The Tonga Room retains a high level of historical integrity. The objects associated with its significance, including the overall spatial characteristics of its setting, date from the 1967 remodel. There have been some upgrades to the Tonga Room since 1967: it appears that carpeting, furniture upholstery, the dance floor surface, the bar top on the Hurricane Bar, several wall hangings and light fixtures were replaced or upgraded in a 2007-2008 remodel. These non-contributing alterations present only a limited impact on the ability of the original elements' location, setting, design, workmanship, materials, association, and feeling to convey their significance. Thus, the Tonga Room is an historical resource for the purposes of CEQA Section 15064.5(a)(3).
But then it does go on to say on page 37:
If the affected historic resource (Tonga Room) can neither be preserved at its current site, nor moved to an alternate site and it is to be demolished, a conservation team that meets the Secretary of the Interior's Professional Qualification Standards shall document, stabilize, and salvage the character-defining features, associated with the affected historic resource, for their storage in a secure climate-controlled location and in a manner to be protected from accelerated deterioration, theft, vandalism, damage, rodents and pests, or adverse environmental conditions. [...]
The documentation, stabilization, and salvage program shall remove and retain all of the Tonga Room's character-defining features for public information and education, and/or reuse in an alternate off-site location. Demolition may proceed only after character-defining features have been documented in their historic locations and their removal has been completed. A similar process is outlined in the National Park Service's Preservation Brief 31; Mothballing Historic Buildings.
("Brief 31, Mothballing Historic Buildings!")
Also don't miss pages 1 through 7, which document the Fairmont Hotel's significance through the Terminal Pleistocene and Early, Middle and Late Holocene, as well as its Paleontological and Historic Setting. (I may have to nab some of this for the DNA Lounge Ancient History page...)
I'm so glad I got to see the Tonga Room about a year ago. The friends who took me there told me that it was likely to close in a year or so, I guess they were right. I hope it does get preserved as a historical landmark or something, the world needs more Tiki!
I want a Mai Tai
You can't have it. It's my tai.
well fuckit, I want a burrito then. In a coconut cup.
One of the nice things about the Great Fire of London (other than the fact that nobody important enough to be worth writing about died) is that it cleared some space to build new things.
So, yeah, take photos and tear it down. In 2317 when the Tonga Room is suddenly the greatest thing to ever happen, someone will recreate it from the records (with a few subtle changes of course, in the 24th century everyone smokes opium but they drink fermented milk, so the cocktail list will be a bit different).
I stayed at the Fairmont just last weekend and I asked a few of the concierges about the fate of the Tonga Room and each one vehemently denied that it was going to be torn down or removed, and that it was there to stay. I don't know if they're told to tell people that, or if they may know something, but for the moment it's still up and going, so go visit while it's still there!