Saturday, September 26, 2009

Memorial war » Honolulu Weekly

Memorial war » Honolulu Weekly

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A look back into the formation of the Mayor's Task Force.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mayor's Task Force Votes 9-3 to Demolish the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium

At its final meeting today, September 24, 2009, Mayor Hannemann's Natatorium Task Force voted 9-3 in favor of demolishing the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium. The representatives from Oahu Veterans Council, Friends of the Natatorium and Historic Hawaii Foundation voted to complete the restoration of the historic landmark.

See HHF's presentation to the Task Force

See the cost comparisons compiled throughout the Task Force's meetings

Hulihee Palace Reopens September 30

Hulihee Palace was closed for repairs after the October 2006 earthquakes. It reopens to visitors Sept. 30. (Hawaii247 photo by Karin Stanton)

After a $1.5 million dollar renovation, Hulihee Palace opens its doors 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29 with a blessing and open house celebration for caretakers of the landmark — the Daughters of Hawaii and the Calabash Cousins.

The palace resumes regular operation Sept. 30 for public self-guided tours. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

The palace also boasts fresh landscaping and a newly enlarged Palace Gift Shop, located in the next-door Kuakini Building. Open during palace hours, the gift shop offers Hawaiian books, Niihau shell lei, koa gifts and wall art created on location at the palace by local artists.

Although severely damaged during the October 2006 earthquakes, Hulihee operated on a limited basis, providing visitors with video viewing of its pre-earthquake splendor.

During the renovations and repairs, the palace’s caretakers — the Daughters of Hawaii and the Calabash Cousins — have continued to host free monthly concerts on the palace south lawn.

Built in 1838 by Governor John Adams Kuakini, Hulihee has again been restored to circa 1885, a period known in Hawaiian history as the Kalakaua Era as King David Kalakaua ruled the Hawaiian kingdom.

The palace was restored under the direction of the Connecticut-based John Canning Painting and Conservation Studios. The firm, which specializes in historic preservation, has worked on numerous national landmarks, including the U.S. Capitol, Radio City Music Hall and New York’s Grand Central Station.

According to Fanny Au Hoy, long-time Hulihee Palace administrator, Hulihee is painstakingly restored to a specific time frame to retain its status on the National Register of Historic Places.

Selection of the Kalakaua Era enables the palace to keep its two oceanside lanai and display its exquisite donated and on-loan collection of Victorian artifacts from the King Kalakaua reign — including a koa armoire that was awarded a silver medal in the 1889 International Exhibition in Paris.

Known as the “Merrie Monarch” for his love of music and entertaining, King Kalakaua (1836-1891) spent much time at Hulihee. He stuccoed the exterior, widened the two oceanside lanai and built an adjacent cookhouse, as the palace had no kitchen. Inside, the robust king plastered the walls, added refined decorating touches and commissioned Victorian furnishings.

During the 20-month restoration project, Hulihee’s artifact collection was catalogued and stored. The treasures were recently returned to the two-story palace in all their splendor.

“Our many treasures, which date to pre-Western contact Hawaii, are finally back in the palace in their familiar places,” Au Hoy said. “It’s been a long process and we’re thrilled to open our doors again. We invite the community Sept. 30 to come in and see how the palace has been restored to its original magnificence.”

Treasures include javelins and spears belonging to King Kamehameha the Great — marvel at the king’s massive, rotund lava rock — he used it as an exercise ball to master agility and balance; it weighs a whopping 180 pounds!

Check out a 70-inch table top made from a single piece of koa, steamer trunks used to carry belongings to attend Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887, portraits of Hawaii’s monarchs, pieces of fine Lokelani china and a rare mat made from the endemic sedge, makaloa. More than 1,000 artifacts on display.

Hulihee Palace admission, which at this time includes a self-guided tour brochure, remains $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and $1 for keiki under 18. Volunteer docents are sometimes available to give guided tours.

For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit The gift shop can be reached by phoning 329-6558.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Historic Hawai‘i Foundation announces Daniel and Irene Hirano Inouye to be honored as “Kama‘āina of the Year™” at annual benefit.

Senator Daniel K. and Mrs. Irene Hirano Inouye will be honored as the “2009 Kama‘āina of the Year” at the annual Historic Hawai‘i Foundation (HHF) benefit on December 5.

Senator Daniel K. Inouye and Mrs. Irene Hirano Inouye will be honored as the 2009 Kama‘āina of the Year in recognition of their contributions to preserving Hawaii’s rich history and perpetuating the essence of Hawai‘i. Senator Inouye’s leadership in strengthening the National Historic Preservation Act, establishing the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, and recent legislation regarding Japanese-American World War II Internment Camps are just some of the preservation achievements from his fifty years as a legislator. Mrs. Irene Hirano Inouye was the President and founding CEO of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles and continues to serve as its Executive Advisor. Mrs. Inouye’s preservation leadership is also evident in her service as a board member of both the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Ford Foundation, a major historic preservation funder throughout the United States.

“In this 50th anniversary of the Senator’s congressional service and 50 years of statehood, it is fitting to recognize Senator Inouye’s leadership in preserving the essential places of Hawai‘i,” said Ray Soon, President of Historic Hawai‘i Foundation. “His longstanding leadership has been integral to preserving sites of historic and cultural importance to Native Hawaiians, Japanese-Americans, and all people of Hawai‘i.”

“We are equally pleased to recognize the important contributions of Mrs. Inouye in preserving and telling the stories of Japanese Americans across the country, especially through her work with the Japanese American National Museum as it works to insure that Japanese Americans preserved their rich heritage, cultural identity, and unique history,” Soon said.

Preservation of sites for the protection of historic, cultural and natural resources has been a priority for Senator Inouye. In addition to his role in strengthening key preservation legislation, he has been instrumental in supporting both federal acquisition and public-private partnerships for purchase of fee title or conservation easements for special sites. These include historically significant lands such as the Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau Historic Park, Kīlauea Lighthouse, Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge, Kawainui Marsh and Waimea Valley.

The Inouyes are the 22nd recipients of the Kama‘āina of the Year award, which honors individuals who have made unique and lasting contributions to the preservation of Hawaii’s historic places and cultural resources. The event is Historic Hawai‘i Foundation’s annual fundraiser and proceeds support the preservation of historic sites throughout the Hawaiian Islands.

A statewide 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Historic Hawai‘i Foundation encourages the preservation of historic buildings, sites and communities relating to the history of Hawai‘i. Founded in 1974 by concerned citizens who saw the need to protect the Islands’ irreplaceable historic and cultural legacy from destruction, Historic Hawai‘i Foundation has become the driving force behind preservation of Hawaii’s historic places. Through strong partnerships with public, private and non-profit organizations, HHF helps to unleash critical local energy to protect the essential character of Hawai‘i.

The Kama‘āina of the Year™ benefit is an annual fundraiser for Historic Hawai‘i Foundation and will take place on Saturday, December 5 at 6:00 p.m. in the Monarch Room at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu. Additional information about the event is available by calling 808-523-2900 or visiting

Historic Hawaii Foundation Announces its Preferred Alternative for the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium


• The Waikīkī War Memorial Natatorium was built in 1927 to be a “living memorial” to honor the men and women who served during the Great War (World War I).

• The 1921 legislation creating the memorial specifically states that it, "...shall include a swimming course at least 100 meters in length."

• Designed by architect Louis P. Hobart, the Waikīkī War Memorial Natatorium is listed on the National and Hawai‘i Registers of Historic Places and is significant for its contributions to the history, architecture and culture of Hawai‘i and America; embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type; possesses high artistic value; and provides social, cultural, educational and recreational values which contribute significantly to the history and culture of Hawai‘i and the nation.

• Although the Waikīkī War Memorial Natatorium has deteriorated since its initial construction in 1927, in 2001, over four million dollars of repairs were completed on the site including a façade restoration and the rehabilitation of the bleachers and public restrooms.

• The estimated financial costs for stabilization and preservation in place of the Waikīkī War Memorial Natatorium are less than or comparable to estimated financial costs for the demolition of the structure, and examples from other restored salt water pools demonstrate that the pool could be re-engineered to meet current standards at less cost than demolition.

• Adverse environmental impacts that would occur from the demolition of the Waikīkī War Memorial Natatorium would have a negative effect on the reef and marine life, and the debris from the demolition would take space in a landfill, and such demolition would cause the loss of embedded energy inherent in existing structures, as well as the expenditure of new energy for the conveyance of materials.

• Proposals to demolish the historic structure will face regulatory, permitting and legal challenges that will be unpredictable, time-consuming, expensive and cause additional delays.

• It is in the best interest of Hawai‘i to preserve its uniqueness and identity for the benefit of all its residents as well as its visitors.

• It would be unconscionable to destroy a Memorial that commemorates the sacrifices of Hawaii’s citizens who gave all in service to their communities, nation, and world; and

• Stewardship of the historic, cultural and natural resources of Hawai‘i is the ethical and moral obligation of the people of Hawai‘i.


RECOMMENDATION: Historic Hawai‘i Foundation SUPPORTS the stabilization, preservation and rehabilitation of the Waikīkī War Memorial Natatorium.

• HHF recommends that the immediate strengthening, repair and stabilization of the structure’s frame be completed per the plans that were halted in 2005, including the sea walls and deck.

• HHF recommends that simultaneously with resuming the work to stabilize the structure, that engineering, planning and permitting be undertaken for the re-design of the pool.

• HHF recommends that the City engage in dialogue with state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, business organizations and other stakeholders to craft a public-private partnership for the long-term rehabilitation, maintenance and operation of the facility.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009



The most recent and comprehensive side-by-side cost comparisons of demolishing or saving the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium by Historic Hawaii Foundation.
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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hawaii Insider : The Painted Church's colorful past and present

'To enter the Painted Church at Upper Honaunau is to step back 500 years into the world of François Villon's mother, who could not read the words in the holy book but knew the promise of heaven and the threat of hell through the vivid pictures she had seen on the walls of her chapel.'"

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Washington Place Documentary Rebroadcast Set for September 10

"Washington Place," a documentary by Video Biographics, will rebroadcast on PBS Hawai`i next Thursday, September 10 at 9:00 p.m.  Washington Place was home to Queen Liliuokalani before it was designated as the official residence for Hawaii's governor.  The documentary originated as part of  Historic Hawaii Foundation's 2005 Kamaaina of the Year celebration honoring Washington Place Foundation for its work in preserving the historic home. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Longing for the past "Longing for the past American photographer Elizabeth Gill Lui sees China betraying its heritage in building its future"
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