The Tanabe residence is typical of 1950s modern style residential architecture in Hawaii as applied to tract housing. Its unadorned, clean horizontal lines, picture window, and low profile hip roof with overhanging eaves well bespeak the style. The open, flowing, interior spaces are also typical, as are the use of built-in shelving and furniture, the indirect lighting, and the extensive use of sliding doors and windows. The redwood tongue and groove walls, the wrought iron railing, and the foundation’s concrete blocks are all typical materials of the period. The strong emphasis on cross ventilation and the opening of the master bedroom onto a small lanai via sliding doors express a response to Hawaii’s climate, as does the house’s use of single wall construction and use of a carport rather than a garage. The single wall construction comes out of Hawaii’s plantation architecture tradition, while the carport is another post-World War II innovation associated with the modern movement.The Tanabe Residence is significant on the local level under criterion C, as a good example of a modern style house built in Honolulu during the 1950s. It is also significant at the local level under criterion A for its associations with the development of the College Hills Tract.
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.