UPDATE: SAVED IN 2010
In 2008, Lahaina Restoration Foundation was granted a lease of the smokestack from Kā‘anapali Land Management. The restoration of the smokestack took four months and was completed in 2010. It included installation of carbon steel tension bands, a steel door, repair of exterior concrete, a waterproofing coat, and restoration of the 14-foot high carbon steel “crown” on top of the smokestack. The restoration was carried out by Oak Park Chimmney Co., from original drawings of the smokestack. This project was the recipient of a 2011 Preservation Honor Award.
What is it?
At one time, this 1928 reinforced concrete smoke stack was the tallest structure on Maui. The Pioneer Mill Sugar Co. operated from 1860 until 1999, leaving the smokestack as a last reminder of West Maui’s vanished sugar era.
LISTED AS ENDANGERED IN 2005
Article Written By: A. Kam Napier
What threatens it?
Physically, the smoke stack is fairly solid, but needs some work to stabilize it. Of more pressing concern to the Lahaina Restoration Foundation is the question of ownership. Pioneer Mill belongs to Kaanapali Development Corp., the successor company to Amfac, which LRF says has considered tearing the smokestack down.
What Can Be Done?
We’ve asked Kaanapali Development if they would lease us the land around the stack and we’d fund the restoration,” says LRF executive director Keoki Freeland, who was the last plantation manager at Pioneer Mill, leaving that job in 1995. “They have given a somewhat positive answer but no guarantee. That’s where we sit.”
Freeland is confident his group can raise the estimated $288,000 needed to restore the smoke stack.
Kaanapali Development’s executive says “The smokestack is not under demolition permit we’ve applied for. Our first concern is the demolition of the old plant, which is zoned for heavy industry, has no adaptive reuse potential and is dangerous in its current state. In the meantime, we’ve enlisted a photographer to do museum quality photos and have it donated a lot of records to the Baldwin library. We’re going to try to preserve the memory of what happened there, and there is an archeological review that’s part of that.”