Part 3: Timeline of Honolulus Historic Buildings

Part 3:

Timeline of Honolulu’s Historic Buildings

and other Historic Structures

in the Hawaiian Islands

1823, December 10— Moku‘aikaua Church, built under the direction of Kuakini [Kaluaikonahale; John Adams], the brother of Queen Ka‘ahumanu), is dedicated in Kailua-Kona. Formerly on the site was a thatched church built in 1820, making that structure the first Christian church constructed in the Hawaiian Islands.

Four thousand people assist in the construction of the lava rock Moku‘aikaua Church, the walls being held together by sand and coral lime mortar. Attending the dedication is Kuhina Nui (Premier) Ka‘ahumanu, the former queen as the wife of King Kamehameha I.

In 1835 a fire destroys Moku‘aikaua Church, which is then rebuilt in 1836 and finished in January of 1837 using coral mortar and stones from an abandoned heiau. The church’s steeple rises to 112 feet (34 m) and the interior is constructed of native koa (Acacia koa). (See Moku‘aikaua in Hawai‘i Island section in Chapter 2.)

1838—Hulihe‘e Palace is built at Kailua-Kona on Hawai‘i Island by Kuakini [Kaluaikonahale; John Adams], the brother of the late Queen Ka‘ahumanu and the governor of Hawai‘i Island.

Hulihe‘e Palace later serves as a home for Princess Ruth Ke‘elikōlani, and then for King Kalākaua [David La‘amea Kalākaua]. King Kalākaua renames the palace Hikulani Hale, which means “Seventh ruler house,” referring to himself, the seventh leader of the monarchy that began with King Kamehameha I.

In 1885, King Kalākaua has the palace plastered over to give the building a more refined appearance. Later Hulihe‘e Palace is owned by Prince Kūhiō [Jonah Kūhiō Kalaniana‘ole Pi‘ikoi] (1871-1922).

In 1927 the Daughters of Hawai‘i, a group dedicated to preserving the cultural legacy of the Hawaiian Islands, restores Hulihe‘e Palace and turns it into a museum. Hulihe‘e means “Turn flee.”[i] (See Hulihe‘e Palace in Hawai‘i Island section, Chapter 2.)

1841—Punahou School for missionary children and chiefs’ children is established by Hiram Bingham (17891869), who came to the Hawaiian Islands on the Thaddeus in 1820 with the First Company of American missionaries, and Amos Starr Cooke (1810—1871), who came to the Hawaiian Islands in 1837 with the Eighth Company of American missionaries, and Reverend and Mrs. Daniel Dole.

In 1843, the school is designated Punahou School and Oahu [O‘ahu] College. (See 1839.) The school was originally known as Ka-puna-hou (“The new spring”) referring to an ancient legend.

1843—Our Lady of Peace Cathedral is constructed in Honolulu at 1184 Bishop St. (now facing Fort Street Mall) on land originally given to the mission by King Kamehameha III (Kauikeaouli).

The church is built of coral blocks covered with stucco. Built to serve Honolulu’s Roman Catholic Diocese, Our Lady of Peace Cathedral is the first Roman Catholic Church in the Hawaiian Islands, and also the United States’ oldest Catholic cathedral in continuous use.

In 1864, Father Damien is ordained a Roman Catholic priest at Our Lady of Peace Cathedral (see Moloka‘i section, Chapter 2). In 1847, a pipe organ is installed (the first in the Islands). A new model is installed in 1934 and then renovated in 1985. The tower of the cathedral is rebuilt twice, most recently in 1917.

The tower’s clock, installed in 1852, is the one of the oldest tower clocks in the Hawaiian Islands. During shipment to the Hawaiian Islands from France, the clock that was originally ordered was switched with the one that was delivered. The two bells in the cathedral’s tower were made in France in 1853.

The building undergoes several renovations over the years including one in 1929 that produces the building’s current facade. In the cathedral’s courtyard is an 1893 statue that is a duplicate of a 16th century wooden statue in Paris at the Convent of the Sacred Hearts Sisters.

Plaques on the statue are inscribed with the words “In memory of the first Roman Catholic Church. Our Lady of Peace 1827-1893,” in English, Hawaiian, Portuguese, and French. The statue’s location marks the spot of the original missionary church, a small wooden building.

Our Lady of Peace Cathedral is placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, and the Hawai‘i Register of Historic Places in 1981. (See French/Catholics, Chapter 12.)

1847—Washington Place is completed in Honolulu at 20 South Beretania Street by John Dominis, a sea captain and merchant. John Dominis is also the father of John Owen Dominis, husband of Queen Lili‘uokalani [Lydia Kamaka‘eha Pākī-Dominis Lili‘uokalani], who later inherits Washington Place and lives there until she dies in 1917. (See Chapter 11, Timeline: 1921.)

In 1921, due to the political efforts of Prince Kūhiō [Jonah Kūhiō Kalaniana‘ole Pi‘ikoi], the Territory of Hawai’i purchases the stately Washington Place and it is used as a governor’s mansion.

Renovations to Washington Place take place in 1922, 1929, and 1953, and in 1973 the building is placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Washington Place is now a Museum with historical exhibits primarily dedicated to telling the story of Queen Lili‘uokalani. The museum, known as a historic interpretive center, includes displays of the Queen’s personal effects as well as important personal papers and historical documents.

Washington Place also continues to be used as a public reception area. Washington Place was named a National Historic Landmark in 2007. (See Washington Place, Chapter 12.)

1847, September 11—The 275-seat Thespian Theatre opens at King and Maunakea Streets, becoming Honolulu’s first theater. The opening performances include The Adopted Child and Fortune’s Frolic.

The Thespian closes after just one season, to be followed by the Royal Hawaiian Theatre, which opens in 1848.

1852—The Honolulu Courthouse is built on Queen Street near the old Honolulu Fort. A year later a second story is added. The Supreme Court meets in the building, as does Hawai‘i’s Legislature.

Constructed of coral blocks, the Honolulu Courthouse is one of the largest buildings in Honolulu and the site of many social events, including banquets, musical performances, church services, and official ceremonies.

1852—Old School Hall is built at Punahou School in Honolulu, using coral from Kewalo Basin, stone from Rock Hill, and wood from Mānoa. Roof slate and window glass are imported from New England.

1854—The two-story Melchers Building is constructed of coral blocks at 51 Merchant Street in Honolulu for the retail firm of Melchers and Reiner. The building’s style is 19th Century Commercial.

Plaster and stucco now cover the coral block structure. The Melchers Building is placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, and it remains standing today as Honolulu’s oldest commercial building.

1860—Queen’s Hospital is constructed at the corner of Punchbowl and Beretania Streets in Honolulu. The hospital is named after Queen Emma [Emma Na‘ea Rooke; Kalanikaumakeamano; Kaleleonālani], the wife of King Kamehameha IV (Alexander Liholiho ‘Iolani) and the mother of the Crown Prince Albert [Albert Edward Kauikeaouli Leiopapa o Kamehameha] (1858—1862).

Queen Emma is the adopted daughter of her maternal aunt, Grace Kamaikui Young Rooke and her husband, the English physician Dr. Thomas Charles Byde Rooke (Queen Emma’s biological parents were George Na‘ea and Fanny Keku‘iapoiwa Kekelaokalani Young).

Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV originally established Queen’s Hospital in the late 1850s to help the Hawaiian people, who were being devastated by foreign diseases.

1865—The Royal Mausoleum, designed by Theodore Heuck (Honolulu’s first resident architect), is built in Nu‘uanu, O‘ahu at Mauna‘ala (“Fragrant mountain”[ii]). The Mausoleum is planned by King Kamehameha IV (Alexander Liholiho ‘Iolani) and Queen Emma [Emma Na‘ea Rooke; Kalanikaumakeamano; Kaleleonālani] for their deceased son, the Crown Prince Albert [Albert Edward Kauikeaouli Leiopapa o Kamehameha] (1858—1862) (see 1862). The second body placed in the Mausoleum is King Kamehameha IV.

Other deceased royalty are later transferred from the first Royal Mausoleum at ‘Iolani Palace to the new Royal Mausoleum, which now holds the remains of King Kamehameha II through V as well as King Kalākaua [David La‘amea Kalākaua], Queen Lili‘uokalani [Lydia Kamaka‘eha Pākī-Dominis Lili‘uokalani], and other important persons of Hawai‘i’s past.

1867—St. Andrew’s Cathedral opens in Honolulu at Beretania and Queen Emma Streets (Queen Emma Square). The building’s style is Gothic. King Kamehameha IV (Alexander Liholiho ‘Iolani) and Queen Emma [Emma Na‘ea Rooke; Kalanikaumakeamano; Kaleleonālani] raised the initial $30,000 to begin construction of the Honolulu cathedral, and prefabricated sandstone blocks were imported.

The king and queen took interest in building an Anglican church in Honolulu after they visited England’s Queen Victoria in 1861 and were impressed by the Church of England. St. Andrew’s Cathedral is named after the day called St. Andrew’s Feast, which falls on the same day of the year that King Kamehameha IV died in 1863.

In 1867 the French Gothic nave is completed, using “a stone imported from England.” During this time, Episcopalians in the Hawaiian Islands went by the title Hawaiian Reformed Catholic Church.

In 1886, the church’s choir section is completed. An enlargement to the church takes place in 1912, when two bays are added, and then another enlargement takes place in 1958 when a huge stained glass mural is installed across the front of the church.

The mural represents the history of Christianity and incorporates Hawaiian themes including King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma. St. Andrew’s is placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

1870— Queen Emma [Emma Na‘ea Rooke; Kalanikaumakeamano; Kaleleonālani] starts St. Andrew’s Priory School for Girls, dedicated primarily to serving native Hawaiian girls. Nursing is promoted as a major career goal among the students.

1871—The medieval looking ‘Iolani Barracks opens (construction began in 1866), featuring firing loops built into the walls and archery parapets located atop the building.

Designed by Theodore Heuck, a German immigrant, the structure is originally known as Halekoa and used by the Kingdom’s army, formerly called the Household Troops and comprised of about 60 soldiers. An inner courtyard area is used for roll call.

The army is later known as the Household Guard under King Kalākaua [David La‘amea Kalākaua], or Royal Guard, and includes the Royal Hawaiian Band.

‘Iolani Barracks is originally constructed on the site where the State Capitol now stands. Stone by stone, ‘Iolani Barracks was moved in 1965 to its present location, at 364 South King Street on the ‘Iolani Palace grounds, and completely restored.

‘Iolani Barracks was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. (See ‘Iolani Barracks in O‘ahu section, Chapter 2.)

1871—The Kamehameha V Post Office Building, designed by architect J. G. Osborne, is constructed on Merchant and Bethel Streets in downtown Honolulu. Built in the Renaissance Revival style, the structure becomes the main Honolulu Post Office until 1922. Now occupied by the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, the structure remains today as America’s oldest reinforced concrete building.

1874— Construction is completed on Honolulu’s Ali‘iōlani Hale, which becomes the new seat of the Hawaiian government due to the extensive damage of the Honolulu Courthouse caused by supporters of Queen Emma [Emma Na‘ea Rooke; Kalanikaumakeamano; Kaleleonālani] when they protested the election lost to King Kalākaua [David La‘amea Kalākaua].

Begun in 1872, Ali‘iōlani Hale was constructed using concrete blocks. Ali‘iōlani was one of the names of King Kamehameha V (Lot Kapuāiwa Kamehameha), and is likely a reference to the name Ali‘i-iō-lani, which means “Chief unto heavens,” referring to a person (chief or ruler) of a heavenly nature.

Ali‘iōlani houses the Supreme Court, and the Legislature. The Supreme Court consists of a Chief Justice and two associate justices appointed by the king with the advice of the Privy Council. The 1874 Legislature consists of the House of Representatives (27 people elected by eligible voters) and the House of Nobles (15 people elected by the king).

The Hawaiian National Museum is established on September 9, 1874 in Ali‘iōlani Hale with a collection that includes many artifacts donated by Hawaiian royalty. The National Museum at Ali‘iōlani Hale opens on November 8, 1875. The artifacts later become significant early contributions to Bishop Museum (see Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Chapter 2.)

After the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893, the Provisional Government uses Ali‘iōlani Hale as their headquarters. Ali‘iōlani Hale undergoes reconstruction in 1911 because it is in disrepair due to termite damage. The building is set on fire so only the exterior walls remain.

Architects Ripley & Reynolds design the new floor plan, which still exists today. The new design includes a rotunda and double staircase, along with steel beams to reinforce the structure. (See 1872, Feb. 19; also see Ali‘iōlani Hale in O‘ahu section, Chapter 2; and Ali‘iōlani Hale, Chapter 12.)

1878—The Bank of Bishop & Company Building (Bishop Bank Building) is constructed at 63 Merchant Street in Honolulu. The architect is Thomas J. Baker. The building is constructed of brick and features a corner entry similar to the nearby Royal Saloon. The building’s parapet is said to be fortress-like. Other features include arched doorframes and windows, and a decorative cornice.

Bishop Bank moves out in 1925, and is replaced by law offices and other business offices. The corner entry and many of the building’s features are now stuccoed over.

Today the Bishop Bank Building is the only remaining Northern Italian Renaissance Revival style building still standing in Honolulu. The structure is placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

1879—The Hawai‘i State Library opens on King Street in Honolulu. Construction of a new Library building occurred in 1911 and additions were built in 1930. Particularly notable is the library’s entrance, consisting of 20-foot high “Tuscan” columns and 18-foot arches.

The original “Reading Room” opened in 1879, and only men were allowed to check out books from the original collection of 5,000 volumes. This was sponsored by the Hawai‘i Workingmen’s Library Association, who were trying to keep rowdy seamen out of trouble.

Construction of the new Hawai‘i State Library building in 1911 was made possible by a $100,000 donation by industrialist and donor-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1898 after annexation.

Designed by Henry D. Whitfield (Carnegie’s brother-in-law), the structure was built in the Classical Revival style, with a four-story, rectangular main building and a six-story tower at the rear.

Two wings to expand the library were built in 1930, creating the open-air center courtyard. A bust of Andrew Carnegie greets visitors at the entrance.

Note: The Hawai‘i State Library is located at 478 South King Street. Phone: 808-586-3500. Reference Services Phone: 586-3621; 1-800-390-3611.

1880—St. Louis College, a Catholic high school for boys, is established in Honolulu, and later supplemented by Chaminade College, now called Chaminade University.

1881—The Hawaiian Gazette Building is built in downtown Honolulu on Merchant Street for use by the Hawaiian Gazette newspaper.

1881—The Music Hall Theater is founded in Honolulu on King Street, across from ‘Iolani Palace and next to Ali‘iōlani Hale. After closing due to a smallpox epidemic, the theater reopens as the Royal Opera House in 1883.

1882— ‘Iolani Palace is completed in downtown Honolulu. A project of King Kalākaua [David La‘amea Kalākaua], ‘Iolani Palace is built near the site of the earlier royal palace, called Hale Ali‘i.

Utilizing three different architects, and measuring 140 feet long and 100 feet wide, ‘Iolani Palace costs nearly $360,000 to build. The architectural style is said by newspapers of the day to be “American Florentine” or “American Composite.”

‘Iolani Palace is the royal palace of the Hawaiian monarchy for King Kalākaua and Queen Kapi‘olani from 1882 to 1891, and then is the royal palace for Queen Lili‘uokalani [Lydia Kamaka‘eha Pākī-Dominis Lili‘uokalani] for the next two years, until the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893.

After the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, ‘Iolani Palace is used as the capitol building of the Republic of Hawai‘i (1893-1900), and then as the capitol building for the Territory of Hawai‘i (1900-1959), and eventually as the capitol building for the State of Hawai‘i (1960-1969). During this time, ‘Iolani Palace is known as the Executive Building.

1883—A Statue of King Kamehameha I is unveiled in front of Ali‘iōlani Hale, the judiciary building opposite ‘Iolani Palace. The King Kamehameha I statue is unveiled as part of King Kalākaua’s coronation ceremony at ‘Iolani Palace.

The former king, also known as Kamehameha the Great, remains the most renowned and revered warrior and ruler of the Hawaiian Islands. King Kamehameha was responsible for uniting the Hawaiian Islands under one rule and establishing the Kingdom of Hawai‘i, which lasted until the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893.

A royal proclamation in 1872 began the recognition of what was then known as Commemoration Day but is now known as King Kamehameha Day, which is celebrated every June 11. On this date the King Kamehameha I statue is draped with many different types of lei, some more than 26 feet (8 m) long.

The statue of King Kamehameha I in front of Ali‘iōlani Hale, now an O‘ahu landmark, is a replica of the original 9-ton (8-mton) statue cast by American sculptor Thomas Gould in Italy in 1883 (based on an early engraving). That statue was lost in transport to the Hawaiian Islands, but later found in the Falkland Islands soon after the duplicate statue arrived in Honolulu.

The original statue is now on Hawai‘i Island where it stands in front of the North Kohala Civic Center in Kapa‘au, not far from where the future ruler of the Hawaiian Kingdom was born. (See Chapter 11, Timeline: 1753.)

The King Kamehameha I statue is about 8½ feet (2.6 m) tall, showing the warrior king holding an ihe (spear), and wearing a mahiole (feather-crested helmet). He is also wearing an ‘ahu ‘ula (royal feather cloak) a malo (loin cloth), and kāma‘a‘ie (braided sandals).

The statue is said to represent King Kamehameha I at the age of about 45. (See Statue of King Kamehameha I in O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island sections, Chapter 2.)

1887—Kamehameha School for Boys opens in Honolulu under the terms of the will of benefactor Princess Pauahi [Bernice Pauahi Pākī Bishop], the great-granddaughter of King Kamehameha I.

After Bernice Pauahi Pākī Bishop passes away in 1884, her husband Charles Reed Bishop plays a large role in carrying out the wishes stated in his wife’s will, which included the establishment of Kamehameha Schools.

Princess Pauahi’s estate is incredibly wealthy in land assets but very limited in available cash, so Charles Reed Bishop contributes much of his own money to help construct the first school buildings at the original Kalihi location on O‘ahu.

The first buildings include the Preparatory Department facilities constructed in 1888, as well as Bishop Hall, constructed in 1891. Bishop Hall becomes part of the Bishop Museum when the Kamehameha School is relocated in the 1960s. In 1897, Bernice Pauahi Bishop Memorial Chapel is built. (See Chapter 11, Timeline: 1831; 1894.)

1889—The Perry Building is constructed at Hotel Street and Nu‘uanu Avenue by the widow of the Portuguese consul, Jason Perry. In recent times the building has been used for office space.

1889—Charles Reed Bishop founds the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu in honor of his wife, Princess Pauahi [Bernice Pauahi Pākī Bishop] (great-granddaughter of King Kamehameha I), who died in 1884 (see 1884), leaving an extensive collection of royal family heirlooms and historic artifacts of the Kamehameha era.

Charles Reed Bishop constructs Polynesian Hall and Hawaiian Hall on the same site as Kamehameha School. The Museum is founded to preserve and showcase the possessions of Princess Pauahi, as well as items from the estate of the late Queen Emma [Emma Na‘ea Rooke; Kalanikaumakeamano; Kaleleonālani] (1836-1885).

Collection materials initially come from three prominent women who pass away in the mid-1880s: Ruth Ke‘elikōlani (granddaughter of King Kamehameha I); Bernice Pauahi Pākī Bishop (great-granddaughter of King Kamehameha I); and Queen Emma, wife of King Kamehameha IV (Alexander Liholiho ‘Iolani) and great-granddaughter of the brother of King Kamehameha I.

The Bishop Museum collection is greatly increased by the transfer of ownership of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i’s National Museum collection to Bishop Museum. (See Ali‘iōlani Hale, Chapter 12.)

An expressed goal of Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum is to provide enjoyment and education for the Hawaiian people. The Hawaiian name of the Bishop Museum, Hale-hō‘ike‘ike-o-Kamehameha, means “Exhibition house of Kamehameha.” (See Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in O‘ahu section, Chapter 2; and Kamehameha Schools and Bishop Museum, Chapter 12.)

1890—Kapi‘olani Maternity Hospital (Home) opens at Beretania and Makiki Streets, moving to Punahou Street in 1929. The hospital is originally sponsored by the society called Ho‘oulu a Ho‘ōla Lāhui (“Propagate and Perpetuate Nation”), whose first president is Queen Kapi‘olani. (See 1834.)

1890—The Royal Saloon Building is constructed of brick in Honolulu’s Chinatown district at Nu‘uanu Avenue and Merchant Street. Previously a drinking establishment was located on the site. Bar owner W. C. Peacock has the new building constructed in 1889 when Merchant Street is widened.

The Royal Saloon is a one-story building with cast iron ornamentation and white stucco pilasters, balustrade and cornice. Around 1920, an addition is constructed on the Nu‘uanu Avenue side of the building. The Royal Saloon Building now houses Murphy’s Bar & Grill.

1891—The T. R. Foster Building is constructed at 902 Nu‘uanu Avenue in Honolulu’s Chinatown district. The building has cast iron ornamentation, and now houses O‘Tooles Pub. (See Chapter 11, Timeline: 1882, April; 1851; 1890; 1930.)

1893—The Sans Souci Hotel opens in Waikīkī along the shoreline of Kapi‘olani Park, and hosts Robert Louis Stevenson (1850—1894) for a five week visit. (See Historic Waikīkī, Chapter 12.)

1894, December 19—The Kamehameha School for Girls opens in Honolulu under the terms of the will of benefactor Princess Pauahi [Bernice Pauahi Pākī Bishop], the great-granddaughter of King Kamehameha I.

1896—The Bishop Estate Building is constructed on Merchant Street in Honolulu. The architects of the building are C. B. Ripley and Charles William Dickey, and the structure is built in the Romanesque Revival style, using blue stone.

1897—The Irwin Block Building is constructed at 928 Nu‘uanu Avenue in Honolulu’s Chinatown district by William G. Irwin, a sugarcane entrepreneur. The architects of the two-story, high-ceilinged building are C. B. Ripley and Charles William Dickey (1871—1942), and the building’s style is Richardsonian Romanesque. The exterior is rough-hewn volcanic stone and brick.

The Irwin Block Building is used for about 25 years by Yoichi Takakuwa as a wholesale store and political headquarters. In 1923, the building is bought by Nippu Jiji, a Japanese-language newspaper originally founded as The Yamato in 1895 and later called Hawaii Times.

Nippu Jiji occupies the building until 1984. Extensive interior renovations take place in 1982, and an interior mezzanine level is added along with a five-story addition on the rear of the building.

1899—The Judd Building is constructed on Fort Street in Honolulu. Designed by architect Oliver Green Traphagen, the building is originally four stories tall. Later a fifth floor is added.

1890—The Royal Saloon Building is constructed of brick in Honolulu’s Chinatown district at Nu‘uanu and Merchant Street. Previously a drinking establishment was located on the site. Bar owner W. C. Peacock had the new building constructed in 1889 when Merchant Street was widened.

The Royal Saloon is a one-story building with cast iron ornamentation and white stucco pilasters, balustrade, and cornice. Around 1920, an addition was constructed on the Nu‘uanu Avenue side of the building.

The Royal Saloon Building now houses Murphy’s Bar & Grill.

1900—The Royal Brewery Building is constructed by the Honolulu Brewing and Malting Company in Honolulu at 553 South Queen Street. The steel-frame, concrete structure is the original home of Primo Beer, which remains there until 1960.

The building’s style is Romanesque Revival, with a decorative casing of red brick and a grand facade facing Queen Street.

1901—The Moana Hotel opens in Waikīkī. Known as the “First Lady of Waikīkī,” the 75-room, 4-story hotel is the tallest building in the Hawaiian Islands at the time. The architect of the building is Oliver Green Traphagen. Fifteen years later, the hotel adds 100 more rooms as well as a seaside courtyard.

1901—Leahi Hospital opens in Honolulu to treat victims of tuberculosis.

1901—The Pālama Fire Station (Firehouse) is built of brick in Pālama, Honolulu. Beginning in 1965, the Fire Station is used by the State of Hawai‘i for offices.

1901—The six-story Stangenwald Building is constructed at 119 Merchant Street in Honolulu, on the site of the offices of Hugo Stangenwald (1829—1899), a Honolulu physician who passed away in 1899.

Designed by architect Charles William Dickey (1871—1942), the Stangenwald Building is noted for its Italian Renaissance elements. Features include arched windows, pressed-copper trim, terra cotta ornamentation, and a wrought-iron balustrade.

The Stangenwald Building is considered Hawai‘i’s first skyscraper, and for more than a half century it is the tallest building in Honolulu. It also boasts first electric elevator, and houses Hawai‘i’s first shared law library.

The Stangenwald Building is built in the wake of the devastating Chinatown fire of January 20, 1900, which burns 38 acres and displaces more than 4,000 residents. The fire is intentionally set to rid the area of the plague, but accidentally gets out of control.

The Stangenwald Building is constructed of brick and concrete, with a steel frame and built-in fire hoses. Considered Honolulu’s first fully fireproof structure, the building includes fireproof vaults on every floor.

A 1980 restoration of the Stangenwald Building is completed under Honolulu architect James Tsugawa.

1901—Mendoca Block, a brick building spanning one block long, is constructed at North Hotel and Maunakea Streets in Honolulu’s Chinatown district.

Designed by architect Oliver Green Traphagen, Mendoca Block is one of the first major structures that begins the rebuilding process after the devastating 1900 Chinatown fire. (See Chapter 11, Timeline: 1900, Jan. 20.) The building is rehabilitated in 1979.

1903—The Portland Building is constructed at South Hotel and Union Mall, in the architectural style of the Late Victorian period.

1903—The Lum Yip Kee Building is constructed at 80 King Street in Honolulu’s Chinatown, though the building doesn’t open until 1910.

The building is constructed in the 20th Century Commercial style, and is of added historic importance because it is the site where Dr. Sun Yat-Sen plans a revolution in China with members of the Tung Meng Hui “Alliance Society.” (Note: Dr. Sun Yat-Sen is later considered the founder of modern China.)

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen’s older brother is Sun Mei, who comes to the Hawaiian Islands in 1871 and lives on O‘ahu and Maui, where he is a rancher and a merchant. Sun Mei brings his younger brother to the Hawaiian Islands and puts him to work in his store.

Sun then enrolls in Bishop’s College School (later called ‘Iolani) at the age of 14. His accomplishments include an English grammar award given to him by King Kalākaua [David La‘amea Kalākaua].

Sun later returns to China where he begins his political activities while continuing to travel back and forth between China and the Hawaiian Islands.

A new facade is added to the Lum Yip Kee building in the 1970s, and then in 1973 the structure is placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. A bust of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen is located in front of the Chinese Cultural Plaza, and another may be seen on Maui.

1904, March 19—The Waikīkī Aquarium is founded at the far eastern (Diamond Head) side of Waikīkī along the shoreline of Kapi‘olani Park, and initially operated by the Honolulu Rapid Transit and Land Company as an attraction at the end of the streetcar line. (See Chapter 11, Timeline: 1888.)

Waikīkī Aquarium is the oldest aquarium west of the Mississippi River, and the United States’ third oldest public aquarium, exhibiting more than 2,500 organisms.

Waikīkī Aquarium includes more than 420 species of aquatic plants and animals, including black-tip reef sharks, giant clams, translucent jellyfish, colorful reef fish, living coral species, moray eels, a Hawaiian green sea turtle, and Hawaiian monk seals, just to name a few of the species.

The aquarium also provides many interactive, educational opportunities for children, including the “touch-me tide pool.” A small theater shows short educational films. (See Waikīkī Aquarium in O‘ahu section, Chapter 2; and Native Reef Fish of the Hawaiian Islands, Chapter 12.)

1904—O‘ahu Market is built at North King and Kekaulike Streets in Honolulu’s Chinatown district. The building’s style is 20th Century Commercial. Built by Chinese entrepreneur Tuck Young, the open-air O‘ahu Market building is constructed using bricks and coral blocks, with a stone foundation and a wooden roof.

The interior is divided into stone-floored stalls that are open to the street. The O‘ahu Market building is placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

1905—The Winston and Armstrong Buildings are constructed at the corner of North King and River Streets at the entrance to Honolulu’s Chinatown district after the 1900 Chinatown fire ravages the area. The Armstrong building houses Japanese drygoods merchant Musashiya.

1906—The Orpheum Theatre, run by Joel C. Cohen, opens on Fort Street in Honolulu, becoming the first movie theater the Hawaiian Islands and Honolulu’s pioneer of popular-priced theatricals.

1906, August 23—The Territorial Archives Building (Old Archives Building), designed by architect Oliver Green Traphagen in the Renaissance Revival style, is constructed at 364 King Street on the grounds of ‘Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu, becoming the United States’ first building constructed for the sole purpose of preserving public archive materials. (Note: Hawai‘i was a Territory from 1900 to 1959.)

The Archives includes historical photographs and documents, private papers, records, manuscripts, maps, books, and items from various collections, including the Captain Cook Memorial Collection.

The Archives also contains approximately 100,000 photographs, 1,800 maps, and 9,000 books, many of which contain past government publications. Many papers associated with the Hawaiian Kingdom (before 1893), the Republic of Hawai‘i (1893-1900), the Territorial Government (1900-1959), and the government of the State of Hawai‘i (1959-present) are found in the Archives.

The records span all aspects of the government, including the Executive Branch, Legislature, and Judiciary. The Governors’ Records span from 1900 to the present and include press releases, speeches, and personal papers. Catalogs and indexes in the Reference Room include the Computerized Library Catalog, which makes it easy to locate information and photos.

Virtually fireproof, the Old Archives Building is primarily stucco-covered brick, and divided into two main sections with a public reading room and offices on one side and a large vault area on the other side.

Additions to the building are constructed in 1929, including another vault area, a basement in the back, and a bay added to the front left side of the building. In 1949, a small addition is made to the rear of the right side wing of the building.

In 1959, when officials decide that State of Hawai‘i buildings should have Hawaiian names.

The Old Archives Building is renamed Kana‘ina Building after Charles Kana‘ina (c.1801-1877), the husband of Kekāuluohi (Miriam ‘Auhea, 1794-1845), and they were the parents of King Lunalilo.

Also in 1953, the new Hawai‘i State Archives Building (see 1953) is completed, and the old Archives Building houses the State Attorney General’s office, and then later serves other functions including housing the State of Hawai‘i Identification Office and the Office of Children and Youth.

In 1987, the Friends of ‘Iolani Palace restores the original interior colors and design of the Old Archives Building, which still retains its domed, stained-glass skylight in the foyer as well as the original terrazzo floor.

Friends of ‘Iolani Palace now uses the historical building for its education center and administrative offices. (See Old Archives Building—Kana‘ina Building in O‘ahu section, Chapter 2.)

1907—The McCandless Building, constructed in 1906 using blue stone, opens in downtown Honolulu at 925 Bethel Street. Lincoln Loy McCandless (1859—1940) is one-third owner. The architect is Harry Livingston Kerr.

The McCandless Building, one of Honolulu’s first modern office buildings, features a wide arcade overhang on the first story, and an entryway adorned with tile and marble. The style of the McCandless Building is Beaux Arts, and it is one of the few Honolulu buildings with a functioning basement.

The McCandless Building is originally planned to be a two-story building, but the plans change in the middle of construction when it is decided that it will instead be a four-story building. A fifth story (built in a different architectural style) is added to the McCandless Building in 1914, and occupied by the Commercial Club, which later becomes the Chamber of Commerce.

James S. McCandless originally came to the Hawaiian Islands in the late 1800s, and was soon joined by his brothers Link and John. The McCandless brothers drilled artesian wells throughout the Hawaiian Islands, and were also part of the “Committee of Safety” which was instrumental in the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893.

1907—The College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (renamed College of Hawai‘i in 1911) is established in downtown Honolulu as a result of a resolution introduced in the Legislature by Senator William Joseph Coelho. The College opens on September 15, 1908, and is renamed the University of Hawai‘i in 1920.

1909—Yokohama Specie Bank Building is constructed at the corner of Merchant Street and Nu‘uanu Avenue in Honolulu, and becomes the first major Japanese bank in the Hawaiian Islands, opening in 1910.

The architect of the building is Harry Livingston Kerr. Built in the Renaissance Revival style, the building’s features include ornamental oculi (circular windows) at the top, garlands, overhanging cornice, and a Renaissance style entrance noted for its terra cotta step-up.

The Imperial Japanese government chartered Yokohama Shokin Ginko to act as the Japan’s overseas agents, and the Honolulu bank becomes one of several established around the world. Kerr, who designed more than 900 Honolulu buildings, is said to have declared the Yokohama Specie Bank the finest building in Honolulu.

The Yokohama Specie Bank is L-shaped, with Carrera glass wainscoting and copper doors and window casings. The building’s windows are trimmed with marble, which is also used for the interior stairs. Separate entrances are constructed for Chinese, Japanese, and haole customers.

After the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, the United States’ Alien Custodian Agency confiscates the building, and use the first floor as a storehouse for confiscated goods.

City Realty buys the building from the government in 1954, and it is used for office space. The building is placed on the National Historic Register in 1973, and a mezzanine level is added in the 1980s when the building is restored.

1909, September—The Sacred Hearts Academy, a Catholic school for girls, opens in Honolulu.

1910—The McCandless Block Building is constructed at 9 North Pauahi Street. The architect is Harry Livingston Kerr.

1912Hawai‘i Hall is completed at the University of Hawai‘i Mānoa, becoming the first permanent building on the campus.

1912—The Blaisdell Hotel is built at 1154 Fort Street Mall by architect Emory & Webb. Today the building is used for offices and retains its central courtyard and birdcage elevator.

1914—The Honolulu Zoo opens in Kapi‘olani Park on the eastern end of Waikīkī. Covering about 42 acres, the Honolulu Zoo is now home to about 300 species. (See Honolulu Zoo in O‘ahu section, Chapter 2.)

1915—The white-trimmed, red-brick Mission Memorial Building is constructed by the Hawaiian Evangelical Association at 558 South King Street in Honolulu, marking the 100th anniversary of missionaries arriving in the Hawaiian Islands.

Designed by Harry Livingston Kerr and Mark Potter, the building’s style is Colonial/Greek Revival, and remains as Hawai‘i’s only example of true Georgian architecture, a style common in New England and derived from British monarchy.

The Mission Memorial Building includes an auditorium; an annex was built in 1930. Today the building is known as City Hall Annex and used for City and County Offices. The Mission Memorial Building is placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

1916—The Wing Wo Tai & Co. Building is constructed in Honolulu’s Chinatown district at 923 Nu‘uanu Avenue to house a Chinese import business.

1917—The Halekūlani Hotel opens in Honolulu. Previous to 1917, the site of Halekūlani Hotel was the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Lewers and their hotel named Hau Tree after a very old hau tree on the site.

Originally consisting of a beachfront house and five bungalows, the hotel grows modestly over the years until 1981 when it is rebuilt into a modern, world-class hotel. Halekūlani is translated as “House befitting heaven,” or “House befitting royalty.”

1917—A Shingon Temple is built in Honolulu, and a Shingon mission is established.

1918—Honpa Hongwanji Mission is built in Honolulu to commemorate the Shin sect of Buddhism’s 700th anniversary, and Dr. Syngman Rhee, South Korea’s first president (in exile in the Hawaiian Islands) founds the Korean Christian Church in Honolulu.

The church is built on Liliha Street in 1938, and the front of the building replicates Kwang Wha Mun gate in Seoul, Korea.

The Honpa Hongwanji is the world’s first reinforced concrete Buddhist temple. The Korean Girls’ Seminary is founded by Dr. Syngman Rhee at Punchbowl and Beretania Streets in Honolulu in 1913, and in 1918 was renamed Korean Christian Institute.

The Honpa Hongwanji Mission in the Islands began in 1889 with a small church on Emma Street.

1919—The Minatoya Cafe Building is constructed of stone at 1152 Maunakea Street in Honolulu’s Chinatown district.

1922, September 6—The New Hawaii Theatre, commissioned by Consolidated Amusements Company and costing ½-million dollars, opens at 1130 Bethel Street in Honolulu.

Designed by architects Emory & Webb in the Classical Revival/Art Deco style, the theater is designed for live performances as well as for showing the new entertainment medium of movies. The building cost $500,000 and becomes one of the United States’ most modern theaters, featuring a double-cantilever balcony, Corinthian and Byzantine ornamentation, and Moorish grillwork.

The building’s style is Neoclassical, also said to be Classical Revival, Art Deco, and Beaux Arts. Renovated in the 1970s and 1980s, the New Hawai‘i Theatre recently received yet another renovation, costing $33 million, including the installation of a large, neon marquee. The theater holds 1,726 people, and features wicker chairs and air conditioning.

The building was placed on the National and Hawai‘i Registers of Historic Places in 1978, and is now used as a cultural and performing arts center. (See 1929, July 13.) Note: Tours of the building are given on the first Tuesday of each month; call 808-528-5535 for information.

1922—The United States Post Office, Custom House, and Federal Court House, designed by New York architects York & Sawyer, is constructed at 335 Merchant Street in Honolulu in the Spanish Mission Revival style.

The building is notable for its arched openings and tile roof, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. The structure has recently been renovated and renamed the “King Kalakaua Building,” and is now used by the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

1922—The United States Post Office, Custom House, and Federal Court House is built at 335 Merchant Street in Honolulu.

Designed by New York architects York & Sawyer in the Spanish Mission Revival style, the building is notable for its arched openings and tile roof, and served as the headquarters for most of the federal agencies in the Hawaiian Islands, including the U.S. District Court and Post Office.

An addition to the Post Office structure is built in 1929, and is renamed the King David Kalākaua Building in 2002. King Kalākaua [David La‘amea Kalākaua] was Honolulu’s postmaster from 1863 to 1865.

The United States Post Office, Custom House, and Federal Court House building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. The structure is now used by the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

1923—Izumo Taishakyo Mission of Hawai‘i is constructed at 215 North Kukui Street in Honolulu’s Chinatown district. Designed by architect Hego Fuchino, the structure is built without the use of nails by a master shrine carpenter from Japan.

1924—The Hawaii Building is constructed at 1133 Bethel Street using concrete blocks to simulate stone. The architect is H. R. Stettin.

1926—Aloha Tower opens on the waterfront at Honolulu Harbor, becoming the tallest building in the Hawaiian Islands.

The tower, designed by architect Arthur Reynolds, becoming Hawai‘i’s first skyscraper and the tallest building in the Islands at 184 feet, 2 inches (56 m) high, and topped with a 40-foot (12-m) flagstaff and a 7-ton (6.4-mton) clock, and features balconied openings.

Each side of the tower has a clock face and the word “Aloha.” (See Historic Waikīkī, Chapter 12.)

1926—The Territorial Office Building opens at 425 South King Street. Designed by architect Arthur Reynolds in the Classical Revival style, the structure is also known as the Kekūanaō‘a Building, after Mataio Kekūanaō‘a, the father of Princess Ruth Ke‘elikōlani.

1926, November 11 (Armistice Day)—Honolulu Stadium opens at the corner of King and Isenberg Streets Mō‘ili‘ili, Honolulu, and for the next 50 years is used for polo games, rodeos, high school football games, baseball games, boxing, stock car racing, track and field, hula festivals, spiritual crusades, and even an aquacade featuring Olympian Buster Crabbe.

Honolulu Stadium was sometimes filled with as many as 30,000 people, though it was only built to hold 24,000. Sports stars performing in the stadium included Jesse Owens, Babe Ruth, and Lou Gehrig.

A Hawaiian Baseball League was assembled to play against Connie Mack’s Major League All-Stars, which included Lou Gehrig, who hit a homerun out of the stadium, and Babe Ruth, who hit two doubles. The Hawaiian team lost 8-1.

The Hawaiian Warriors professional football team used Honolulu stadium as did the minor league professional baseball team Hawaiian Islanders. Musical performers in Honolulu Stadium included Irving Berlin and Elvis Presley.

The University of Hawai‘i Warriors football team used Honolulu Stadium until Aloha Stadium opened in 1975 in Hālawa. The structure eventually fell into disrepair and was dubbed the Termite Palace before being demolished in 1976 when Aloha Stadium opened. Honolulu Stadium was replaced with Stadium Park.

1927, February 1—The Royal Hawaiian Hotel (nicknamed the “Pink Palace”) opens in Waikīkī, with the Royal Hawaiian Band playing for 1,200 guests.

The new hotel, costing $4 million and featuring elegant chandeliers, high ceilings, pink stucco walls, and pink turrets, begins the restructuring of Waikīkī’s coastline and increases Waikiki‘s reputation as an exotic playground for the rich and famous. (See Royal Hawaiian Hotel in O‘ahu section, Chapter 2; and Historic Waikīkī, Chapter 12.)

1927—The Spalding House is built by Academy of Arts founder Mrs. Charles Montague Cooke. The building is named after her daughter, Alice (Cooke) Spalding, the wife of Philip E. Spalding, after he donated the house and property to the Honolulu Academy of Arts in 1970 for use as a museum for Oriental Art.

Located in Makiki Heights, the Honolulu Academy of Arts is a museum, library and educational facility. The art objects of Mrs. Charles Montague Cooke form the basis of the museum’s collection.

1927—Honolulu Hale, Honolulu’s City Hall, is built at South King and Punchbowl Streets to provide offices for the mayor and city council. Designed by architects Charles William Dickey (1871—1942), Hart Wood (1880—1957), and others, the building has pillars and arches, decorative balconies, ceiling frescoes, and a tiled roof.

Honolulu Hale is modeled after Italy’s Bargello Palace, which was built in Florence the 13th century. The structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. (See O‘ahu section, Chapter 2; and Honolulu Hale, Chapter 12.)

1927—The War Memorial Natatorium is built on the waterfront at the eastern end of Waikīkī as a memorial to the 179 men and women of the Hawaiian Islands who died in World War I.

The Natatorium includes a 100-meter-long, tide-fed, saltwater pool built as a memorial to the 179 men and women of the Hawaiian Islands that died as soldiers in World War I. The memorial includes a 20-foot (6-m) high Memorial Archway.

The pool at the War Memorial Natatorium is later used for training by champion swimmers such as Duke Kahanamoku and Johnny Weissmuller. The pool remains today as the largest saltwater pool in the United States, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Scheduled restoration work costing $6 million was cancelled by new Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann on January 3, 2005, his first day in office. (See War Memorial Natatorium in O‘ahu section, Chapter 2; and War Memorial Natatorium, Chapter 12.)

1927—St Francis Catholic Hospital is established in Pu‘unui, Honolulu, and named after St. Francis of Assisi.

1927—The O‘ahu Railway & Land Train Terminal opens at 325 North King Street near the piers of Honolulu Harbor. Designed by architect Bertram Goodhue, the building’s style is Spanish Mission Revival.

The Terminal structure features a somewhat open arcade area on the ground floor, stucco walls, a red tile roof, and a four-sided clock tower. The building is placed on the Hawai‘i Register of Historic Places in 1987, and the National Register in 1979

The O‘ahu Railway & Land Company, founded in 1889, was run by Benjamin Franklin Dillingham. With the proliferation of paved roads in the early 1900s, train use gradually declined.

In 1947 passenger service ended and the building was used as a bus depot, then sat empty for a time before being utilized by other businesses. A $1.6 million major renovation took place in 2001. (See 1889, Sept. 4; 1929.)

The Hawaiian Islands once had 33 industrial railroads. The main use of these railroads was to transport sugarcane to mills and bring the workers to the fields. Seven common carrier railroads in the Hawaiian Islands also transported passengers and freight. Today the Lahaina Kā‘anapali & Pacific Railroad, the “Sugarcane Train,” is Maui’s only passenger train.

From about 1890 to 1950, the Sugarcane Train was used for transporting the sugarcane to the mill. The 1890s vintage train with replica Kalākaua coaches now provides a nice ride through the former sugarcane fields over the 6 miles (9.7 km) from Lahaina past Kā‘anapali to Pu‘ukoli‘i. The scenic train ride traverses a wooden trestle that spans 415 feet (126 m).

1927—The YWCA Building opens at 1040 Richards Street in downtown Honolulu. Built in the Mediterranean style, the YWCA Building consists of two structures linked by a two-story loggia, and includes an outdoor court area and 61-foot (18.6) swimming pool.

The entrance structure, which includes a stage and auditorium, is named Elizabeth Fuller Memorial Hall after a Hawaiian girl who died while touring with Hawaiian performers in India.

The architect of the YWCA Building is Julia Morgan, who also designed Hearst’s San Simeon in California. The YWCA Building is the first major structure in the Hawaiian Islands designed completely by women (Morgan and landscape architect Catherine Jones Richards). The structure is placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

1928—John Rodgers Airport is dedicated in Honolulu, becoming Hawai‘i’s first official civilian airfield. It is later renamed Honolulu International Airport. Hilo Airport is dedicated in 1928. (See Aviation, Chapter 12.)

1928—The Army and Navy YMCA Building opens at 250 South Hotel Street, formerly the site of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. The property is purchased by the YMCA in 1917, and then $800,000 in renovations are completed under the direction of architect Lincoln Rogers.

The building’s style is Spanish Mission Revival, somewhat resembling an Italian palazzo. The structure is placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

In the 1980s, developer Chris Hemmeter purchases the property for $11 million and completes $30 million in renovations, including the addition of a four-story annex at the rear of the building. The State of Hawai‘i purchases the building in 2000, and it now houses the collection of the Hawai‘i State Art Museum.

1928—The Honolulu Advertiser Building (commonly known as the “News Building”), opens at 605 Kapi‘olani Boulevard (with a major addition in 1956).

Designed by architects Emory & Webb, the building’s style is Beaux Arts/Renaissance Revival, featuring a grand entrance with a quarried-tile staircase and enameled balusters originally gracing an open gallery with a wood parquet floor (now altered). The building is placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1929.

1929—Honolulu Hale opens after two years of construction. The building is modeled after Florence, Italy’s Bargello Palace, which was built in the 13th century.

Designed by architects Charles William Dickey (1871—1942), Hart Wood (18801957), and others, Honolulu Hale is comprised of pillars and arches, decorative balconies, ceiling frescoes, and a tiled roof. Inside the front door is a bell from the World War II ship U.S.S. Honolulu, with a commemorative plaque that states, “Launched August 26, 1937. Commissioned June 15, 1938.”

The spacious lobby of Honolulu Hale is the site of art exhibits and other events, while the center of the building is an open-air courtyard where musical performances and other events are held.

A grand double stairway at the rear of the courtyard leads to a wraparound mezzanine. The structure is placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

In front of Honolulu Hale is a small memorial burning an eternal flame in honor of the victims of the attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The plaque is inscribed with the following words:

Let this eternal flame unite our country in memory of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and honor the brave men and women who put themselves in Harm’s Way to save others. The love and spirit of our grateful nation and the hearts and prayers of our people will always be with them. Dedicated on November 11, 2001 by the people of the City and County of Honolulu.

1929—The Gump Building, designed by architect Hart Wood (1880—1957), opens in Waikīkī. The building’s purpose is to house the art treasures of the Gump collection.

1929—The Alexander & Baldwin Building is built at 822 Bishop Street in downtown Honolulu in memory of Henry Perrine Baldwin (1842—1911) and Samuel Thomas Alexander (1836—1904), the founders of the firm of Alexander & Baldwin, one of Hawai‘i’s “Big Five” companies.

Charles William Dickey (1871—1942) and Hart Wood (1880—1957) are the architects. The building remains notable for its recessed entry with mosaic murals.

1929—The Dillingham Transportation Building is constructed at 735 Bishop Street in Honolulu. The architect is Lincoln Rogers of San Diego, California. The building is constructed in the Italian Renaissance/Mediterranean Revival style, and the arcade and entrance lobby display different colors of bricks and marble used with Art Deco patterns and paneled beams.

A plaque on the building commemorates Benjamin Franklin Dillingham, who founded the Oahu [O‘ahu] Railway & Land Co. The family’s connection to transportation also shows in the twisted-rope decorations lining the street openings.

The location of the Dillingham Transportation Building is not far from Honolulu’s piers, and medallions on the arched entrances show sailboats and steam vessels. The building is placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. (See Chapter 11, Timeline: 1889, Sept. 4; 1927.)

1930—Mary Foster (1844-1930) wills 6 acres (2.4 ha) at Nu‘uanu Avenue and Vineyard Boulevard in downtown Honolulu for a city park and botanical garden (now called Foster Botanical Gardens).

The garden was originally planted by William Hillebrand (1821-1886), a Prussian doctor who arrived in the Hawaiian Islands in 1851 (see 1851) and became a royal physician working at Queen’s Hospital. (See 1822, April.)

Hillebrand was also a member of the Privy Council of King Kamehameha V (Lot Kapuāiwa Kamehameha), and a famous botanist whose 1888 book became the best source regarding Hawaiian flora.

Hillebrand experimented with various plants, animals, and birds, including many non-native species. He bought the property in 1855 from Queen Kalama [Hakaleleponi Kapakuhaili Kalama [Kamālama]], the wife of King Kamehameha III (Kauikeaouli). (See Chapter 11, Timeline: 1851; 1890.)

1930—The C. Brewer Building is constructed at 827 Fort Street. The architects are Meyers, Murray & Phillips of New York, and the building’s style is Mediterranean.

1931—The Honolulu Police Station (now City Departments) is constructed at 842 Bethel Street (at Merchant Street), replacing the 1886 police station.

The Honolulu Police Station is built at a cost of $235,000 and is used by the Honolulu Police Department until they move to the old Sears store in 1967. Judges chambers are located on the second and third floors. Designed by architect Louis E. Davis, the style is Spanish Colonial Revival, also called Spanish Mission Revival.

The building is notable for its interior tilework (ceramic tile wainscoting) and cornice-work as well as wrought iron and cast-concrete balconies, window grilles made of perforated concrete and metal, a coffered wooden ceiling, and an exterior staircase.

The station’s front door is more than 18 feet (5.5 m) tall, and adorned with terra cotta scrolls and columns. Eleven tons (10 mtons) of Roja Alacante marble for the interior of the Honolulu Police Station came from France, and the doors were made from Philippines mahogany.

Previously a brick building was on the same site, and had cells in the basement. The lot was originally purchased by King Kalākaua [David La‘amea Kalākaua] in 1885. The building is placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

1934—Honolulu’s Central Fire Station, designed by engineer John Young and architect Charles Dickey, opens at 104 South Beretania Street, becoming the headquarters of the Honolulu Fire Department. The building’s style is Moderne, with elements of Art Deco.

The two-story Central Fire Station building is a large rectangular structure, five bays wide, including three garage bays in the middle, and a hose tower at the rear of the building. Later additions increase office space.

The building has louver windows, and a balcony on one end of the structure. The Central Fire Station is placed on the National and Hawai‘i Registers of Historic Places in 1980.

1938—The Wo Fat Restaurant Building is constructed at 115 North Hotel Street in Honolulu’s Chinatown district. Originally designed by architect Y. T. Char, the building was reconstructed twice after being damaged by fire. The current structure exhibits a “Pidgin-Chinese” architectural style.

1939—The Emerald Building is constructed at 1148 Bishop Street. The building’s Moderne design is produced by architect Alfred Preis, also the architect of the U.S. S. Arizona Memorial.

1953—A new Hawai‘i State Archives is constructed on the grounds of ‘Iolani Palace behind the Old Archives Building (Kana‘ina Building), which was built in 1906 (See 1906, Aug. 23.)

The Hawai‘i State Archives allows public access to important historical documents of Hawai‘i’s past, including historical photographs and documents, private papers, records, manuscripts, maps, books, and items from various collections, including the Captain Cook Memorial Collection.

The Archives also contains approximately 100,000 photographs, 1,800 maps, and 9,000 books, many of which contain past government publications. Many papers associated with the Hawaiian Kingdom (before 1893), the Republic of Hawai‘i (1893-1900), the Territorial Government (1900-1959), and the government of the State of Hawai‘i (1959-present) are found in the Archives.

The records span all aspects of the government, including the Executive Branch, Legislature, and Judiciary. The Governors’ Records span from 1900 to the present and include press releases, speeches, and personal papers.

Catalogs and indexes in the Reference Room include the Computerized Library Catalog, which makes it easy to locate information and photos.

In 1959, when officials decide that State of Hawai‘i buildings should have Hawaiian names, the new Hawai‘i State Archives building is renamed Kekāuluohi Building after King Lunalilo’s mother, Kekāuluohi (Miriam ‘Auhea, 1794—1845), who was the mother of King Lunalilo and also Kuhina Nui (Premier) of the Hawaiian Kingdom from 1839 to 1845 during the reign of King Kamehameha III (Kauikeaouli). (See Hawai‘i State ArchivesKekāuluohi Building in O‘ahu section, Chapter 2.)

1957—The International Marketplace opens on Kalākaua Avenue in Waikīkī, featuring restaurants, shops, kiosks, and eateries centered around a hundred-year-old banyan tree.

1964—The Honolulu International Center opens, including a sports arena complex, exhibit hall, and auditorium. In 1976 it is renamed the Blaisdell Center.

1966—Thurston Memorial Chapel is constructed on Punahou School campus in Honolulu. The Chapel is a gift of the Thurstons as a memorial to their son, Robert S. Thurston, Jr., who graduated from Punahou in 1941, and then disappeared on a military mission over the Pacific Ocean in 1945. (See 1841.)

1968—The Financial Plaza of the Pacific is built at the corner of King and Bishop Streets. The architects are Leo S. Wou and Victor Gruen, and the plaza is designed by Laurence Halprin.

1975, September 12—Aloha Stadium opens in Honolulu, hosting baseball and football games as well as concerts. The ten-story-tall stadium becomes home to the University of Hawai‘i Warriors football team, and the first game takes place on September 13, 1975 when 32,247 fans watch the University of Hawai‘i Warriors play against Texas A&I.

Aloha Stadium is the first stadium in the United States to feature movable stands. Air cushions move the stands into different configurations for baseball and football as well as concerts.

1992, December—Ground is broken on the $32.24 million Special Events Arena, which is renamed Stan Sheriff Center in 1998. Built to hold 10,031 people, the Center is 107 feet (32.6 m) high and 320 feet (97.5 m) in diameter, totaling 187,000 square feet (17,373 sq. m).

On October 21, 1994, a UH Rainbow Wahine volleyball game becomes the first athletic event in the Center.

Note: Additions and renovations bring the total cost of the Stan Sheriff Center up to $44 million. The building now holds 10,300 people, and up to 11,108 people for non-sporting events.

1994—Aloha Tower Marketplace is built on Piers 8, 9, 10, and 11, housing shops, restaurants and live entertainment. The architects are Burno D’Agostino and Edward R. Aotani & Associates.

1996—The First Hawaiian Center is dedicated in downtown Honolulu. At 428 feet, 11½ inches (131 m), it becomes the tallest building in the Hawaiian Islands.

1998, July 1—The Hawai‘i Convention Center opens at 1801 Kalākaua Avenue in Honolulu. The four-story, 1.4-million-square-foot (.13 million-sq.-m.) building hosts major conventions and international events.

The Center features a roof-top tropical garden, glass-encased meeting rooms, and outdoor areas lined with palms. On permanent display at the Convention Center is a $2 million Hawaiian art collection.



[i] Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H., and Mookini, Esther T. Mookini. Place Names of Hawaii: Revised & Expanded Edition. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1974.

[ii] Pukui, Mary Kawena, and Elbert, Samuel H. & Mookini, Esther T. Place Names of Hawaii: Revised & Expanded Edition. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1974.