The Tonga Room in the Fairmont Hotel has been a landmark of San Francisco since 1945 and is one of the most authentic examples of faux Polynesian design in the country. My first memory of the Tonga is of my parents taking me there when I was 10 years old. We went to the symphony and what a treat to have a bite at the Tonga after! With its fancy drinks with tiny umbrellas, to a live band floating on a pool (thunderstorms included), the Tonga Room is the epitome of kitsch at its finest!
After years of service, The Tonga may be demolished to make way for condominiums. The Fairmont’s owners have submitted plans for a condo conversion in an adjacent tower and rumor has it that the Tonga won't survive. This is really sad as it's happening all over. Take the Plaza Hotel in NYC. Certainly not the same since the condo conversion.
I am so saddened by the possibility of losing this gem! The Tonga Room deserves to be designated a protected historic site, like other treasured buildings. These special buildings and sites give San Francisco its historical and cultural value that draws visitors from around the world and makes the city an amazing place to live. So, from a San Franciscan that wants to "Save the Tonga", please visit their website for updates and sign the petition here.