Thursday, March 25, 2010

National Park Service's Report on the Hawaii State Historic Preservation Division

The National Park Service's Report on the Hawaii State Historic Preservation Division is now posted online at:

This file is large so please allow download time.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

State Historic Preservation Division Placed on “High Risk” Status

The state agency responsible for implementing the National Historic Preservation Act is in danger of losing its federal funding, as well as its control over decision-making for federal agency compliance with preservation regulations.

The National Park Service (NPS), which is charged with oversight of the states’ implementation of the nation’s preservation program, has determined that SHPD is in non-compliance with several conditions of its federal grant, which is provided to the state to implement the federal preservation laws. The determination is that SHPD is a “high risk grantee.” The federal grant provides approximately 50% of the division’s $1.4 million annual budget.

NPS officials delivered the finding and compliance report to Laura Thielen, chair of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), and Pua Aiu, State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) Administrator, on March 22. The NPS expects to release its report publicly within a few days.

According to sources at DLNR and at NPS, the report outlines a “corrective action plan” to be completed within two years, with benchmarks along the way, to come into compliance. Areas for improvement include review of any federal undertaking (including those requiring federal funding, permit, license or approval); conducting an inventory and survey of historic sites; keeping the National Register of Historic Places for Hawai‘i; managing the Certified Local Government program; and conducting preservation planning.

The action plan is limited to the non-discretionary items of the federal mandate, and should not be confused with requirements under state law (HRS 6E), including review of local permits and implementation of the state’s laws affecting native Hawaiian burials.

Under the action plan, the NPS expects to hire a full-time preservation officer to be housed in the Honolulu office to oversee implementation of the corrective actions. The officer will be charged with authority to administer the federal funding and be a signatory to compliance actions.

If adequate progress is made, the division will be returned to full status, with its funding and decision-making authority restored. If not, the federal funding will be discontinued and Hawai‘i will not be allowed to make determinations under the federal program. Several other states and territories have been through the corrective action process. None of the other historic preservation offices has failed to reverse the decline or has lost its status.

Monday, March 22, 2010

FY 2010 Save America's Treasures grant applications now available

Grant applications for the FY 2010 Federal Save America's Treasures Program are now available on Detailed program guidelines and instructions for using to apply are found on the National Park Service website:

Applications must be submitted through by the due date of May 21, 2010. In FY 2010, NPS will award $14.3 million across the country.

The Federal Save America’s Treasures program is one of the largest and most successful grant programs for the protection of our nation’s endangered and irreplaceable cultural heritage. Grants are available for preservation and/or conservation work on nationally significant intellectual and cultural artifacts and historic structures and sites. Intellectual and cultural artifacts include artifacts, collections, documents, sculpture, and works of art. Historic structures and sites include historic districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects.

Grants are awarded to Federal, state, local, and tribal government entities, and non-profit organizations through a competitive matching-grant program, administered by the National Park Service in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

HHF Testimony on HDR336/HR254: Requesting SHPD to complete a Statewide Survey and Inventory to Identify Historic Properties

TO: Rep. Mele Carroll, Chair
Rep. Maile S. L. Shimabukuro, Vice Chair
Committee on Hawaiian Affairs
Rep. Ken Ito, Chair
Rep. Sharon E. Har, Vice Chair
Committee on Water, Land and Ocean Resources

FROM: Kiersten Faulkner, Executive Director
Historic Hawaii Foundation

RE: HCR336/HR254 : Requesting SHPD to complete a Statewide Survey and Inventory to Identify and Document Historic Properties, Artifacts and Burial Sites

On behalf of Historic Hawai‘i Foundation (HHF), I am writing in support of HCR336/HR254, which requests that the State Historic Preservation Division complete a statewide survey and inventory to identify and document historic properties, artifacts, burial goods and sites, and human skeletal remains that are held by or under the control of the State.

HHF strongly supports all efforts to identify and protect significant historic properties. Updating the state’s inventory of historic sites, structures, artifacts, burials and other historic properties is necessary in order to improve the process of identifying and disclosing the presence of potentially significant historic and cultural sites in a timely way, which in turn will better allow the planning and development processes to provide for their protection, and will further provide for consumer protection by ensuring that property owners are informed about historic preservation responsibilities and restrictions. The discovery, documentation, evaluation and preservation of significant historic properties is in the best interest of all stakeholders, including property owners, developers, and the greater community.

The state historic preservation division (SHPD) has a mandate to conduct historic surveys and inventories; the county governments should also be including that level of analysis in their general plans and community development plans. The basic step of completing the identification of properties that meet the criteria of eligibility for historic designation would allow for up-front analysis and protection, rather than simply reacting to proposals in an ad hoc manner.

Therefore, HHF recommends approval of HCR336/HR254.

Artists Donate 15% of Art Show Proceeds to Historic Hawaii Foundation

Peter and Ann Gommers, a photographer and painter living in Hawaii will be donating 15% of all proceeds from the sale of their original paintings and photographic prints currently being featured at the Gallery on the Pali exhibition entitled;  Island Light: Through Lens and Brush.  If you cannot make it to the Gallery, their work may be seen at their respective web sites:  

Peter Gommers Photography
Ann Gomers

Please contact Peter Gommers or Ann Gommers if you wish to order artwork or prints, framed or matted. They ship to an international audience. The exhibition will run through April 9th.

Historic Hawaii Foundation's Testimony on SRC160: Relating to the replacement of the Hawaii State Capitol's reflecting ponds


To: Sen. Clayton Hee, Chair
Sen. Jill N. Tokuda, Vice Chair
Committee on Water, Land, Agriculture and Hawaiian Affairs

From: Kiersten Faulkner
Executive Director, Historic Hawai‘i Foundation
Committee Date: Monday, March 22 2010
3:15 p.m. Conference Room 229

Subject: SCR160, Requesting Replacement of the State Capitol’s Reflecting Ponds

On behalf of Historic Hawai‘i Foundation (HHF), I am writing in opposition to SCR 160, which requests the Department of Land and Natural Resources to approve and the Department of Accounting and General Services to plan and implement a proposal to replace the reflecting ponds surrounding the State Capitol with a garden of native plants.

The Hawai‘i State Capitol is designated on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Its architectural significance derives in part from the symbolism of the building features, which reflects the cultural, social and natural histories of Hawai‘i. As the only island state in the nation, Hawaii’s geography is unique. The design of the State Capitol reflects that geography: the reflecting ponds stand for the Pacific Ocean; the two chambers show the strength of the volcanic origins of the islands; the columns symbolize palm trees; and the rotunda is open to the sky.

Any proposal to rehabilitate or restore the structure should first begin with an understanding of the character-defining features that contribute to its historic significance, which certainly includes the reflecting pools. Recommendations to repair, maintain or retrofit the building need to take care to avoid adverse effects on those features. The role of the State Historic Preservation Division is to ensure that the proper care is taken during planning and design, as well as implementation of the approved plan. SHPD’s review of projects in based on preservation standards adopted by the Secretary of the Interior. The standards for rehabilitation and preservation of historic sites provide protection for the historic resources and should not be discarded lightly.

HHF recommends that the resolution be changed to direct SHPD and DAGS to develop a plan for the appropriate repair and maintenance of the waterproof membrane and control of algae. This would address the legislature’s concern for the maintenance and costs, protect the historic integrity of the Capitol, and support the professional standards used by the preservation division.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pilot Grant Program for Historic School Buildings Available

Do you know of a historic school in need of preservation funding? The National Trust for Historic Preservation, in partnership with the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation, is currently seeking applications for a new pilot grant program that will fund the stabilization or rehabilitation of historic school buildings by providing funding for construction expenses.

Full grant guidelines and application information is available at

In 2010, a new pilot program will focus on historic school buildings that are being stabilized or restored, and that upon completion will be open to the public and serve the community. Grants are intended to further the restoration or rehabilitation of these buildings by providing funding for construction expenses. The maximum grant amount will be $50,000.

Grant applications must be postmarked by April 30, 2010.

State to Receive Kalaeloa Land Parcels

The state of Hawaii will receive approximately 300 acres of land in Kalaeloa, Oahu, in accordance with the Hawaiian Home Lands Recovery Act.

The six land parcels are at the former Barbers Point Naval Air Station that closed as a military base in 1999.

The act authorizes the Secretary of the Navy to convey this acreage to the HCDA as the local redevelopment agency and other lands to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

"These parcels contain irreplaceable Hawaiian archaeological and cultural sites that provide a window into our past," said Scott Bradley, HCDA chairperson. "Our Kalaeloa Master Plan designates the majority of the parcels as preservation and open space with minimal development.

Therefore one of the primary goals would be for preservation planning, protection and land stewardship."

The bill was authored by the HCDA, sponsored by Congressman Neil Abercrombie and included in the Defense Authorization Act signed in October 2009 by President Obama.

KA'ANA MANA'O: UH-Maui College archaeological field school found at Moku'ula

The Maui News

The University of Hawaii Maui College is committed to preserving our history and culture.

On Saturday, the Friends of Moku'ula held an opening ceremony for its Ka I'imi 'ike Program at the site of Moku'ula in Lahaina. With the help of the group's cultural adviser and kumu hula, Hokulani Holt-Padilla, UH-Maui College students have been learning the appropriate chants in preparation for the opening. The ceremony will mark the opening of both the Friends' Ka I'imi 'ike Program and the UH-Maui College Archaeological Field School at Moku'ula - a for-credit opportunity designed to continue the excavation and recovery efforts started at Moku'ula by the Bishop Museum in 1993.

Lahaina averages 13 inches of rain per year. Yet, in spite of the meager rainfall, this area was once known as the "Venice of the Pacific." The spring-fed, freshwater canals that once flowed though the village of Lahaina have long since dried up and its fabulous wetland buried under layers of cultural fill. Lying under a county park - virtually undisturbed for nearly a century - is the site of Moku'ula,the man-made island home of the ali'i (ruling class). For centuries, Moku'ula was a political and sacred center, constructed in the pond known as Loko o Mokuhinia. Home of the Pi'ilani and later Kamehameha chiefly lines, Mo-ku'ula is also the home of the Mo'o Akua Kihawahine - a powerful deity associated with freshwater springs.

Half wo-man and half dragon, she was and is worshiped by many, perhaps most notably by Kamehameha I, who carried her image throughout the islands in his quest to unite the Hawaiian Islands.

Shortly after the first European contact, whaling ships and other interested parties began arriving from as far away as Nantucket and the "Venice of the Pacific" soon became known as "Rotten Row" due to its numerous bars and raucous patrons. Over time the whaling industry subsided and a new industry took hold - industrial plantations. Waters were diverted in the service of sugar production, and the Mokuhinia ponds and wetlands became a stagnant breeding ground for newly introduced mosquitoes. In 1914, plantation managers had the site drained and filled and this once most sacred site became a park for plantation workers.

Archaeological investigations conducted by Bishop Museum confirmed the existence of Moku'ula, the royal residences and mausoleum, and Mokuhinia, a large spring-fed natural wetland containing kalo lo'i (taro patches) and loko 'ia (fishponds). Carbon dating of organic materials recovered has revealed some of the earliest evidence of human habitation in Hawaii in 700 AD. Arguably the most important site on Maui - and perhaps the state - both the Mahele and the Hawaiian Constitution were drafted at Moku'ula.

The overarching goal of the college is to increase our student participation and success in living-wage careers by creating a blend of traditional, indigenous knowledge and nontraditional disciplines - in this case archaeology.

In addition to bolstering student recruitment, retention and engagement here on Maui - and across the state - we also recognize the field school's potential for broader impact. Beginning May, UH-Maui College is partnering with New York University to form the UH-Maui College/NYU Archaeological Field School at Moku'ula. In addition to NYU, Brown University is also providing resources for our efforts at Moku'ula in the form of students and faculty. By leveraging the resources of large research institutions, such as NYU and Brown, UH-Maui College can keep the costs low for our local students while providing them with a world-class educational opportunity.

Of significance to kanaka maoli, the archaeological investigation and subsequent planned restoration of Moku'ula will also be of interest to many non-Hawaiians. Several national publications have expressed interest in covering the excavation and restoration of Moku'ula, including Archaeology Magazine, National Geographic and the Smithsonian.

For more information regarding our efforts at Moku'ula, contact Janet Six at

OHA funds exhibit on Pearl Harbor

Museum will depict history of what used to be called Pu'uloa

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

The state Office of Hawaiian Affairs has awarded $100,000 to the Arizona Memorial Museum Association for the creation of an exhibit that will depict the history of Pearl Harbor before it became a military installation.

The exhibit will be part of the new Pearl Harbor Memorial Museum and Visitor Center that is scheduled to be dedicated on Dec. 7. The first phase of the museum opened on Feb. 17.

OHA's award will fund an interpretive exhibit of the history of Ke Awalau 'Pu'uloa, now called Pearl Harbor, and will be part of the new O'ahu Gallery. Laurie Moore, spokeswoman for the Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund, said the display will "preserve the precious memories and history associated with Hawaiian culture."

"The O'ahu Gallery will discuss several aspects of Hawaiian history in an accurate and unbiased manner," Moore said. "We are honored that OHA has chosen to partner with us in this endeavor."

Ed Nishioka, OHA spokesman, said the Arizona Memorial is the state's top visitor attraction and will be the perfect place for an exhibit depicting Hawaiian history and culture.

"We felt it would be a great way to showcase the Native Hawaiian culture and what the land looked like prior to how it's being used today," Nishioka said. "A lot of people, all they know is that it's been a military base, and we can show how the land was used back then."

He said the exhibit is in the planning stages, and OHA is working with the museum to design the project. Nishioka said the award to the museum fits into OHA's new strategic plan, which includes the perpetuation of the Hawaiian culture.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Urges testimony to address issues with HB2434

On March 10, 2010, Historic Hawai‘i Foundation issued an action alert for a bill being considered by the state legislature that could undermine the basic protections for historic properties in Hawai‘i. Historic Hawai‘i Foundation opposes the measure and has asked for amendments. Please provide testimony or contact your Senators to ask them to amend HB2434 to close a loophole that could otherwise cause unintended consequences that would be devastating to historic and cultural resources of Hawai‘i.

HB2434 would amend the section of state law (HRS 6E-42) that provides for the review and comment on any project that could affect a historic structure, site, burial or aviation artifact. The bill would mandate that once the State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) has provided one approval of a proposed project—whether by affirming a determination of no effect on historic properties or through inaction—subsequent reviews would not be allowed. HHF finds this section of the bill most concerning as written, but suggests that an amendment could easily resolve the issue by adding language to clarify that “projects” refers to each distinct application for approval, entitlement or funding, and not to a single sweeping approval of any and all development activity that may ever occur on a particular piece of property, even if the project changes or as more information is known.

A hearing in the Senate has been scheduled for Friday, March 12 at 1:15 p.m., in Conference Room 224 at the Capitol.

Testimony may be submitted 24 hours in advance and directions can be found in the hearing notice, found here:

The text of the bill can be found at:

HHF is requesting two amendments to the bill: to clarify that "projects" refers to each distinct approval rather than all phases of a development undertaking; and to add qualifications for third-party reviewers of historic properties.

The full text of HHF’s testimony is:
TO: Senator Clayton Hee, Chair
Senator Jill N. Tokuda, Vice Chair
Committee on Water, Land, Agriculture and Hawaiian Affairs
Senator J. Kalani English, Chair
Senator Mike Gabbard, Vice Chair
Committee on Transportation, International and Intergovernmental Affairs

FROM: Kiersten Faulkner, Executive Director
Historic Hawaii Foundation
Committee: Friday, March 12, 2010
1:15 p.m.
Conference Room 224

RE: HB2434, HD2 Relating to Permit, License, and Approval Application Processing.

On behalf of Historic Hawaii Foundation (HHF), I am writing in opposition to HB2434, HD2, unless amended. HB2434 HD2 authorizes third-party review of applications; establishes maximum time periods for designated agencies to process permits and other applications before they are deemed granted if not acted upon; and eliminates subsequent reviews by the state historic preservation division (SHPD).

HB2434, HD2, Section 3 would amend HRS §6E-42, which relates to the review process and timelines for “projects” that have potential effects on historic properties. “Project” is defined in HRS §6E-2 as “any activity directly undertaken by the State or its political subdivisions or supported in whole or in part through appropriations, contracts, grants, subsidies, loans, or other forms of funding assistance from the State or its political subdivisions or involving any lease, permit, license, certificate, land use change, or other entitlement for use issued by the State or its political subdivisions.”

The bill would mandate that once SHPD has provided one approval of a proposed project—whether by affirming a determination of no effect on historic properties or through inaction—subsequent reviews would not be allowed.

Historic Hawaii Foundation finds this section of the bill most concerning as written, but suggests that an amendment could resolve the issue by adding language to clarify that “projects” refers to each distinct application for approval, entitlement or funding, and not to a single sweeping approval of any and all development activity that may ever occur on a particular piece of property. This would close a loophole that could otherwise cause unintended consequences that would be devastating to historic and cultural resources of Hawai‘i.

The professional staff of the historic preservation division has been steadily eroded over the past several years. Currently, there are three archeologists, one preservation architect and one architectural historian to provide all project reviews for the entire state, include federal undertakings. The division has lost clerical and support positions, as well as approvals for contracting for additional staff. The lack of funding, staffing and support for the division makes it difficult for it to meet its mandates for high quality and timely review of projects. This leads to frustration by those seeking approvals, as well as by those whose priority is the protection of the state’s historic and cultural resources.

The bill attempts to address this impasse by setting a maximum number of reviews and a maximum number of days for those reviews. While the intent may be to provide greater timeliness and certainty to developers, it will come at the expense of protections for historic sites and cultural resources. The absolute deadline on taking action could also lead to a quick denial of projects rather than a slower and more thoughtful approval, simply in an attempt to meet the deadlines. The state’s historic and cultural resources should not be penalized by removing protections at the local or the state level.

The provision limiting the number of SHPD reviews per undertaking disregards the reality that developments have multiple phases of design and construction and there is a need to check-in at key points, especially if the undertaking changes. In most development undertakings, there is a continuum of due diligence, planning, entitlements, design and construction. It is rare that all possible effects on historic properties are known at each stage of the development and design process. For example, the area of potential effect for historic sites is less defined at the time of a land use change or subdivision than it is at the time of construction. The certainty and specificity of SHPD’s review is directly proportionate to the level of information provided to it, which can and does change as undertakings evolve.

For example, while SHPD may determine that no historic properties are affected by a simple change in entitlements, that same undertaking could very well have an effect at the time of site planning and construction. This is especially true when the historic properties are unknown (such as from sub-surface archeological sites or native Hawaiian burials), undocumented (such as cultural landscapes or traditional cultural properties), when the project takes many years from concept to execution (in which time structures may become eligible for the historic register by virtue of increasing age or significance), or when the scope and scale of the undertaking changes. It is also a rare development that does not change in its details from the time of concept, to schematic design, to design development, to construction. At any of these stages, a historic property that was not previously anticipated to be affected could become at risk. Therefore, an earlier determination of no adverse effect may not hold true when the undertaking becomes more specific and more information is provided, and vice versa.

HB2434 HD2 Section 2 provides for third party reviewers to certify that proposals are in compliance with applicable codes and standards. HHF requests that this section be amended to require that any architects, engineers or other third parties that review an application for a permit, license or approval for a project that affects historic properties meet the education and experience standards and qualifications for preservation professionals as defined by the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards. This will help ensure that reviewers are qualified to make the determinations entrusted to them when making decisions that impact the historic and cultural resources of the Islands and refers to industry standards in federal statute.

In establishing appropriate rules and procedures related to integrating protection of historic properties with contemporary uses, there are many good models that allow for a more systematic and predictable approach, including the use of Certified Local Governments with local preservation ordinances; programmatic agreements; and preservation planning. These methods should be explored for additional ways to address both real and perceived conflicts in a way that is thoughtful and deliberate, without sacrificing the historic resources of the state in the process. HHF encourages the legislature, DLNR and the counties to initiate any of these pro-active ways to address ways in which protection of Hawai‘i’s historic resources and meeting contemporary needs can both be met in harmony.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment and for your consideration of these suggested amendments to the bill.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


90% of Ft. Kamehameha would be “disposed of” under the Air Force's preferred alternative
In late February 2010, the 15th Air Wing’s environmental officers presented its proposal to demolish or remove 31 historic buildings from Fort Kamehameha on Hickam Air Force Base, which is a National Register of Historic Places-eligible historic district, effectively destroying it.

Historic Hawai‘i Foundation (HHF) named Ft. Kamehameha as one of the Most Endangered Historic Sites in Hawai‘i in 2008 and is a consulting party in the review of the effect to the district and the efforts to avoid its destruction.

Built in 1916, Fort Kamehameha was originally an Army Coastal Artillery Post. After World War II, however, coastal artillery became obsolete, and most of the non-residential buildings were demolished. The remaining 33 homes stand as great examples of the Bungalow/Arts and Crafts style of the era. The overall composition of the district includes several character-defining elements and contributing features, including not only the homes, but also the mature trees, the roads, the site plan and open space, as well as the spatial relationship to the chapel, batteries and other facilities, which could never be replicated elsewhere.

The Air Force states that it does not have a mission need for the district, which is also in the flight path for the runways at Hickam and Honolulu International Airport. The Air Force says that safety and noise concerns from the aviation activity makes both housing and other uses impossible in the area. Air Force also cites the costs of continuing maintenance and management of the structures as the rationale for the proposed action.

However, based on the cost estimates provided by the Air Force in its Draft Environmental Impact Statement, the cost of the AF preferred alternative is significantly higher than the option supported by Historic Hawai‘i Foundation.

Both alternatives provide for the adaptive reuse of the three houses that are located outside of the Accident Potential Zone and the retention of the bandstand, batteries and flagpole. The chapel would be demolished. HHF supports preservation-in-place through a “mothball” procedure for the remaining 30 houses, at a cost of about $70,000 plus annual maintenance. By contrast, the Air Force supports either moving the structures (at a cost of over $2,000,000) or demolishing them (at a cost of about $212,000), which it euphemistically calls “disposal.” Under all alternatives, Air Force would continue to maintain the site at a level to be determined. The Air Force did not include all hard or soft costs in its estimates, including any hazardous material abatement, site restoration, landfill disposal costs or mitigation measures, so actual costs of its alternatives are likely to be higher.

While the “mothball” option is not the first choice for best preservation practice, it has the advantage of preserving the district, rather than affirmatively destroying it in the assumption that no other use or funding will ever be available in the future. It keeps both the structures and the district intact, which allows for responsible stewardship when circumstances change.

For example, in a parallel situation, the Chief Petty Officers Bungalows on Battleship Row, Ford Island, were also neglected for many years by the Navy, which cited the lack of maintenance funding and mission need, prompting the listing of that historic neighborhood on the 2005 list of Most Endangered Historic Sites in Hawai‘i. In 2008, then-President George W. Bush included the bungalows in the designation of the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument. Under the stewardship of the National Park Service, the six cottages have been given emergency stabilization measures and a preservation plan for their adaptive reuse is underway. Had the bungalows been properly “mothballed” in the interim, the costs of rehabilitation would be less. However, even with the minimal level of care given to them, the bungalows will still be brought back to use and remain a testament to the history of Ford Island and the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

Similarly, future uses and solutions may yet be found for Ft. Kamehameha. However, if the Air Force proceeds with its ill-conceived and costly plan to “dispose” of the district, it will be lost forever. Please join Historic Hawai‘i Foundation in stopping this outrageous assault on one of the most intact and special neighborhoods on O‘ahu.

To join Historic Hawai‘i Foundation’s action list to receive updates on opportunities to comment or get involved, please sign up for our e-news alerts on Fort Kamehemameha.

Written comments on the Air Force’s proposals for Ft. Kamehameha may also be sent to:

Mr. Ronnie Lanier
Chief, Environmental Flight
Department of the Air Force
75 H Street, Building 1203
Hickam AFB, HI 96853-5233

Read Fort Kamehameha's "Most Endangered" Article..
Read more background on Fort Kamehameha's fate..
E-Mail Historic Hawaii Foundation with questions..

New Kalaniana'ole Hall Opens its Doors

Renovations celebrated by official blessing.
By Heather Driscoll
The Molokai Dispatch

Upon completion of Kalaniana'ole Hall's restoration efforts, several Molokai community members gathered to witness its blessing on Tuesday, Feb. 9 in Kalama'ula.

Plans to renovate the historic building were first brought forth in 2003. The organization Friends of Kalaniana'ole immediately jumped on board with financial support, mustering grants from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) and the Molokai Enterprise Community (EC), as well as help from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, Lokahi Pacific and other groups.

Students in the Hawaiian immersion program perform for all that celebrated Kalaniana'ole Hall's blessing on Feb. 9.The newly-rehabilitated hall, which has weathered many of Molokai's ups and downs, will now function as what it was originally intended for - a meeting place and haven for community members. Anna Lou Arakaki of Ka Hale La'a O 'Ierusalema Hou Church conducted the blessing as community members witnessed the official opening of their hall. The event was accompanied by lunch and entertainment.

Benny Venenciano, EC member, said Kalaniana'ole Hall holds great symbolism, especially for the kupuna.

"Many [Molokai residents] have good memories of this place," Venenciano said. "Opening [the hall] allows kupuna to reflect on their childhood experiences."

While OHA spearheaded the restoration efforts by contributing $500,000 to the project, other organizations forked over equally-generous amounts including the USDA Rural Development with $100,000, the DHHL with $50,000, and the EC with $153,000. Together, the organizations anted up $803,000; combined with other donations and volunteer work, a total of $1.4 million was spent on the project.

Through the years, the 73-year-old building underwent natural deterioration, including damage to its walls, windows and ceilings, and even a collapsing roof − all posing major safety hazards.

Historic Value

After realizing the need for repair, friends of Kalaniana'ole went to Ke Aupuni Lokahi (KAL), who acted as project manager, assisting with the provisions of funds and overseeing the renovations. OHA then stepped in as a major funder and assisted with cost assessment.

"[The hall] is going to be used for meetings and funerals," Venenciano said. "It's what it was used for in the past, so we need to stay close to that and retain that value."

Originally, the historic Kalaniana'ole Hall, built in 1937, was used for funeral services, overnight vigils and 'ohana viewings, as well as parties, weddings, hula contests and weekend movies. In 2003 its significant history was addressed when the state recognized the hall in the Hawaii Register of Historic Places.

Since its opening, the hall has already been used a few times by the community. On Jan. 7, Kalaniana'ole Hall was used by the USDA Rural Development during its roundtable discussion with Molokai residents regarding the economy. Stacy Crivello, a member of the EC Governance Board, said in a statement that it was appropriate for the USDA to utilize the hall because of its contributions to the renovation.

As for its future, Venenciano sees it as a refreshing continuation of a historical entity.
"It is a celebration of our history," he said.

Special Mahalo To:
Ke Aupuni Lokahi Board of Directors and Staff; Hale O Na Ali'i O Hawaii Halau O Kawananakoa; Board of Trustees, Office of Hawaiian Affairs; Mr. Albert Tiberi, Office of Hawaiian Affairs; Mr. William Akutagawa, Friends of Kalaniana'ole; Mr. Hardy Spoehr, Community Development Pacific; Mr. Glenn Mason, Mason Architects; Mr. Lester Delos Reyes, Hawaii National Guard; Ms. Kamaile Sombelon, Lokahi Pacific; Mr. Fred Bailey and Sons Electric, Contractor; Mr. Sandy Stein, Contractor; Ms. Irene Lam, USDA Rural Development; Mr. Darrel Yagodich, DHHL, Planning Department; Mr. George Maioho, Mr. Larry Sagario and DHHL Staff; Mr. Steven Arce, COM, Public Works; Mr. Peter Nicholas, Molokai Properties Ltd., Mr. Adolph Helm, Mycrogen Seed Company; Order of Kamehameha, Maui Chapter; Kalama'ula Homestead Association; Mr. Richard & Mrs. Kanani Negrillo & O'hana; Mr. Henry & Mrs. Rose-Allen Paleka; Mr. Brent Davis, Davis & Sons; and Mr. Dolphin Pawn, Akamai Tree Trimming.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


The State Legislature’s Heritage Caucus and Historic Hawai‘i Foundation will present the 8th Annual Historic Preservation Awareness Day to highlight and celebrate the history of Hawai‘i and the state’s architectural, cultural and natural heritage.

Some 30 exhibitors from the public, private and non-profit sectors will provide information about the role of historic preservation as an important element of community interaction and quality of life, as well as to demonstrate the importance of historic preservation to elected officials as they consider preservation legislation.

The exhibits will be held on the third floor of the Hawai‘i State Capitol on Monday, March 15, 2010, from 9:30 am to 12 pm.  This free event is open to the public.

“It’s inspiring to visit the exhibits and meet those individuals who are dedicated to protect and preserve historical properties, cultural sites, and sacred places,” said Representative Cindy Evans, co-chair of the state legislature’s Heritage Caucus.  “This day is an opportunity for the public, organizations and individuals active in preservation, and the legislature to come together and celebrate our heritage.”

“Historic Preservation Awareness Day is part of the collaborative effort to demonstrate the range of business, education, advocacy and arts organizations engaged in preserving Hawaii’s historic and cultural resources,” said Kiersten Faulkner, executive director of Historic Hawai‘i Foundation.
“As preservationists, many of us speak often about community character and quality of life benefits that come from preserving Hawaii’s historic, architectural and cultural heritage. But in these times of difficult economic decisions and competing values, that isn’t enough.  It is increasingly important to demonstrate that preservation offers measurable economic impacts,” Faulkner said.
There is a direct link between investing in historic properties and the economic return for both property owners and government. Historic preservation is a powerful economic engine. The exhibitors at Historic Preservation Awareness Day all contribute to these industries in various ways. They not only preserve Hawaii’s heritage, they also contribute to its bottom line.  We are pleased to be able to use this opportunity to demonstrate the broad scope and deep value that they provide,” Faulkner added.

Exhibiting organizations will include:
·         Arts District Merchants Association
·         Bishop Museum
·         The Cathedral of St. Andrew
·         Chaminade University – Interior Design
·         Commander Navy Region Hawaii
·         Cultural Surveys Hawai‘i
·         Department of Land and Natural Resources, Historic Preservation and State Parks Divisions
·         E Mālama I Na Wao Lama Foundation (The Preservation of the Dry Land Forest)
·         Friends of ‘Iolani Palace
·         Friends of the Natatorium
·        Friends of Queen Theater
·         Fung Associates, Inc.
·         Hale‘iwa Main Street/North Shore Chamber of Commerce
·         Hawai‘i Junior Archaeology Outreach Program
·         Hawai‘i Tourism Authority
·         Kailua Historical Society
·         Mālama o Mānoa
·         Mission Houses Museum
·         National Park Service
·         Office of Hawaiian Affairs
·         Pacific Islands Institute
·         Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard
·        The Trust for Public Land
·         US Army Garrison Hawaii Cultural Resources Program
·         Waimea Valley Hi‘ipaka, LLC

Historic Hawai‘i Foundation is a membership-based non-profit organization that encourages the preservation of historic sites on all the islands of Hawai‘i.

For more information about this event, please contact Historic Hawaii Foundation at (808)523-2900 x22 or