Kalahikiola Congregational Church (2007) SAVED

Photos: Courtesy of Macario


The Hawai‘i Conference Foundation, Kalahikiola Congregational Church, Mason Architects, Inc., Kikiaola Construction Company, Tanimura & Associates, Inc, and Wallace T. Oki, P.E., Inc. recieved a Preservation Award in 2010 for the reconstruction of the historic Kalahikiola Church after earthquake damage sustained in October 2006.


Article Written By: Michael Keany, HONOLULU Magzine

What is it?
This North Kohala church was founded by missionary Rev. Elias Bond and his wife, Ellen, who arrived in 1841. Determined to build a church that would stand the test of time, parishioners carried stones by hand from the surrounding areas for the walls, and constructed the roof from hand-hewn ‘ohia wood held together with mortise and tenon joints. The church was dedicated in October 1855, and today has been placed on both the national and state historic registers.

What threatens it?

Until October of last year, the thick, stone walls of the church looked plenty sturdy, but over the years, the coral mortar used by the original builders had dried and crumbled back into sand. When the 6.7 magnitude earthquake rocked the Big Island, large sections of the walls crumbled into piles of rubble on the lawn, turning the church into a media poster child of the earthquake’s devastation. Miraculously, the structure didn’t collapse entirely, and the congregation was able to temporarily shore up the walls, keeping the church upright until permanent repairs can be made.

What can be done?
Glenn Mason, the architect hired to rebuild the church, says that at least 90 percent of the walls need to be replaced. “The challenge is going to be saving the rest of the building—the floors, the roof—and we’re still figuring out how to do that,” he says. The Kalahikiola congregation is committed to restoring the church, but it’s going to take a lot of money. Boyd Bond, parishioner and descendent of the original Rev. Bond, estimates the church’s earthquake insurance will cover as much as $1 million, but says the cost of restoration could be $3 million or more, depending on the solution at which Mason Architects arrives.[/fusion_text]

Photos: Courtesy of Macario and Mason Architects, Inc.

2016-11-17T10:48:28+00:00 March 3rd, 2014|Categories: MES Hawaii|Tags: , |