Friday, June 26, 2009

Lahaina nonprofit launches brick campaign to save Pioneer Mill Smokestack

The Lahaina Restoration Foundation launched a "Buy a Brick" campaign to raise money for the Pioneer Mill Smokestack restoration. Each donation of $100- $700 will be recognized by engraving the donor's name into a brick that will become part of a future walkway at the restored site.

The restoration of the smokestack will cost an estimated $300,000 which is being raised by the Lahaina Restoration Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Lahaina, Maui.

The Smokestack was named to Hawaii Most Endangered Historic Sites in 2005. The 200-foot chimney is the only remaining structure of the Pioneer Mill which was founded in 1860 and closed in 1999. The photo above shows the mill in its entirety.

Donations made to the Lahaina Restoration Foundation, through this campaign or through general donations are tax deductible. To donate and receive your brick, please contact the foundation at 808-661-3262.

Bishop Museum to Open Newly Restored Hawaiian Hall

Bishop Museum's newly restored Hawaiian Hall will reopen to the public with a two-day celebration on August 8 and 9 at the museum.

The Hawaiian Hall complex was built to house the founding collections of Bishop Museum and was constructed in three building phases from 1888 to 1903. Today, the complex is regarded as a masterwork of late Victorian museum design with a rare unchanged interior. The building is listed on the Hawaii State and National Register of Historic Places.

In 2005, the Bishop Museum commissioned an extensive inventory of the condition of the Hawaiian Hall complex, which precipitated an ambitious three year restoration project. The museum contracted with Heath Construction Services for the project management, Mason Architects for architectural design, and Constructors Hawai‘i for the construction work.

Hawaiian Hall and Picture Gallery project began August 21, 2006 and included:
  • Building a new atrium lobby;
  • Renovation and restoration of Hawaiian Hall and Picture Gallery;
  • Installation of a new elevator, encased in a koa-paneled tower;
  • Restored cast iron columns; and
  • Refinished and retrofitted exhibition cases.

The restoration of Hawaiian Hall and the picture gallery received Historic Hawaii Foundation's Preservation Honor Award in 2009.

The grand reopening celebration will take place on August 8 and 9 at the Bishop Museum. Updates on the reopening weekend schedule of events and additional information can be found at or by calling (808)847-3511.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Historic Hawaii Foundation Mourns the Loss of Mrs. Helen Cole, HHF Founder & Longtime Suppoter

Mrs. Cole was a native of Honolulu and received her A.B. from Dominican College in San Rafael, California, and a Bachelors of Education from the University of Hawai‘i. She was married to the late Captain Allyn Cole, Jr., USN (Ret).

In the early 1970s, she served as an Advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. During her time in this role, she and Charles Black organized a conference on each of the Hawaiian islands with the National Trust and other citizens of Hawai‘i to discuss the growing concern for preserving Hawaii’s historic places. In 1974, at the conclusion of the conference held in the Monarch Room of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, these like-minded individuals formed “Historic Hawai‘i Foundation.” The founding directors were Mrs. Cole, Mr. Black, Jan Campbell, Robert Fox, Carl Klunder, Aaron Levine, and Thurston Twigg-Smith.

Thanks to the undying dedication of Helen, she and her fellow founders built Historic Hawai‘i Foundation from a group of 250 in 1974 to a group of over 2250 members by 1977. Helen was integral in this effort, tirelessly writing letters and making phone calls to build the momentum and develop the membership.

There were two places of primary concern for Helen and Historic Hawai‘i Foundation in the first years of its existence. The first was the Royal Brewery in downtown Honolulu. The members of Historic Hawai‘i were able to advise and encourage the owner to restore the historic building instead of demolishing. Thanks to these efforts, the Royal Brewery still exists today.

The other major concern was for Honolulu’s historic Chinatown. Nu‘uanu Avenue in particular was in imminent danger of falling to the wrecking ball for street widening plans through the federal government’s Urban Renewal program. The members of Historic Hawai‘i Foundation saved the heart of historic Chinatown so that it could become the corridor of culture and the arts that we enjoy today.

In addition to Historic Hawai‘i Foundation, Helen was a member of over 60 organizations. She served as a Regent of the Daughters of Hawai’i; a member of the Board of Directors of the State Council on Hawaiian Heritage; a member of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee to the Capital District; a Director of the Hawai‘i Museums Association, Liaison Committee of Heritage, Bicentennial Commission, Board of Directors of Hawai‘i Council on Culture and the Arts; and as a member of the Women’s Committee of Association for Hawaiian Music.

In 1989, a fund was established in memory of her husband to honor his legacy by enhancing and perpetuating ongoing educational programs. The fund was used to create Historic Hawai‘i Foundation’s video “Generation after Generation”; allowed Historic Hawai‘i Foundation staff to attend national preservation conferences; and aided in the development of a historic preservation curriculum at Hawai‘i Pacific University.

Mrs. Cole unselfishly served as chairman, president, membership chair, editorial board member and Trustee Emeritus of Historic Hawai‘i Foundation. In 1998, Helen was honored as Historic Hawai‘i Foundation’s Kama‘āina of the Year.

Helen will be greatly missed. She passed away only a few days after the 35th anniversary of the organization that she founded. However, her legacy continues each day through Hawaii’s historic places and is a living tribute to a life well lived.

Funeral services for Mrs. Helen Cole will be held on Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 11:30a.m. at the National Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl Crater in Honolulu. Aloha attire. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Historic Hawaii Foundation or the Daughters of Hawai‘i.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Chinatown Historical and Cultural Walking Tour

The Hawaii Heritage Center will be hosting a Chinatown Historical and Cultural Walking Tour every Wednesday and Friday at 9:30am. Tours give residents and visitors an opportunity to visit historic buildings, open markets, manapua (buns stuffed with sweet pork) and noodle making businesses, herb and acupunture locations and other interesting places. The tour includes gallery entry and orientation on the different ethnic groups in Hawaii. Friendly and knowledgeable guides will share their insights and stories about Chinatown and its culture.

Tours meet at 9:30am Wednesday and Friday, at 1040 Smith Street (between Hotel & King Streets), and offer additional times for groups of 20 or more. Tour cost is $10 per person. Contact Karen Motosue, Vice President (volunteer) Hawaii Heritage Center at 521-2749 for bus, parking and other information.

The Hawaii Heritage Center is a nonprofit educational organization founded in 1980 to preserve and perpetuate knowledge of the history and heritage of Hawaii's unique diverse multicultural community.
Hawaii Heritage Center Historical & Cultural Gallery is open Monday to Saturday, 9am-2pm, closed on state holidays.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Historic places of Schofield Barracks: A first-look tour for Historic Hawaii Foundation members

Historic Hawaii Foundation Members are cordially invited to an exclusive tour of historic sites of Schofield Barracks.

The tour will be on June 23, 2009 at 10 a.m. and conclude at approximately 12 noon.

The meeting place will be just outside the Schofield Barracks gates. Maps and directions will be distributed to reserved tour participants.

There is no cost to Historic Hawaii Foundation members and their guests.

To reserve your spot, please e-mail Historic Hawaii Foundation or call us at (808)523-2900. Reservations are required and will be honored on a first-come-first-reserved basis.

This tour is a preview of recently restored historic places of Schofield and historic markers to be unveiled at Schofield's Centennial Celebration, kicking off on July 4, 2009. We'll learn about the history of the area from its days as King Kalakaua's hunting grounds to the first encampment by the US Army to the base we experience today. Most importantly, we'll get to visit many of the historically significant places on the base such as:

Soldiers Chapel, an historic chapel built by combining two different chapels in 1925. The entrance of the chapel was from a church originally commissioned by Queen Liliuokalani and the sanctuary was originally part of a nearby standard Army chapel.

Tropic Lightning Museum, located in a beautiful lavarock building constructed in 1915 as the Post Library.

Smith Theater: Built by the 3rd Engineers in 1933.

Historic Quads built between 1915 and 1930. We'll learn about the award-winning restoration of Quads C and E and be the first to see what they uncovered during the restoration of the gym in Quad F, a space originally built and used as a theater. The discovery is one that will be talked about for years.

Historic Officers' Homes: The tour will be guided through two different types of historic homes at Schofield: one stucco style and one wooden craftsman style (built 1919 - 1923).

Monday, June 8, 2009

Historic Structures: The Original Virtual Reality Experience

Delivered June 3, 2009 at Nob Hill Historic Home Restoration Ribbon Cutting
by Paul DePrey, Superintendent
WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument

I’m very pleased to be here with you today representing the National Park Service. Thank you to Admiral Smith, Mr. Henneberry, Ms. Vaughn, Mr. Caldwell, Admiral Georgione, and to Kahu Kekoa. I also have a special thank you to Kiersten Faulkner of the Historic Hawaii Foundation on and its supporters.

I’m going to talk about ‘virtual reality’ today — and talk about how historic structures increase our collective appreciation for the cultures of the past.

Let’s have a group exercise. Since we are outside let’s stop a minute and listen to the birds, feel the sun and the wind. Enjoy the shade of the trees. Listen to the naval shipyard work occurring across Pearl Harbor. Imagine yourselves as a child playing on this grass, knowing that your families and neighbors were living just over in those homes. Imagine yourself out here on this site, totally absorbed in the moment of a Saturday morning on December 6, 1941.

When we hear the term ‘virtual reality’, we often think of video games, computer systems that absorb our senses and trick our brains into thinking we are someplace we are not. Virtual reality is an escape that allows us to enter into a new dimension. What does this have to do with historic structures? In my mind, it’s simple. Historic structures are the ‘original’ virtual reality.

These structures present one of the strongest links to the past. The size of a room, the height of a ceiling, the materials used in manufacturing are all inextricably linked to a time and a place and a culture that no longer is.

Let me tell you about a virtual reality experience I had some years back.

I was walking through a field of buckwheat toward a farm house. In the background I could hear a windmill squeaking. When I entered the farm house, the ceiling in the small room was low with exposed beams, the floorboards were really wide (old growth—you don’t see that much these days), the doorways were really narrow and the window was tiny and set up high on the wall. I could just imagine what it was like to spend a long winter with a family of nine people in this small building. Or how the last place I would want to be was in that building during a long hot and humid summer. I noticed that there was no laundry room or bathroom. There was only a single heat source--the kitchen fireplace located in the center of the square floor plan.

As I visited a traditional French Canadian homestead in northern Maine, I was able to relate to the people who lived there in the late e 19th century and I understood –albeit just a bit——the limitations of their lives and why they placed such great emphasis on a relationship to their crops s and their community.

My virtual reality experience occurred when I was ten years old and visiting the local historic homestead museum in my hometown. I’m sure you have all had similar experiences with historic structures.

The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage.

Historic preservation has many purposes --fostering civic or organizational pride, increasing knowledge of local and national history, and strengthening of local economies. One of the greatest purposes may be that historic preservation is always about educating and inspiring ourselves.

When Newton Drury, the 4th NPS Director, was asked how the National Park Service’s mission contributed to WWII efforts, he responded that first and foremost historic preservation makes a country worth fighting for and enjoyable to come home to. This idea is no less pertinent today then in 1942—in fact, in some cases, his point is even more pertinent as we survey our increasingly crowded cities and towns and assess the full scope of how well historic structures are preserved.

I understand that there’s a Navy motto that goes “Non sibi sed patriae" (Not self but country). This sentiment echoes why the Nob Hill project is so important.

Preserving historic buildings is an environmentally responsible practice. Reusing existing buildings essentially recycles on a 'historic' proportion. Existing buildings can often be energy efficient through their use of good ventilation, durable materials and layout. For those embarking on new construction, the advantage of older building is that they already exist. As our friends with Forest City will undoubtedly tell you, that doesn’t mean that it is easy… just good for us all.

Historic resources like these Ford Island homes, the Ford Island Chief Petty Officer bungalows that are now part of the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument and the rest of the Ford Island historic district are significant in local, state, national and even global history. They are also significant from an architectural, archeological, engineering, and cultural perspective. They are the ‘virtual reality’ portals for future citizens to learn about not just the Attack on Pearl Harbor, but also the lives and livelihoods of those who made Ford Island their home before the attack and for those who helped the recovery of the fleet and the eventual response thru the conclusion of the War in the Pacific.

As the generation of witnesses passes on, these structures and others will continue to stand and bear witness to the past and our national patrimony. So, we must act as stewards for the structures as well as for the history that they represent. They will become even more significant over time — so we better get it right now while we have the chance. This is what the Navy is doing and we must congratulate them.

Congress passed a National Historic Preservation Act in 1966—mandating the active use of historic buildings for public benefit and to preserve our national heritage. Following passage of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior established Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties to promote and guide the responsible treatment of historic structures and to protect irreplaceable cultural resources. Today, these Standards are the guiding principles behind sensitive preservation design and practice in America. Congratulations to the US Navy and to Forest City on your successful endeavor.

How do we engage our citizens in preservation and why it is important? We do so by education, interpretation and inspiration. We place them in the spaces and structures like these that evoke those significant aspects of our collective past--what is important for us to pass on to future generations of citizens.

I would like to thank the US Navy for its continued efforts to protect our nation and to preserve the resources that make our nation worth fighting for and worth coming back to. Thanks to all of you who made this a reality. I thank you and the future thanks you.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Charter Member, Jean Clarey, dies at 91

JEAN SCOTT CLAREY April 1, 1918 - May 22, 2009

Jean Scott Clarey had three great loves in her life: her family, the Navy and Hawaii. She was the devoted wife of the late Admiral Bernard ("Chick") Clarey, a highly decorated WWII submariner, who later became Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Her life revolved around the US Navy, and Honolulu was forever her favorite "homeport", having lived here as a child and during repeated Navy assignments that began in the late 1930s. Jean, age 91, died at the Arcadia Retirement Residence on May 22nd from pneumonia.

She was born in Washington D.C., the elder daughter of Captain Leon B. Scott, one of the Navy's pioneering submarine officers. In 1937, while attending the Connecticut College for Women in New London, Connecticut, near the Navy submarine school where her father was stationed, she met her future husband Following her marriage in 1937, she embarked on her life as a Navy wife, a role in which she excelled, until Chick's retirement in 1973. During World War II, Jean spent most of her life on the West Coast, where she started her long commitment to Red Cross volunteer work at a local hospital. Following the war she followed the familiar path of a submariner's career first to New London, later to San Diego, and then repeated assignments between the Pentagon and Pearl Harbor. Following her husband's retirement in 1973, they settled in Hawaii for the next 36 years, without a doubt, the happiest of her life. During the Vietnam War, Jean routinely accompanied her husband to Saigon and they traditionally spent Christmas with American military personnel deployed overseas. Early in her husband's retirement, she accompanied him to Australia, as the US Representatives to the Coral Sea Celebrations.

Jean was a strong supporter of the arts and culture of Hawaii, particularly the Honolulu Symphony and Opera. In the 1960's and 70's she worked weekly at Waimano Home with the disabled, and was a Red Cross "gray lady" at Tripler hospital. After her husband's death in 1996, she continued to support many community organizations, including the annual Navy Marine Corps Relief Society bridge walk across the Admiral "Chick" Clarey Bridge to Ford Island, the last of which she took only a few weeks ago, after her 91st birthday.

Jean is survived by her sons, both Punahou graduates, Rear Admiral (retired) Steve (1958) and Mike (1964), her daughters-in-law, Bonnie and Penny, grandchildren, Christopher, Ashley, Nicholas, Lindsay, and Jamie, and her six great grandchildren, Toscane, Sevine, Ryan, Josie, Beryl, and Evie.

A CELEBRATION OF LIFE SERVICE AND RECEPTION WILL BE HELD AT THE ARCADIA RETIREMENT RESIDENCE ON PUNAHOU STREET AT 10:00 A.M. ON THURSDAY, JUNE 4TH. VALET PARKING WILL BE PROVIDED. ALOHA ATTIRE. INURNMENT WILL BE IN THE NATIONAL MEMORIAL CEMETERY OF THE PACIFIC-PUNCHBOWL IN A PRIVATE FAMILY SERVICE. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Jean's honor to the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra at: 650 Iwilei Rd, Suite 202, Honolulu, HI 96817, or the Hawaii Historic Foundation, 680 Iwilei Road, Suite 690 Honolulu, HI 96817.