Friday, April 30, 2010

Architect John Warnecke, who designed JFK's gravesite and Hawaii Capitol, dies

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — John Carl Warnecke, the architect who worked closely with the Kennedys on numerous projects, including President John F. Kennedy's grave site at Arlington National Cemetery, has died. He was 91.

Warnecke — who contributed to the design of the Hawaii state Capitol in 1965 — died on April 17 from pancreatic cancer at his ranch near Healdsburg along the Russian River, his son, Fred, said.

Warnecke met Kennedy in the early 1960s through a mutual friend, and he developed a close friendship with the first couple.

The president tapped him to restore Lafayette Square across from the White House in 1962. He also looked at sites for Kennedy's presidential library and worked on the Kennedy's homes in Hyannis Port, Mass., said Harold Adams, 71, who worked for Warnecke from 1962 to 1977.

"The Kennedys enjoyed his philosophy," said Adams, chairman emeritus of the Baltimore, Md.-based design firm, RTKL Associates Inc. "I think they just got very comfortable with him and had great respect for him and his work."

Warnecke was a proponent of contextual architecture, known for bringing a sensitivity to environment and history in his designs.

In Lafayette Square, his design preserved historic townhouses and placed new government buildings behind them, Adams said.

At the naval academy in Annapolis, Md., his expansion plan worked within the academy's existing footprint.

Even the president's grave site with its eternal flame reflected Warnecke's style.

"He was very firm that it had to be a very simple design that fit the landscape," Adams said.

Warnecke was born in Oakland, Calif., on Feb. 24, 1919. He graduated from Stanford University in 1941 and went on to complete a master's degree in architecture at Harvard University the following year.

The Hawaii state website says the Capitol was built at the direction of Gov. John A. Burns and designed by Honolulu firm Belt, Lemmon & Lo and Warnecke's company.
It was built at a cost of $24.6 million, with construction starting on Nov. 15, 1965 and ending on March 15, 1969.

The building was designed with extensive Island symbolism.

Its open space was meant to convey a sense of open government. There are also eight columns, representing the eight major island. It is surrounded by water and its chambers are sloped in volcanic shapes.

Salazar Gives Green Light to Controversial Cape Wind Project

Courtesy of Preservation Action

On April 28, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar gave the green light for the first off shore wind farm in the United States. Cape Wind, a privately owned company, is calling for 130 wind turbines to be placed in the Nantucket Sound to produce energy for the state of Massachusetts. In a decision that has split politicians, preservationists and environmental groups, Salazar’s approval is a significant move from Washington and could set the stage for future decisions that privilege green energy over conservation and preservation. Cape Wind is still seeking approval from other regulatory groups including the Federal Aviation Administration.

In addition to natural habitats, the historic landscape, and cultural and economic practices like fishing and tourism, the Aquinnah and Mashpee tribes have laid claim to the Nantucket Sound as sacred places of ritual and burial. In January of this year they successfully obtained an eligibility ruling from the Keeper of the National Register.

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, in its comments, said the project "...will introduce visual elements that are out of character. The Wampanoag tribes have stated that an uninterrupted view across Nantucket Sound of the rising eastern sun for religious purposes is a defining feature of Wampanoag tribal culture and history.”

Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) issued the following statement: “I am strongly opposed to the administration’s misguided decision to move forward with Cape Wind. While I support the concept of wind power as an alternative source of energy, Nantucket Sound is a national treasure that should be protected from industrialization.”

Kualoa Ranch focuses on tradition, culture

By Robbie Dingeman, The Honolulu Advertiser

Kualoa Ranch president John Morgan oversees the 4,000-acre Windward O'ahu family-owned landmark ranch — which has survived the past 25 years with a mix of outdoor recreation, cattle ranching and a good-neighbor attitude.

Morgan said the business continues to evolve with a focus on being good stewards of the land while continuing to operate a successful and sustainable business.

"Back in the early '80s, two-thirds of the company was owned by stockholders in their 90s," Morgan recalls. "We had very little in terms of business."

The family members knew they needed to study their options with an eye on the values that drove them. They came up with three keys: "We didn't want to develop. We didn't want to sell and we did want to operate it ourselves."

The company developed outdoor recreation, from horseback riding, to all-terrain vehicles, tours of the ranch and gardens, ocean activities once included jet skis as well as catamaran rides across a historic fishpond.

In 1985, the ranch catered primarily to a Japanese visitor market with a one-stop shop package tour approach. "You could go to one place and do horseback riding, jet skis, helicopters and scuba diving, windsurfing, canoe rides," he said.

That approach worked for several years until the first blow came with the Gulf War in 1990s and increased competition.

The ranch reassessed: "Is this really the best thing for Kualoa? Are we utilizing the best attributes of Kualoa in the right way and the answer was no."

Morgan said the ranch shifted to a more diverse client base with Japanese visitors still a key, but changed other parts of the experience.

"We got rid of the helicopters. We got rid of the jet skis," he said, and focused more on Hawaiian culture history, natural beauty and the kama'āina family history.

The ranch also developed its reputation as a Hollywood backdrop offering a wide variety of terrains and access to more than 1,000 acres with very little sign of human civilization.

Morgan also recently got some different Hollywood exposure. He met with Alexander Payne who is here directing the film version of "The Descendants," which chronicles a land-rich descendant of Hawaiian royalty and American missionaries as he faces modern struggles that include whether to preserve or develop his land.

After meeting with Payne, Morgan said the director asked him to show actor George Clooney around a bit and he did.

"The director thought it would be worthwhile (for Clooney) to find out what it's like to be a descendant trying to preserve a bunch of land," Morgan said.

Morgan, 53, is the real deal — the sixth-generation of his family in the Islands. They are descended from Dr. Gerrit Judd — Morgan's great-great-great grandfather — who bought the ranch from King Kamehameha III in 1850.

Morgan's father was Big Island icon Francis Morgan, who pulled together with family and associates to take over Hamakua Sugar Co., the second-largest plantation in the Islands, at a time when the once-dominant sugar industry was starting to fade.

Although he eventually had to close it, he is remembered on the Hamakua Coast as someone who worked hard to preserve some 800 jobs and the lifestyle that went with them.

And John Morgan believes hiring good people and evolving the business has allowed the company to fare better than many other of our contemporaries in the visitor industry.

"We're a relatively large employer in a relatively small community and we're able to attract really good people. And so one of the key strengths is our staff," he said.

And the evolution is continuing as the company tries to refine more for the future. "We anticipate at some point getting rid of the gun range," which is still popular, but he said they'd like to build a community cultural center with a strong Hawaiian theme.

In 2004, the ranch created a visitor center that replaced the smaller operation that relied on contracts with other companies to sell T-shirts, run the gift shop and serve burgers and salads at the snack bar.

"We're starting a master-planning process to chart the next course," Morgan said, but it's premature to discuss the details of what new things they may adopt.

"We're still a cattle ranch with a herd of about 500," he said.

And they are increasing the agriculture.

"We're hoping in 2010 to get about 30 acres established" in bananas, papayas and other fruit trees, he said.

And they run three aquaculture facilities, including a historic fishpond where they raise shrimp, prawns and catfish.

Morgan clearly enjoys his work. He gets up at 5 and eats breakfast with his wife, then "gets out here between 6:30 and 9 o'clock depending on what the meeting schedule is and how good the surf is."

He and his wife also come out on the weekend to enjoy the ranch, often walking in the valley or stand-up paddleboarding on the fish pond.

Morgan said he measures their success by how he feels as well as the employees, guests and community.

"It really comes down if all of those feelings are good, usually the bottom line is black," he said. "The bottom line's important but it's the result of a lot of other things."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


For Immediate Release: April 28, 2010


HONOLULU – The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of State Parks, invites the public to a community meeting to share information and to provide input to assist the in their preparation of a master plan update and an environmental impact statement for the Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park.

The meeting will take place from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 1 at Konawaena Elementary School cafeteria, 81-901 Onouli Road, in Kealakekua. It will begin with an open house at 1 p.m. and presentations and community input workshop from 1:30 to 3:15 p.m.

The master plan will address the long-term use and management of the park. The desired outcome for this meeting will be that all community members are informed of the current status of the master plan, and also to gather community input on preliminary master plan alternatives.

"Realizing that the park is an integral part of the Kealakekua and Napo‘opo‘o communities, we look forward to the community's participation in the planning process and helping to determine the facilities and programs that best meet the needs of both the park and the community" said Dan Quinn, State Parks Administrator.

Belt Collins Hawaii Ltd. is serving as the consultant for the Division of State Parks. For more information on the master plan update process go to . Comments may be submitted in the upcoming meeting, or in writing by mail, or email at .

For more information news media may contact:
Deborah Ward
DLNR Public information specialist
Phone: (808) 587-0320
40 second rip and read: The Department of Land and Natural Resources is holding a public information meeting to provide an update on its master plan and environmental impact statement for Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park.

The meeting will be on Saturday, May 1 at Konawaena Elementary School cafeteria, 81-901 Onouli Road, in Kealakekua. An open house starts at 1 p.m., followed by presentations and community input workshop from 1:30 to 3:15 p.m. For more information on the master plan update, go to

Kealakekua Bay is one of the most significant historic places in Hawaii.

The 216 acres that comprise Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park were set aside to share this history with residents and visitors, to protect the many cultural sites, and to preserve the scenic views and natural resources of the bay.

The Master Plan for Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park will assess park facilities and program needs. It will also develop a management strategy for the natural and cultural resources in the park.

The update is needed to be able to better manage park visitors and resources.

DLNR and the community have participated in numerous Kealakekua Bay planning sessions over the past 25 years and once again, the department is calling for the community’s assistance in shaping the future of the park.

The Master Plan will refine and expand the 1997 Conceptual Plan for the park by incorporating new and relevant information and considering new alternatives for park facilities, programs, interpretive concepts and park management.

This second meeting will follow-up the community's input and concerns identified at the first meeting held on November 14, 2009. A summary of the first meeting is also available on the internet at

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Honoring Hui O Pikoiloa for Protecting Kawaewae Heiau

Historic Hawaii Foundation honors Hui O Pikoiloa with a preservation commendation for its successful grassroots efforts to protect the Kawaewae Heiau complex from the threat of commercial development.

In 2007, the owner of a 56.6 acre tract of conservation-zoned land in Kaneohe notified the residents of the nearby Pikoiloa subdivision that it planned to reclassify the property to urban zoning, add housing, expand the cemetery and develop part of the land for commercial activities.

The notification raised red flags in the surrounding community. They were concerned about how the proposed new development would the impact the Kawaewae Heiau complex, a site listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 
Maps and phtos courtesy of Hui O Pikoiloa

The Kawaewae Heiau is known to be one of five heiau built by Olopana at the turn of the 12th century. It is a luakini type heiau, believed to be associated with both human and animal sacrifices.

Concerned community members formed “Hui O Pikoiloa,” a grassroots hui which developed into an informal but determined group focused on protecting this special Hawaiian site. As a result, they developed expertise in land use rules, archeological inventory and ways to protect this important cultural site.

Because of the efforts of Hui O Pikoiloa, in October 2009 the Land Use Commission voted unanimously to deny the developer’s petition to reclassify the land, and continued its designation as a conservation zone.

Read one of the legends of Kawaewae Heiau..
More about the 2010 Preservation Honor Awards..
About the HHF Preservation Honor Awards..

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


The Office of the Native Hawaiian Liaison, U.S. Army Garrison-HI (USAG-HI) invites you to tune into Na Oiwi Olino (AM 940) and ‘Ōlelo Community Media (NATV channel 53) this week to learn more about the U.S. Army Garrison and the Army’s Native Hawaiian Covenant.

Na Oiwi Olino’s Brickwood Galuteria & Kimo Kahoano have invited Colonel Matthew Margotta, USAG-HI Commander, to be a guest on the show on Wednesday, April 21st, 7am to 8am on AM 940. They will speak about the U.S. Army and its current approach on reaching out to the Native Hawaiian community. Topics to be covered will include the Army’s Native Hawaiian Covenant and Makua Valley. No radio call-ins will be taken during this informational broadcast.

‘Ōlelo Community Media (NATV channel 53) will feature the U.S. Army Native Hawaiian Covenant Signing event during the following dates and times:

Tuesday April 20th 2pm
Wednesday April 21st 9pm
Thursday April 22nd 3:30pm
Friday April 23rd 7:00pm

Monday, April 19, 2010


(Honolulu, Hawaii) On April 22, Billy Fields, president and principal of Fields Masonry in Kailua-Kona, will receive Historic Hawai‘i Foundation’s Frank Haines Award in recognition of his lifetime dedication to restoring significant Native Hawaiian sites and teaching others his cultural practice.

As a career stone mason, Fields concentrates on restoring sacred and traditional Native Hawaiian sites using traditional, dry-stack techniques used prior to western contact and the introduction of mortar.

Using these traditional techniques, he furthers the traditional masonry practices in the repair, restoration and reconstruction of dry-laid stone walls, platforms and terraces on significant structures including Hapaiali‘i and Ke‘eku Heiau at Keauhou; Kūka‘ō‘ō Heiau in Mānoa; and walls, fish ponds and burial platforms across the state.

Billy Fields Photo by Carl Shaneff

Fields ensures these practices transcend his lifetime by involving and training the community in techniques and cultural practices to learn and respect the Hawaiian traditions of each place. He fosters a connection between the youth and a trade based in cultural identity, pride of place and pride of people.

The Frank Haines Award, established in 2009 for master Architect Frank Haines, honors an individual’s outstanding lifetime achievements in preserving historic and cultural places of Hawai‘i.

In addition to The Frank Haines Award, Historic Hawai‘i Foundation (HHF) will recognize and honor 12 projects, people, groups and advocacy efforts at the Preservation Awards ceremony on April 22.

2010 Preservation Awards
Recognizing projects that preserved, rehabilitated, or restored an historic building, object, site or district:
  • Daughters of Hawai‘i; Mason Architects, Inc.; Department of Land and Natural Resources, State Parks Division; Sawar Structural Engineering; Stan’s Contracting, Inc, for the reconstruction of the historic kitchen and restoration of Hulihe‘e Palace after earthquake damage sustained in October 2006. 
Hulihee Palace (left) photo courtesy of Daughters of Hawaii

  • United States Army Garrison Hawai‘i; Conrad Schmitt Studios; David’s Custom Roofing and Painting for the restoration of the only remaining original quad theater at Quad F, Schofield Barracks.
  • County of Kaua‘i, Offices of the County Clerk and Department of Public Works, Building Division; Mason Architects, Inc; Martin & Chock; Prepose Engineering; Douglas Engineering Pacific; Pacific Blue Construction for the successful rehabilitation of the Kaua‘i County Building- Annex 1.
  • Hawai‘i Conference Foundation, Kalahikiola Congregational Church; Mason Architects, Inc.; Kikiaola Construction Company; Tanimura & Associates, Inc; Wallace T. Oki, P.E., Inc. for the reconstruction of the historic Kalahikiola Church after earthquake damage sustained in October 2006.
  • Forest City Hawai‘i; Commander Navy Region Hawai‘i; Mason Architects, Inc.; Alan Shintani, Inc. for the renovation and conversion of 39 Makalapa duplex units into single family homes.
  • Forest City Hawai‘i; Commander Navy Region Hawai‘i; Mason Architects, Inc.; Alan Shintani, Inc. for the successful rehabilitation of 1 Kamakani Drive at Makalapa, Pearl Harbor Naval Base.

Preservation Commendations
Recognizing individuals, organizations or government agencies that engaged in an advocacy, educational, programmatic or other activity supporting preservation efforts, either for a specific site or through a broad-based program:
  • Kepa and Onaona Maly of Lāna‘i for providing a compelling example of how historic preservation initiatives can positively impact the outlook of an entire community.
  • Hui O Pikoiloa, for grassroots efforts to stop commercial development that would threaten the Kawaewae Heiau complex
  • University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Historic Preservation Program and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, National Park Service for the 1877 Volcano House Historic Structures Report, a detailed study of the old Volcano House, intended to serve as a baseline document for future management of the site.

  • The Nature Conservancy for pioneering efforts to achieve LEED certification at the Wing Wo Tai Building while maintaining the historic integrity of the existing building.
Wing Wo Tai & Co. Photo Courtesy of the Nature Conservancy 

  • Group 70 International for pioneering efforts to achieve LEED certification at the McCandless Building while maintaining the historic integrity of the existing historic building.
  • Forest City Hawai‘i; History Matters, LLC for the development of a series of educational brochures about historic neighborhoods at Pearl Harbor Naval Base.
Centennial Club

The Centennial Club recognizes kama‘āina businesses, educational institutions and organizations celebrating their 100th anniversaries. This year’s recipients are:

  • Aloha Council, Boy Scouts of America (Honolulu)
  • First Church of Christ, Scientist (Mānoa)
  • Hasegawa General Store (Hāna)
  • Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club
  • Holy Cross Church (Kalāheo)
  • M. Miura Store (Kapa‘a)
  • Mun Lun Chinese Language School (Honolulu)

More About the Historic Hawai‘i Foundation Honor Awards
See a list of all past recipients

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Action Alert: Hawaii Budget and Historic Preservation

Before the Hawaii State Budget Revision (HB2200 HD1 SD2) is reconciled for the Governor's signature, letters of support to members of both the House Finance Committee and the Senate Ways and Means Committee are needed to restore the funds for two critical historic preservation programs. See the sample letter below for more information.

Here are important links:

HHF Recommendations Addressing the State Historic Preservation Division's "High Risk" Status

Re: National Park Service Report on Hawaii State Historic Preservation Division Compliance with annual historic preservation fund grant