The Campaign to Save Lihue Post Office

Līhu‘e Post Office Under Threat of Closure - See Update Below on How You Can Help HHF joined the County of Kaua‘i, Lihu‘e Business Association, National Trust for Historic Preservation and hundreds of local residents and business owners in opposing the move and “disposal” of the post office. The preservation campaign included getting the word out about the threatened closure via door-to-door canvassing, urging attendance at the public meeting, press alerts and social media exposure. About 150 people attend the public meeting in late February. The video below created by a team of students from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School, documents the process. It will be part of the PBS Hawai‘i “HikiNo” series. 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 [...]

2017-04-21T01:00:52+00:00 January 27th, 2017|Categories: Advocacy, Blog, Featured A|

Update on the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium

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 and [...]

2017-04-21T01:00:52+00:00 January 16th, 2017|Categories: Advocacy, Blog|

New Concept Design Unveiled for Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium

The National Trust for Historic Preservation contributes concept proposal in efforts to rehabilitate a one-of-a-kind war memorial to the men and women of Hawaii Swim Basin Rehabilitation Concept for Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial (Design: Dr. Hans Krock) On Veterans’ Day 2016, the National Trust for Historic Preservation unveiled its proposal for revitalizing the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium —one of the most unique structures in the country commemorating those who served and gave their lives in World War I. The rehabilitation concept, designed by Hawaii’s globally-renowned engineer Dr. Hans Krock, is a simple, innovative and long-term solution that would ensure a clean and safe swim basin for the endangered memorial. “This concept proposal is part of our ongoing commitment to develop a collaborative preservation plan that once again allows the Natatorium to operate as a vibrant aquatic facility, community resource and ‘living memorial’ to be enjoyed by future generations,” said Barbara Pahl, senior vice president of field services for the National Trust. “We’re excited to contribute an environmentally responsible alternative—protecting public health and safety—and encourage the City and County of Honolulu and Hawaii locals to take a close look at the design and the opportunity to restore one of the state’s most recognizable historic sites.” The National Trust’s concept proposal for the Natatorium is the result of a collaborative effort with local experts and preservationists, which began with the site’s National Treasures designation in May 2014. The concept, developed by Dr. Hans Krock, Emeritus Professor of Ocean and Resources Engineering at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Dr. Alfred Yee, foremost authority in the design of concrete structures and consulting engineer for Pearl Harbor’s USS Arizona Memorial, addresses [...]

2017-04-21T01:00:53+00:00 November 9th, 2016|Categories: Advocacy, Featured A, Uncategorized|

National Park Service Demolishes Pearl Harbor Historic Building

CPO Bungalow on Ford Island was listed as a “Most Endangered” Historic Site in 2005 In July, the National Park Service (NPS) released its report examining the facts and circumstances surrounding the demolition of a historic bungalow at World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument that was present during the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The original intent of the National Park Service was to rehabilitate the aging bungalow and preserve its historic setting. However, the park failed to complete required consultation with proper authorities and the bungalow was leveled to its foundation in late 2015 and replaced with a similar building earlier this year. In 2012, the National Park Service completed an environmental assessment to preserve, rehabilitate and restore the six Chief Petty Officer (CPO) bungalows on Ford Island for use by visitors and park administration. Subsequently, the National Park Service executed a programmatic agreement with the Hawaiʻi State Historic Preservation Division and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation regarding the preservation of the historic CPO Bungalows. The park received funding in 2015 and began work in November 2015 on CPO Bungalow #28. While the intent was to rehabilitate the bungalow and preserve its historic setting, in actuality, the park’s work involved demolishing the historic building and constructing a new building on top of the original foundation. Some of the historic fabric from the original building such as the windows and doors were salvaged, but not reused in the new building. The demolition and construction work has resulted in an adverse effect on CPO Bungalow #28 which was a contributing resource in the United States Naval Base Pearl Harbor National Historic Landmark. The report identified a lack of understanding at the [...]

2017-04-21T01:00:55+00:00 August 23rd, 2016|Categories: Advocacy|

UPDATE, May 6: Support Historic Resource Study in Transit Station Areas

5/6/16: Honolulu City Council is finalizing the City’s operating budget for the next fiscal year. The current budget bill includes a $500,000 appropriation for surveys to identify historic properties and cultural landmarks to determine their eligibility for a Hawaii or National Registers of Historic Places within the one-half mile radius around each transit station. Historic Hawai‘i Foundation supports the measure and encourages others to submit testimony in support.  Click here for the fact sheet CCH_CB14-2016_CD1_HistoricInventory_UpdatedFactSheet and see the information below with additional background. ACTION NEEDED:  Please consider submitting written testimony in support by Monday, May 9 for the next Budget Committee meeting.  Testimony may be sent via the following link: The following is a sample template/format for submitting testimony: To:       Budget Committee Chair Ann H. Kobayashi & Committee Members Date:   May 10, 2016 Re:       Bill 14, CD1 - $500,000 for surveys to identify historic properties and cultural landmarks within a one-half mile radius around transit stations I support the $500,000 appropriation in Bill 14, CD1 for surveys to identify historic properties and cultural landmarks within a one-half mile radius around transit stations.  (Please state your personal reasons) Thank you for the opportunity to testify in favor of this appropriation in Bill 15, CD1. (Name) (Address [optional]) (Phone number [optional]) MORE INFORMATION: Budget Committee Agenda: Council Bill 14 (2016) Status Sheet: Council Bill 14 (2016): Please contact Councilmember Carol Fukunaga’s Senior Aide Chris Delaunay at 768-5069 or at if you have questions. 4/1/16:  Honolulu City Council is considering a measure to provide funding to identify historic buildings and other historic resources that are located in areas that could be affected by transit-oriented development. Historic [...]

2017-04-21T01:01:02+00:00 March 31st, 2016|Categories: Advocacy|

Authorization of the National Historic Preservation Fund Expired; Congress Considers Measures to Restore HPF

12/29/15: The national Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) was created in 1976 to carry out provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act. The Historic Preservation Fund provides support for the nation’s historic preservation programs, including those that have been integral for historic and cultural properties in Hawai‘i. The U.S House of Representatives and U.S Senate failed to reauthorize the Historic Preservation Fund before it expired on September 30. However, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee included the reauthorization in the Sportsmen’s Act of 2015 (S.566) on November 19, 2015. The Senate and House both need to approve the measure in order for it to be sent to the President for signing before becoming law. The expiration of the HPF creates uncertainty for the future of one of our nation’s most important historic preservation programs. Among other programs, the HPF supports the Historic Tax Credits program, which helps to rehabilitate historic districts such as the Kunia Villages workforce housing for agricultural workers on O‘ahu, as well as commercial buildings in Honolulu’s Chinatown and Downtown, and mom-and-pop stores such as the Mā‘alaea General Store on Maui. The historic rehabilitation tax credits help retain places that are touchstones of community identity and pride, while providing job creation, tangible links to the history and culture of the area, and an authentic sense of place for our Islands. The HPF also provides funding for State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices across the country. In FY15 the Hawai‘i State Historic Preservation Office received over $574,000 from the HPF to support programs such as the National Register of Historic Places, Certified Local Government grants, and bringing a local voice to federal decision making on matters to could affect our historic places. The [...]

2017-04-21T01:01:10+00:00 December 29th, 2015|Categories: Advocacy|

SHPD Proposes Projects That Do Not Affect Historic Properties

State Agency Proposes to Exclude Minor Projects from Review Process In October, the State Historic Preservation Division proposed a list of projects that have no potential to affect historic properties and that would no longer be subject to review and comment by the agency, if and when the exclusion list is finalized. Hawai‘i Revised Statutes (HRS) §6E-42 requires that before any State agency or officer of the State, including its political subdivisions (such as the county governments or the Hawai‘i Community Development Authority), approves any project involving a permit, license, certificate, land use change, subdivision or other entitlement for use “which may affect historic property,” it shall refer the matter to the State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) for review and comment on “the effect of the proposed project on historic properties.” The referral applies to any property over 50 years old (§6E-2). SHPD’s review then establishes: Whether the property has historic significance and integrity that would make it eligible for the state register of historic places, and Whether the proposed project has the potential to “affect” the property, and specifically if it would have an adverse effect or inflict harm on the property’s historic integrity or character-defining features. The purpose of the review process is to help ensure the preservation and appropriate use of historic properties, and to provide opportunities for correction should a proposed action be found to inflict irreversible harm. This is consistent with the constitution of the State of Hawai‘i, which recognizes the value of conserving and developing the historic and cultural property within the State for the public good, and the public interest to engage in a comprehensive program of historic preservation at all levels of government to promote the use [...]

2017-04-21T01:01:20+00:00 December 19th, 2014|Categories: Advocacy|

NPS Accepts SHPD Final Report on Corrective Action

7/9/14: The National Park Service informed the Hawai‘i State Historic Preservation Division that it had received the final report on the Correction Action Plan (2). NPS commended the division for making progress on the identified shortcomings in securing staff and instituting standard operating procedures. However, the division still needs to address several incomplete requirements, including an audit of operations, developing a survey inventory database, and completing a strategic plan. Until the final items are complete, the division remains a “high-risk grantee.” Download Letter (PDF)  

2017-04-21T01:01:35+00:00 July 9th, 2014|Categories: Advocacy|

City & County of Honolulu Department of Planning & Permitting Working Group Develops Recommendations for Preservation Reviews

12/15/13: The City & County of Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) convened a working group from August to October 2013 to review and recommend improvements to the historic preservation review process. Hawai‘i State Law (HRS §6E-2, §6E-10 and §6E-42) requires that prior to issuing any permit or land use approval for any project that affects a historic property, state and local jurisdictions shall refer the matter to the State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) for review and comment.  The referral applies to any property over 50 years old; SHPD’s review then establishes whether the property has historic significance and integrity that would make it eligible for the state register of historic places. DPP established the task force to review the current practices and recommend ways in which they could be improved. The task force included subcommittees on both architectural and archaeological resources. Members included SHPD, Historic Hawai‘i Foundation, Land Use Research Foundation, Building Industry Association, American Institute of Architects Honolulu, American Planning Association Hawai‘i, O‘ahu Island Burial Council, Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, and preservation architecture firms. The committee recommended improvements to the interface between the State and County systems and also substantive improvements for both response to individual cases and affirmative steps to address preservation issues more holistically. DPP Director George Atta said that the recommendations still need to be compiled and vetted by the City staff, and then used as the basis of an agreement with SHPD. He anticipates taking additional steps to conclude the process in early 2014. Key recommendations formed by the committee included: Track all permits by site identification (such as Tax May Key Number) and not just permit type. Once SHPD has determined whether or not a particular [...]

2017-04-21T01:03:35+00:00 January 24th, 2014|Categories: Advocacy|

Historic News Building Threatened by Developer

HCDA Approves Development Permit; Clears Way for Demolition 12/5/13: The Hawai‘i Community Development Authority Board voted on December 4 to approve the development permit application for 801 South Street Phase 2, thus clearing the way for demolition of a portion of the historic Honolulu Advertiser Building. The HCDA board voted 6-0 (with one abstention, one absence and one vacancy) to approve the application—including numerous waivers of the standards and exemptions from the rules—with a few conditions.  The preservation conditions included separating the “red roof” portion of the building from the flat-roof portion and recording it as a separate parcel; conducting architectural recordation; instituting a protection plan for the retained portion of the building during demolition; disclosing the historic significance and “importance of retaining an architect familiar with the rehabilitation and preservation of historic buildings” to any buyer of the retained portion; assessing if any materials can by salvaged for reuse; and sealing off the severed ends of the buildings to provide weatherproofing. As we provided in both written and verbal testimony to HCDA and comments to the State Historic Preservation Division, Historic Hawai‘i Foundation believes these measures to be woefully inadequate in the face of the significant adverse effect that the project will inflict on the historic property. HHF is deeply disappointed in HCDA’s failure to embrace preservation of this important building and site as a cornerstone of the neighborhood and tangible connection to its history. However, we are grateful for the friendships and collaboration that came from joint efforts regarding this issue.  It was heartening to see the level of civic engagement and community-building that demonstrates that residents care deeply for the future of the city, and that we share a belief that the [...]

2017-04-21T01:03:42+00:00 December 9th, 2013|Categories: Advocacy|