The John and Ruth Steffee Residence is a modest, single-story cottage built in Makiki in 1938. It is rendered in a contemporary “Hawaiian” style of the period. The broad hip roof with its overhanging eaves, post and pier foundation, and screened front lanai well address Hawai`i’s climatic conditions as does the extensive use of sliding windows and the cross ventilation of all rooms. The presence of ohia, a Hawaiian hardwood that was milled at the time on the island of Hawai`i, as flooring reflects the conscious use of local materials to celebrate a building’s sense of place. The use of Asian fretwork to support the lanai screening further reflected the ideals of Hawai`i’s society of the period with its strong emphasis on the harmonious meeting of East and West in the Islands, the “Cross-Roads of the Pacific.” Similarly, the house well reflects its period in its use of elements associated with the modern movement.
This list of Hawaii’s historic properties is provided as a public service by Historic Hawaii Foundation. It is not the official list of properties designated on the Hawaii State Register of Historic Places. For official designations and determinations of eligibility, contact the State Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources of the State of Hawaii at 808-692-8015.