Līhu‘e Post Office Under Threat of Closure - See Update Below on How You Can Help What is it? The first stand-alone post office on Kaua‘i built in 1939. The original proposed design, a Depression-era mission-style fortress, was met by a storm of protest by Kaua‘i citizens led by postal engineer Floyd Williams, who successfully championed a redesign. The revised design was the architecturally popular Spanish mission revival style prevalent in the 1930s. The post office is one of 3 Mediterranean-style buildings in the town core constructed during that decade. It took 10 years from the time territorial senator Charles Rice introduced a resolution to the U.S. Congress to provide funds for a new post office until Līhu‘e Post Office’s dedication in 1939. According to members of the business and local community it is an integral part of life in Līhu‘e and complements efforts to enhance and grow a walkable downtown area. What Threatens it? Closure of Līhu‘e Post Office was announced via a Public Notice posted on January 23 in the lobby of the building located at 4441 Rice Street. The notice solicited public comments on a proposal to end postal operations at that facility. A follow-up message later clarified that the proposal being considered is to consolidate USPS retail operations currently located at 4441 Rice Street with our USPS Carrier Annex facility at 3230 Kapule Highway. Why Does it Matter? “The Lihue Post Office is an extremely important historic building in our town and for our island heritage. It also is an integral component in our work to enhance a walkable livable community in Līhu‘e,” said Pat Griffin, the immediate past Chair of the Kaua‘i Historic Preservation Review Commission, President of the Līhu‘e Business Association and HHF Board Member. “It’s [...]
Photo credit: David Croxford UPDATE ON THE HEARING January 19, 2017: The City Council's Housing and Zoning Committee heard Resolution 16-311 that would urge the City administration to include a historic rehabilitation alternative in the upcoming Environmental Impact Statement. Twenty-six people submitted written testimonies in support of the resolution, including Historic Hawaii Foundation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Two individuals, one representing a diverse group of historic and veteran-related organizations, submitted oral testimony in support of the resolution at the hearing. The Deputy Director of the Department of Design and Construction, Mark Yonamine, and Clifford Lau, Chief of the Facilities Division, represented the City & County of Honolulu in opposing the resolution. Deputy Director Yonamine stated that the alternate proposed was too similar to a precious design that had been subject to a lawsuit and the DCC therefore felt it was a waste of time to pursue a new proposal that would lead down the same path. The main issue related to the National Trust for Historic Preservation's alternate proposal is whether it constitutes a “pool,” which would be subject to Department of Health water quality standards and operational procedures, or would be an “open ocean swim basin” that circulates the water using wave action and natural forces, which is regulated the same as the surrounding ocean waters. The Resolution was temporarily deferred by Housing and Zoning Committee Chair, Kymberly Marcos Pine. Action taken: City Council will write a letter to the Department of Health requesting they make a determination as to whether the alternate proposed plan constitutes a “pool.” If the DOH determines it to be a pool, Council Member Pine would not consider it appropriate to move forward [...]
By Lee H. Nelson, FAIA Adapted from Preservation Brief 17 “Identifying the Visual Aspects of Historic Buildings as an Aid to Preserving their Character” The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties embody two important goals: 1) the preservation of historic materials and, 2) the preservation of a building's distinguishing character. Every old building is unique, with its own identity and its own distinctive character. Character refers to all those visual aspects and physical features that comprise the appearance of every historic building. Character-defining elements include the overall shape of the building, its materials, craftsmanship, decorative details, interior spaces and features, as well as the various aspects of its site and environment. Character-defining features at the Wakamiya Inari Shrine include the o-mune (ridge beam), chigi (X-shaped elements along the top of the ridge) and katsuyoi (barrel-shaped pieces that run horizontally along the ridge). Photo by Alec Freeman There are different ways of understanding old buildings. They can be seen as examples of specific building types, which are usually related to a building’s function, such as schools, courthouses or churches. Buildings can be studied as examples of using specific materials such as concrete, wood, steel, or limestone. They can also be considered as examples of an historical period, which is often related to a specific architectural style, such as Gothic Revival farmhouses, one-story bungalows, or Art Deco apartment buildings. There are many other facets of an historic building besides its functional type, its materials or construction or style that contribute to its historic qualities or significance. Some of these qualities are feelings conveyed by the sense of time and place or in buildings associated with events or people. [...]
Our Historic Neighborhoods: Hilo's Christine & David Reed Historic Hilo town on Hawai‘i Island is rich in history and home to a vibrant and growing small business community. In the interview below, Christine and David Reed, longtime residents, share some memories and perspective on Hilo’s relevance today. Historic Hawai‘i Foundation: Tell us a little about yourselves, your life as small business owners and any interesting projects you are working on. Christine & David Reed: It seems that, as small business owners, we live and breathe the business 24/7 but as entrepreneurs we have the opportunity to forge our own way. Basically Books, our retail store, is open 7 days a week and keeps us busy planning events and finding unique new products for our customers. The publishing division, Petroglyph Press, gives us a creative outlet by allowing us to pursue projects that we find interesting. Currently we are working on a reprint of W.D. Westervelt’s Legends of Maui that was originally published in 1910. By marrying his lyrical retelling of the legends with the powerful full color and block print artwork of Dietrich Varez we are able to give a historical publication new life and introduce a new generation to these ancient folktales. Six months ago we released Hawaiian Legends of Volcanoes, also by Westervelt with illustrations by Varez, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the book as well as Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and the National Park Service. Christine & David Reed standing in front of the current home of the PacificTsunami Museum, formerly First Hawaiian Bank. HHF: How long have you lived in Hilo? The Reeds: David moved to Hilo in 1958 when his father, Stephen Reed, took a position as [...]
The submission deadline for the 2017 Preservation Honor Award Nominations has been extended to Monday, January 30 at 10:00 a.m. Due to technical difficulties, we've extended the nomination deadline. If you are submitting a nomination and continue to have difficulty sending the nomination form please call our office at 808-523-2900 or email Tanya@historichawaii.org. We want to hear from you. Are you, or is an organization or individual you know, working on a fabulous preservation project? If so, now is the time to spotlight their (or your) work and share it with the community. There are several categories of awards with past honorees ranging from a historic blog, interpretive signage, preservation plans, brick and mortar preservation of homes, military and commercial buildings to commendations for individuals’ contributions to advocacy and education efforts to save historic places. The Awards, presented annually since 1975, are Hawai‘i’s highest recognition of preservation projects that perpetuate, rehabilitate, restore or interpret the state’s architectural, archaeological and/or cultural heritage recognizing exceptional preservation projects and programs from across the state. Waikani Stream Bridge, Exceptional Open Spandrel Arched Bridge. Part of the Hāna Highway Bridge Preservation Plan, Maui, 2016 Preservation Commendation Award. Photo credit: Fung Associates. Kalawao Choir. Kalaupapa “Pride of a Nation” video, Moloka‘i, 2016 Preservation Award for Achievements in Interpretive Media. Photo credit: Unknown/Courtesy of IDEA Archives Agawa Home Restoration, Maui, 2016 Preservation Award. Photo Credit, Lahaina Restoration Foundation. Honor Awards are given to projects that exhibit excellence in planning, implementation, and follow-through of work that demonstrates historic preservation as a strategy for the protection, understanding, revitalization, use or celebration of Hawai‘i’s historic and cultural sites. Categories include honors presented for specific [...]
.A number of boating recreational facilities, still in use today, are featured in the full-color 2017 calendar produced by the Department of Land and Natural Resources divisions of State Historic Preservation and Boating and Ocean Recreation, with the Hawai‘i Heritage Center. The calendar is designed by Viki Nasu Design Group with photography by David Franzen. Copies of the “Recreational Boating 2017 calendar, which also serves as a tide calendar, are available for purchase from the Hawai‘i Heritage Center (1040 Smith St., Honolulu, or by mail at: P.O. Box 37520, Honolulu, HI 96837). They are also available at Book Ends in Kailua and Na Mea Hawai‘i/Native Books at Ward Warehouse in Honolulu. History of recreational boating facilities in Hawai‘i (Content below Courtesy of the Department of Land and Natural Resources) Prior to World War II, the moorings for all recreational sailing vessels were in private ownership, with one exception, the Ala Wai Boat Harbor. Constructed by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration it consisted of several docks and piers at the mouth of the Ala Wai Canal and upon its completion in 1935 was turned over to the Territorial Board of Harbor Commissioners to administer. Opening in May 1936, by mid-1938 it had 95 boats docked there. After World War II recreational boating dramatically increased in popularity, as more and more families purchased boats thanks to the phenomenal rise in personal income and increase in leisure time over the course of the 1950s. With prices ranging from $1,500 to $6,000, there were almost 6,000 small boats statewide by 1961, with approximately 90% of these used for recreation. The number of vessels moored at the Ala Wai Boat Harbor doubled between 1948 and 1950, following the military’s return [...]
Using Preservation Funds to Help Preserve Hawaii's Oldest Christian Church The Sam and Mary Cooke Preservation Fund for Hawai‘i supports diverse preservation projects with grants ranging from $2,500 to $10,000. Grants are awarded three times a year and the next application deadline is February 1, 2017. Click here for more information. Below is the story of how one grant recipient is benefiting from the Fund. Mokuaikaua Church has an impressive past. Their website shares the history of how the first missionaries sailed on the Thaddeus from Boston and arrived in Hawai’i after 164 days. While at sea, Kamehameha the Great died and his son Liholiho became ruler. After this the ancient kapu system was abolished with no belief system to take its place. Hawaiian high priest Hewahewa had prophesized that a new God was coming and had even burned his own temple in anticipation paving the way for the first missionaries. Built in 1837, Mokuaikaua Church is the oldest Christian church in the Hawaiian Islands with a congregation dating back to 1820. The impressive stone archway that graces the entryway to the property was built in 1910 to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the arrival of the first American missionaries to Hawai‘i in 1820. Mokuaikaua represents the “new” western architecture of early 19th-century Hawai‘i and is a symbol of Hawai‘i’s missionary past. Its roof and iconic steeple were built with ‘ōhi‘a wood that had been cured in the ocean. Its walls are constructed of lava rock believed to be built out of stones taken from a nearby heiau, and mortared coral. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. In 2014, Mokuaikaua Church was named to both the National and Hawai‘i lists of Most [...]
The Most Endangered pau hana event at Laulima House on November 9 included a presentation of the 2016 Most Endangered Historic Places--succinctly summarizing each--what are they, what threatens them and what can be done to save them. Here's a spotlight on Ninole Stream Bridge, one of the five sites added to this year's list. WHAT IS IT? Ninole Stream Bridge in Kau on Hawaii Island is one of the last remaining timber bridges in the state. Built in 1940 by engineer William R. Bartels, the 60-foot historic bridge has wooden columns and railings that are structurally sound. It was included in the 2013 Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) Historic Bridge Inventory and determined to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. HDOT has determined the bridge to be of "High Preservation Value" due to its intact condition and rarity of design and materials. WHAT THREATENS IT? The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is proposing demolition of the bridge noting it's not wide enough for modern transportation. The plan is to build a replacement bridge with wider lanes to accommodate larger vehicles. WHAT CAN BE DONE? The current proposal calls for a temporary bridge to be built during construction, next to the historic bridge. If the parallel bridge is made permanent, the original bridge can be saved. The historic bridge can then become a resource for the local community with use limited to pedestrians and bicycles.
The True Story of an Accidental Preservation Advocate by Tanya Harrison I’m the last person I thought could ever make a difference. Shy and inexperienced at advocacy, I initially had difficulty convincing others that the Neal Blaisdell Center is indeed Honolulu’s war memorial auditorium. I was completely out of my element. As a former Hawaii resident turned Oregon wildlife biologist, I was more adept at dodging bears than corresponding with officials. Yet my dream of a new memorial plaque at Blaisdell Center came to fruition. Advocacy isn’t restricted to the experts. What I learned through this process is if you’re passionate, persistent, and believe in your objective; anyone can make a difference. Develop a passion for your place View of the top of the arena. Light coming from above is sunlight (the roof is open at the top). Passion fueled the fire that compelled me to work tirelessly on this project. Raised in a family of veterans, I was taught that memorials are sacred places never to be forgotten. Although I learned about the Blaisdell’s war memorial heritage by accident in 2010, once I realized this was lost to society, I couldn’t live with myself if I did nothing. The original memorial plaque, now missing, needed to be replaced and rededicated. I thought a simple phone call to the right person would suffice and I’d be done with it. Little did I know…. Persistence and perseverance View from the exterior catwalk around the lower dome of the arena. Not knowing where to start, I began contacting any entity even remotely related to Blaisdell Center, a strategy akin to throwing stuff up in the air and seeing what sticks. The only thing [...]
UH West O‘ahu Maenette Benham has been appointed chancellor of UH West O‘ahu. Previously, she was the inaugural dean of the Hawai‘inuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She earned her doctoral degree in Educational Administration from UH-Mānoa. She is also a graduate of San Francisco State University (MA and BA degrees) and Kamehameha Schools. Her work on alternative frames of leadership and issues of education is nationally and internationally respected. She has been an invited speaker and presenter in Europe and South East Asia and the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education. She covers a range of topics from program planning and assessment/evaluation, school change, leadership development, building school-community partnerships and professional ethics. Dr. Benham has been dedicated to community service working extensively with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation on youth, education and community collective leadership initiatives. She serves on community boards that include the Mānoa Heritage Center and Kualiʻi Foundation, The Hawaiian Legacy Foundation, the Queen’s Health Systems and Queen’s Medical Center, the North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital and the Kohala Center. She has served on Historic Hawai‘i Foundation’s Kama‘āina of the Year Committee since 2015, including a year as co-chair.