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The Mana of Place, A Poem

The Mana of Place There’s a mana in the air of historic places Intangible yet present. Distinct. Sometimes abrupt. A secret storyteller. Resolute. Forceful. Needy in its urge to share Happenings, unfoldings, chains of events that led there, To its vibratory memory marking what occurred. #PlacesTellStories  #ThisPlaceMatters  #HawaiiNei

March 22nd, 2017|Categories: Blog|

Take Action Today to Save Kapaia Swinging Bridge

Kapaia Swinging Bridge was added to the list of Hawaii’s Most Endangered Historic Site in 2011 and remains vulnerable.  Please lend your support by submitting testimony in favor of a resolution which will be voted on at the Kauai County Council on March 22. The resolution will transfer ownership, responsibility and funding for the bridge to the Kapaia Foundation who seek to preserve and restore it. HISTORY OF THE BRIDGE Imagine daily life in the 1920s in Kapaia Valley in the Territory of Kauai, where most of the plantation villagers traveled by foot because they could not afford to own an automobile.  Back then the foot bridge across Kapaia Stream was heavily trafficked by Kapaia residents who used it to go to and from work, school, shopping and social time with relatives and neighbors.   Completed in 1948, it connected two communities in Kapaia Valley: the east side was home to the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, a Filipino “camp”, Hawaiian and Japanese families, taro and rice fields; the west side was home to the Līhu‘e Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, Korean Methodist Church, Chinese Church, Naganuma Store, Ogata Store, Moriwake and Ah Chock’s Store.  The Kapaia Swinging Bridge is listed on the Hawai‘i Register of Historic Places. As automobiles emerged as the major form of transportation and sugar plantations ceased as the primary economic center, the bridge’s role as the prominent mode of transportation ceased. Today, it remains as an important historic symbol of Kauai’s history, its people, cultures and events--a living receptacle of a bygone era in Kauai’s history. THE RESOLUTION A resolution to transfer Kapaia Swinging Bridge to Kapaia Foundation will be presented for Kauai County Council approval Wednesday, March 22, shortly after 8:30 am at Council Chambers, 2nd Floor [...]

March 21st, 2017|Categories: Blog|

Historic Kaupō School – Rugged Beauty and Solid Community

Site Visit Reveals a Community Steeped in History and Pride of Place February 19, 2017 Kaupō, located on the remote southeastern end of Maui, has a population of about 100 full-time residents but is embraced by thousands of visitors who pass by on the route between Hāna and Haleakalā National Park in Kīpahulu.  The residents are mostly descendants of Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) whose families have lived in this area for countless generations.  This is off-the-grid territory.  The stars are brilliant on clear nights as power lines do not exist out here. As one can imagine in such an exquisitely beautiful and remote place, community is small and tight. One could almost imagine the phrase “it takes a village” written for this special place.  The Kaupō Community Association’s (KCA) mission—to preserve the natural beauty, environmental resources and rural lifestyle of the Kaupō community—fits well into this terrain. Central to this place is Kaupō School, which is steeped in history.  Since its establishment in 1887, the school has served as the only government institution in a remote, isolated landscape. The two-room classroom building and associated Teacher’s Cottage were built in 1922-23. Keiki learned Hawaiian first here, along with other skills such as fishing, hunting and horseback riding. The school is significant to this remote community as both a gathering place and a link to the ranching and agricultural culture of Kaupō. Kaupō School is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (http://historichawaii.org/2014/03/03/kaupo-school/). The community’s wish is to rehabilitate both the classroom building and the teacher’s cottage into a community center and a shelter to provide safety during storms, floods, earthquakes and other emergencies.  With this in mind, the Kaupō Community Association has taken steps forward [...]

February 24th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Featured A|

The Līhu‘e Community Steps Up to Save Their Historic Post Office!

Public Meeting Draws Crowds, Campaign Provides Guidance on Direct Action About 150 Līhu‘e residents attended the United States Postal Service public meeting at Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall on February 23 to learn more about the USPS desire to relocate daily operations at Līhu‘e Post Office. (Click here to read more about why the post office is being slated for possible closure.) In the weeks prior to the meeting, a public awareness and action campaign, “Save Our Post Office”, was launched by Pat Griffin of the Līhu‘e Business Association and other local leaders in collaboration with Historic Hawai‘i Foundation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A team on the ground in Līhu‘e, led by Griffin, canvassed door to door rallying support. Members of the community signed coconuts with messages such as “Closing Līhu‘e Post Office is Nuts!” and postcards pre-printed with a plea to the USPS to maintain the post office as it remains a key component of Līhu‘e’s economically vibrant historic core. Lihue resident holding signed post card in support of keeping Lihue Post Office open.   Continued action, most importantly submitting written comments to Dean Cameron, the USPS representative in San Francisco, postmarked prior to March 25, is vital to send a clear, impactful message that a large segment of the public opposes the post office’s closure. Līhu‘e residents, HHF and the National Trust are calling out to the statewide preservation community for support. Click here for 5 quick, simple, direct actions you can take to let the USPS know you want the historic Līhu‘e Post Office to remain open and in service to the downtown community.

February 24th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

Help Save Lihue Post Office- Submit Written Comments by March 23!

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 [...]

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 [...]

January 16th, 2017|Categories: Advocacy, Blog|

Spotlight on Historic Hilo Town

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 [...]

January 10th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

History of Recreational Boating Topic of 2017 State Historic Preservation Calendar

.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 [...]

December 20th, 2016|Categories: Blog|

Spotlight on a Grantee: YMCA Waipahu Sugar Mill Smokestack

A Symbol of the Sugar Mill's Role as a Community Gathering Place Lives On 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 June 1, 2017.   Click here for more information. Below is the story of how one grant recipient is benefiting from the Fund. The YMCA of Honolulu, founded in 1869, is the latest recipient of a Cooke Preservation Fund grant. The YMCA has been located on the site of the former O‘ahu Sugar Company in Waipahu since 1989 with the YMCA purchasing two acres in 1997 and Oahu Sugar Company donating an additional two acres (including the smokestack) under the condition that the original smokestack be preserved. In 2007, after the successful completion of a large capital campaign, a new family focused Leeward YMCA opened on the site of the Sugar Mill.  Built in 1898, the 170-foot-tall landmark known then as the Oahu Sugar Company mill was an integral part of Waipahu until 1995. The historic building connects children and adults to an important part of their community history, educating and inducing community pride in its heritage. Today the iconic smokestack has deteriorated and stands in disrepair creating a potential safety hazard for surrounding areas. The Cooke Preservation Fund grant is funding part of a concerted effort that will assist with clean up and demobilization of the smokestack with additional phases of the project including testing and permitting, scaffolding that will encircle the smokestack (26 feet high!), cleaning and preparation of the smokestack’s exterior surface and painting of the exterior surface. Waipahu Sugar Mill Campus The smokestack [...]

March 7th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

Spotlight on a Grantee: Mokuaikaua Church’s Public Awareness Room

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 [...]

December 13th, 2016|Categories: Blog|