Monday, April 25, 2011

Margaret Sloggett Fisher Scholarship 2011-2012

The Margaret Sloggett Fisher Scholarship is available for students concentrating in historical preservation, museum studies, history, anthropology, Hawaiian studies, ethnic studies, and American studies.

The memorial scholarship honors Margaret Sloggett fisher who was born in
Līhu‘e, Kaua‘i in 1906. She was the daughter of Henry Digby Sloggett and Lucy Etta Wilcox, and married Gerald Marriman Fisher in 1930. The granddaughter of Samuel Wilcox and Emmas Lyman Wilcox, Mrs. Fisher was also the great-granddaughter of Hawai‘i missionaries Abner and Lucy Wilcox of Hanalei, Kaua‘i and David Belden and Sarah Joiner Lyman of Hilo, Hawai‘i, and was a founding museum trustee of Wai‘oli Mission House in Hanalei.

The Trustees of Wai‘oli corporation, which oversees Wai‘oli Mission House, Grove Farm and Mahamoku museums on Kaua‘i, encourage graduate students and college juniors and seniors who are residents of the state, studying in Hawai‘i or on the mainland, to apply for the $1,000 scholarship for the 2011 – 2012 school year. Preference in selection will be given to students who are Kaua‘i residents.

You may be considered for the scholarship by providing the following by May 15, 2011
• A completed application form
• A short letter outlining your educational background and goals
• College transcripts
• Two letters of recommendation

Mail the application, letter, transcripts, and letters of recommendation to

Margaret Sloggett Fisher
Scholarship Committee
Post Office Box 1631
Līhu‘e, Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i 96766

For more information please call (808) 245-3202 or email

Application should include the following:

Margaret Sloggett Fisher Scholarship 2011 Applicant Information

Financial Aid Office address:

Friday, April 8, 2011

"The Complete History of America: (Abridged)"

Now at the Aston Aloha Beach Hotel in Kapa'a.
Dinner at 5:00. Laughter at 7:00. Every Tuesday.

Oceanside Productions is a theatrical production company moving to the Aston Aloha Beach Hotel next week and will run every Tuesday with dinner at 5:00 and show at 7:00with their 90-minute comedy about the history of the US.

Interesting reading behind the story line (3 actors rapidly portraying numerous character depicting the past 500 years of US history) and can provide fun photos.

Cass Foster

2011 Diversity Conference Scholarships Available

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is now accepting applications for Diversity Scholars to attend the National Preservation Conference. The program provides financial assistance to community leaders from diverse social, economic, racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. Applications must be submitted electronically by Wednesday, June 1, 2011. For program and application information, please go or contact

The Diversity Scholarship Program (DSP) supports and strengthens the work of diverse grassroots leaders by sharing with them a broad range of preservation tools and networks. Scholarship recipients and alumni also receive preservation news and training resources, firsthand, throughout the year.

DSP has welcomed over 1,100 participants to the program and has helped enrich the overall Conference experience by incorporating diverse perspectives in the Conference’s programming and providing opportunities for conference attendees to learn from these dynamic community leaders.

The National Trust seeks culturally diverse applicants whose attendance at the Conference will benefit their communities and whose commitment to historic preservation will be reinforced by their participation. Recipients will have an opportunity to express their perspectives during the Conference and to take advantage of National Trust programs after the Conference.

Questions? Please contact the Diversity Scholarship Program at

Historic buildings preserve Chinatown legacy

By Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi

For 20 years, Spencer Leineweber ran her architectural practice in the Mendonca Building, which she owned with her husband, Michael. Constructed in 1913 at the corner of Smith and Hotel streets, the building measures just 980 square feet on each of its levels; a basement, first floor and second floor.

"It's small, but it worked well for my firm's needs," recalled Leineweber, who is a professor and graduate chairwoman of the University of Hawaii's School of Architecture. For one thing, it had high arched windows, which provided really good natural light. It also had a basement for storage. Back then, both were important for an architect's office, although they're less so today with the advent of computers for drawing." When a friend, who was a Navy nurse during World War II, learned the Leinewebers had purchased the building, she chuckled. "During the war she waited outside the building for more than an hour, thinking she was in a ration line for bread," Leineweber said. "When she finally got to the front door, she found out the building was a brothel. There were a lot of men standing in line, but she hadn't paid attention to that - and none of them told her what the line was for!"

Participants will pick up intriguing tidbits like that during a two-hour, two-mile walking tour of Chinatown that the Hono lulu chapter of the American Institute of Architects will be hosting Saturday as part of its fifth annual observance of Architecture Month. The tour will spotlight more than a dozen architecturally significant buildings in Chinatown, the oldest intact commercial area on Oahu. Constructed between 1854 and 1965, the buildings on the route include the Kamehameha V Post Office, Yokohama Specie Building, Nippu Jiji Building, Oahu Market, Wo Fat Building and Hawaii Theatre.

About 20 members of AIA Honolulu, including Leineweber, will be serving as guides and "building docents" for the tour. As a historical architect, Leineweber has worked on numerous conservation projects in Hawaii as well as new structures in historic preservation areas such as Chinatown. The two-story "main" Mendonca Building is across from the building she and her husband sold in 2002. Built in 1901, it covers a full block on Hotel Street, which makes it the largest historic building in Chinatown. "Joseph P. Mendonca was a luna (supervisor) for Kaneohe Ranch," Leineweber said. "He owned a lot of property in Chinatown, all of which had windows with either red frames or red brick around them. That was his building identity, to let everyone know how many properties he owned. At one time there were more than 10 buildings in Chinatown with that signature red trim." Two devastating fires swept through Chinatown in 1886 and 1900, reducing the majority of its wooden structures to ashes.

Today, Honolulu's oldest buildings are clustered at the edge of Chinatown, around the intersection of Merchant and Bethel streets where the fires didn't reach. The two-story Kamehameha V Post Office, built in 1871 on one corner of that intersection, is one of Leineweber's favorite buildings. "Initially you picked up your mail 'by language' - Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian, English and 'other' at individual windows," she said. "In the 1890s brass mailboxes were added under the covered arcade. There's still a small window on the Diamond Head side where you just bought stamps. From the second-floor lanai, you could watch all the activity on the street, which was then the center of town. Also notable are the Tuscan columns and the curved balcony whose wood jigsaw work sunshade was added later."

In 1976 Leineweber was a member of the team that restored this elegant Honolulu landmark, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. "It was one of the first restoration projects that I worked on as the project architect for the firm Anderson and Reinhardt," she said. "There's so much more I can say about this building; in fact, that's where I'll be and what I'll be doing during the walking tour on Saturday."

CHINATOWN WALKING TOURS » Date: Saturday, April 9, 2011 departing every five minutes beginning at 8:30 a.m.
Check in 15 minutes early in the lobby. »
Meeting place: Stangenwald Building, 119 Merchant St. »
Cost: Free »
Reservations required: Accepted on a first-come, first-served basis at, or call 545-4242. »
Notes: Groups limited to 10. Participants should be mobile and fit, bring water and snacks, and wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen and a hat. Children under age 10 are usually too young to appreciate this tour. Families with young children are encouraged to attend Bank of Hawaii Family Sunday instead.


Architecture Firm Crawl: Several downtown firms welcome visitors to their offices, 4 to 8 p.m. April 15. Register on AIA Honolulu's website,, to receive a map and list of firms. »

Bank of Hawaii Family Sunday: Architects will lead children in an art design project using milk cartons to help celebrate the Honolulu Academy of Arts' 84th birthday; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 17 (galleries open until 5 p.m.), Honolulu Academy of Arts, 900 S. Beretania St. »

Film Night: Screening of "How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?," which explores architect Norman Foster's ideals about sustainability and his quest to improve people's quality of life through design;
6:30 p.m. April 20, the ARTS at Marks Garage, 1159 Nuuanu Ave. Seating is limited; register at

Royal Hawaiian Hotel to make history

The “Pink Palace” will be the first hotel in Hawaii to become a member of the Historic Hotels of America

By Allison Schaefers, Honolulu Star Advertiser

When the Royal Hawaiian opened in 1927, a crowd of more than 1,200 gathered to take part in the hotel’s historic debut.

Some 84 years later the iconic “Pink Palace of the Pacific” has become the first hotel in Hawaii to gain membership in the Historic Hotels of America, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It was one of 39 historic properties selected for the program from more than 130 across the nation that were nominated.

A trip to the Royal Hawaiian, which just concluded a multimillion-dollar renovation this month, is like walking back in time. Despite the high-rises, busy streets and bustling shopping centers that surround it, guests say that it still is the same bright beacon bathing Waikiki in a warm pink glow that it was for the well-heeled travelers of the Roaring ’20s who arrived by steamship from faraway shores. There was only one other hotel, what is now called the Wes¬tin Moana Surfrider, on Waikiki Beach when the Royal Hawaiian opened amid much fanfare. But even today the Moorish visage of the 528-room hotel stands out from the beachfront density.

“If I look out to the ocean, I can picture those long-ago guests coming,” said Lawrence P. Horwitz, executive director of Historic Hotels Worldwide. “As I’m walking these halls, I like to imagine what it was like in those days. You can still experience that gracious hospitality, that aloha spirit here today.”

To be chosen for the National Historic Hotel Trust, a hotel must be at least 50 years old, listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places or recognized locally as having historic significance, Horwitz said. The historically significant haven for celebrities, leaders, top business people, prominent families and other important guests was a natural fit, he said.

Among its guests, the Royal Hawaiian has counted President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Shah of Iran, aviatrix Ame¬lia Earhart and movie stars Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, Shirley Temple, Mary Pickford, Doug¬las Fairbanks, George Burns and Gracie Allen. It was a home away from home for influential families like the Rockefellers, Fords and Du¬Ponts.

Wanda Grant, who has been coming to the hotel every March for nearly three decades and was at the celebration marking the hotel’s historic designation, also is part of the resort’s history. The Grant family of Burlington, Ontario, were such frequent visitors to Waikiki and to the Royal Hawaiian that they had a ball cap with the letters “TGIM” emblazoned on the front for the head of the family, Alden Grant, to wear.

“The letters stood for ‘Thank God It’s March,’” Grant said. “My Dad wore it proudly every time he was here. He passed away in 2007, but I still bring it here in memory of him.”

Resort staff also has found ways to remember one of their most frequent returnees, she said.

“When I came back to the Royal the following year after Papa passed away, I went down for breakfast that first morning, and one of the staff came out and put a lei on the chair across from me. She said for Papa,” Grant said. “Everyone here is like family; that’s why I keep coming back year after year.”

Grant, who is 57 now, said over the years she and other family members became part of a group of guests that would vacation together, staying months at a time.

“We would all meet in the old lanai and sit there on the couches and chairs as a huge group and talk story,” she said. “One year we even had songbooks, and we’d sing songs at night.”

Grant has celebrated her birthday in Waikiki for more than 20 years, she said. The staff usually surprises her with a cake poolside, she said. One year, Grant said that they even put a chocolate poodle on it so that her beloved dog could be with her in Hawaii.

“The staff doesn’t change much here. Over the years they get to know you,” she said. “You really feel that the time that you are here that you are privileged to be part of their friendship and aloha. It’s an amazing feeling.”

By joining with this national program, the Royal Hawaiian will become part of a booking network that connects travelers seeking out historic hotels, said Frank Haas, dean of hospitality, business and legal education at the University of Hawaii’s Kapiolani Community College.

“Hotels in this world of Travelocity and Orbitz are looking for a way to promote themselves in a way that is not just based on rate,” Haas said. “Historic travelers are willing to be a higher rate. They value experience over price. They tend to be more active, too.”

Hawaii needs to grow the tourism sector that appeals to heritage travelers, who are those who make a visit to a historic site or cultural attraction a centerpiece of their trip, said Kiersten Faulkner, executive director of the Historic Hawai‘i Foundation, which nominated the property for the historic designation.

“Without the historic, cultural and natural resources that make Hawaii unique, it would be confused as just another commodity, without appreciation for its true value,” Faulkner said.

A portion of all travel booking fees from Historic Hotels of America goes back to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Horwitz said.

“We help preserve America’s treasures,” he said, adding that he hopes to sign another eight to 10 historic Hawaii hotels shortly.

While there are a lot of historic hotels east of the Rockies, Historic Hotels of America’s members are asking them to add more properties in the West, including Hawaii, said Roberta Rinker-Ludloff, whose firm Concept Designs LLC represents Historic Hotels of America.

“They are eager to experience the history of the islands,” Rinker-Ludloff said.