This Message was edited by: LOL Tiki 2008-11-10 11:18 ]


 
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congawa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 11, 2008
Posts: 358
From: Long Beach, CA
Posted: 2008-11-10 12:44 pm   Permalink

Wasn't the lagoon in the Tonga Room originally an indoor swimming pool dating back to when the original hotel opened?

I sure hope it's not threatened, as it's gotta be one of the few (if not only) suriving original tiki restaurants situated in an old posh hotel (we've already lost the Beverly Hilton Trader Vic's, which wasn't as old or historic or quite as posh a hotel).


 
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donhonyc
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2008-11-10 2:08 pm   Permalink

Wow, this would really suck. Glad I got to visit a few times over the summer. I don't know if I'll ever be in San Francisco again, but I would hate to know that place vanished for good. Hopefully it will remain.

 
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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1784
From: Orlando
Posted: 2008-11-10 3:11 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-11-10 12:44, congawa wrote:
Wasn't the lagoon in the Tonga Room originally an indoor swimming pool dating back to when the original hotel opened?


Yes.



 
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lucas vigor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 12, 2004
Posts: 4090
From: SOCAL
Posted: 2008-11-10 4:07 pm   Permalink

I am pretty sure that's a picture of the ______ baths, that were at golden state beach.... Let me post a link.

 
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lucas vigor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 12, 2004
Posts: 4090
From: SOCAL
Posted: 2008-11-10 4:09 pm   Permalink

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sutro_Baths

Sutro baths (I Had forgotten the name)


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TikiGardener
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1368
From: 1st website dedicated to Tiki Gardens
Posted: 2008-11-10 5:03 pm   Permalink

Not sure, but I don't think thats Sutro. I believe thats in one of the display cases on the way to the Tonga Room itself.

Sutro had multiple pools.

And it would truly suck if they destroy that place.

TG
http://www.exotic-tiki-gardens.com


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aquarj
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 02, 2002
Posts: 1109
From: SF bay area, CA
Posted: 2008-11-10 5:30 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-11-10 15:11, GatorRob wrote:



GatorRob and LOLTiki and TikiGardener are correct. That swimming pool, the "Plunge" was an older use for the space occupied by the Tonga Room now. In fact, GatorRob's photo is a picture of a photo hanging on the hallway wall outside the Tonga Room. It's not a coincidence that the Tonga Room has a rectangular pool in it, with the little music raft.

While the photo does resemble the Sutro Baths a little, I think those were much much larger. And I tend to trust the historical photos OF the Fairmont IN the Fairmont. But here's a question. Are those windows in the photo, and if so, what direction do they face? One side of that space is underground, so that picture would have to be taken from the back of the (now) Tonga Room looking toward the front. From that orientation, it's possible that there would be windows along the one wall, which would face the bay.

Here's some quoted text from the
Fairmont history...
Quote:

Not long after the Swig purchase, people going to take a dip in the 'Fairmont Plunge' were startled to find themselves aboard the 'S.S. Tonga,' which provided a 'ship-shape' atmosphere, along with exotic drinks accompanied by Chinese food. Not satisfied with that, the S.S. Tonga went into dry-dock, replaced by the Tonga Room, with its musical boat in the middle of the pool, tiki huts under which patrons can enjoy a refreshing Mai-Tai, and an exotic menu reflecting the South Sea & Asian ambiance. A gleaming dance floor provides space for guests to dance; little do they realize that it was originally the deck of the S.S. Forrester, one of the last of the tall ships that plied the route between San Francisco and the South Sea Islands.



-Randy


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