The International Market Place in Waikiki, Hawaii has been a tourist fixture on Oahu since its opening on this day 52 years ago. The brainchild of exotic restaurateur Don the Beachcomber, the sprawling 14-acre complex was built to resemble a string of native villages from different cultures, allowing tourists to interact with and purchase handicrafts from each of the many peoples that helped shaped modern Hawaii. The top tiki carvers of the day were employed to decorate the grounds and tiki enthusiasts flocked there to revel in its poly-pop delights. Over the years, the Market Place mutated into something very different, but the tikis have remained.
Sadly, the detikiization of the Market Place has begun. Tiki Central member Mo-Eye, who works at the complex's Thor Stor, noticed the removal of several prominent tikis on the property last week in what appears to be the first stages in the planned renovation of the complex, which was originally going to the razed until the Queen Emma Foundation, which owns the land, needed to spend more money on hospital renovations.
The good folks at Tiki Central have a thread on the topic with news updates and photos of the International Market Place through the years.