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Honolulu Council Considering Bill to Raise Taxes on Historic Homes

Honolulu Council Bill CB52 (2017) Proposes Increase to Minimum Annual Property Tax on Historic Homes 7/7/2017:  Honolulu City Council has scheduled a public hearing on CB52 CD1 (2017) proposing to raise the annual minimum property tax for historic residences dedicated to preservation to $1000 per year. The minimum property tax for other exemption categories would remain at the current level of $300 annually. The Council hearing will be held on Wednesday, July 12 in Council Chambers at Honolulu Hale. The meeting begins at 10 a.m., with the public hearings scheduled after other matters.  The agenda is available in the sidebar to the right. Under the current tax incentive program for preserving historic homes, property owners may receive a tax exemption for the portion of the property dedicated for historic preservation, subject to conditions that include the property being listed on the Hawai‘i register of historic places, retaining the historic character, providing visual access from the public way and installing a plaque about the historic significance (ROH Sec 8-10.22). The City provides at least 24 categories for property tax exemptions to encourage and support a variety of public benefits, including historic preservation, child care centers, credit unions, slaughterhouses, industrial development, air pollution control, crop shelters, alternative energy development, public service, agriculture, kuleana lands, charitable purposes, low-income rental housing and others. If CB 52 CD1 (2017) is approved, historic residential properties and credit unions would be subject to the higher annual minimum tax rate; other exemptions that qualify under their programs would pay the lower rate. Written testimony should be submitted 24 hours in advance, by Tuesday, July 11.  It may be transmitted via internet at http://www.honolulu.gov/ccl-testimony-form.html for distribution at the meeting or faxed [...]

2017-08-15T12:46:38+00:00 June 23rd, 2017|Categories: Advocacy, Blog, Featured Homepage|

Treasures in our Backyard: Manoa Heritage Center & Kūaliʻi

This hidden gem nestled in Manoa is a 3.5-acre living classroom that promotes the understanding of Hawaiʻi's natural and cultural heritage. Tours are offered for adults and school children by reservation only. As described on the Center's website, tours include a pleasant 1-hour outdoor guided walk through a garden of Native Hawaiian and Polynesian introduced plants; broad views of the Mānoa Valley; a close look at Kūkaʻōʻō Heiau, (an ancient Hawaiian sacred stone structure) as well as the history of Kūaliʻi, the private home of Sam and Mary Cooke, which will one day be open to the public as a museum.  Kokiʻo keʻokeʻo in the Native Hawaiian Garden. Photo credit: Mānoa Heritage Center. Kūka‘ō‘ō Heiau. Photo credit: Mānoa Heritage Center Just 10-minutes from busy downtown Honolulu, this wahi pana immediately engages everyone as they enter from Mānoa Road and see before them Kūaliʻi, a well preserved 106-year old tudor-style house. A peaceful walk with trained volunteer docents through a Native Hawaiian garden and  spectacular valley views beyond ancient Kūkaʻōʻō Heiau provide an interactive experience for those interested in Mānoa’s transition over time, conservation of rare native plants, legends from the past and important cultural practices passed down through kūpuna. Inspired by Sam and Mary Cooke who founded Mānoa Heritage Center over 21 years ago, stewardship of this special place continues for generations to come. Click here to learn more about Mānoa Heritage Center and to make a reservation for a tour.

2017-06-21T09:50:24+00:00 June 21st, 2017|Categories: Blog|

A New Exhibit about the History of Honolulu Hale Opens June 10

Project Spotlight: The Honolulu Hale Through the Times exhibit was unveiled in June 2017 and will be displayed in the 3rd floor gallery of Honolulu Hale until the end of June 2017 in celebration of the building and the people who have contributed to its evolution over the years. The Exhibit is a glimpse into the past that provokes thought for future planning and inspires visitors to take a personal interest in the building – to care for the future of this important landmark of Honolulu. What is it? A series of panels containing general history of Honolulu Hale, historic photos and personal feedback from Mayor Caldwell and City Councilmembers Starting with the history of how the original Honolulu Hale came to be in Hawaii, the first few panels describe the history of the need, design and execution of the building. The panels then move to discuss certain highlights in Honolulu Hale’s evolution including changes and alterations that have been made over the years. This is followed by detailed information regarding the most distinct features of the space and the stories behind each element. The exhibit ends with personal feedback from Mayor Kirk Caldwell and City Councilmembers offering opinions and suggestions for the continued preservation and improvement of one of Honolulu’s most important structures. A unique feature of the exhibit is the final board where visitors to the exhibit are asked to share personal memories and thoughts for the future of Honolulu Hale. How was it created? Minatoishi Architects designed this exhibit with the help of the City & County of Honolulu and the State Historic Preservation Division. Combined research between Minatoishi Architects, MOCA and the State Historic Preservation Division was gathered and combined to generate [...]

2017-06-09T14:30:04+00:00 June 9th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

Preservation Awards Spotlight: Hilton Hawaiian Village’s History Wall Exhibit

Project Spotlight:  Hilton Hawaiian Village's History Wall was unveiled in 2016, in celebration of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort's 55th anniversary. The Exhibit is a wonder to behold. One can literally lose oneself in the past perusing the panels and taking in all the details. One things's for sure, after spending time learning the history, Waikiki, and Hawaii, will never look the same. What is it? A timeline of pivotal moments in the history of this Waikīkī resort. Starting with the priority of “place,” the wall describes the site’s origin, Kalia fishing village, and its cultural roots. The wall then chronicles the people who helped shape tourism, music and entertainment in Hawai‘i and also shares the story of developer Henry Kaiser and the distinctive features of the Village that he envisioned.  The Hilton Hawaiian Village comes alive with stories about the influential people - such as Kaiser, Alfred Apaka, and Elvis Presley - who helped make the hotel the destination it is today. How was it created? This new History Wall replaced a smaller-scale version that once stood in the Tapa Tower. The wall was expanded from seven panels to 80 feet of 16 museum-quality acrylic panels. Two years of extensive research went into creating the History Wall which spans Waikiki's history from 1891 to 2015. The wall is a great way for visitors to reminisce about the past and learn about the property's cultural significance in Hawaii's history. The layout and photos are comprehensive, capturing what the area looked like before the 1900s to displaying fun items such as Elvis Presley's song list written on hotel stationery. The timeline at the bottom of the display makes the hotel's history relevant to its global visitors by including [...]

2017-05-30T13:58:44+00:00 May 18th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

Preservation Awards Spotlight: Naval Air Station Barbers Point

NAS Barber Point's Storied History By Kristen Pedersen  Naval Air Station Barbers Point Entrance Who was Barber? Barbers Point was named for Henry Barber, the captain of the Arthur, a 100-foot British vessel that ran aground at the point during a storm in 1796. According to various sources, Barber was on his way from Honolulu to Kauai to pick up a load of yams when a storm hit Oahu. Barber “determined to get underway despite the storm, hoisted anchor...All other captains held their ships in port while Arthur was deluged by wind, rain and pounding surf.” The ship went down taking with it six crewmembers. The survivors struggled ashore near a tract of land referred to by native Hawaiians as "Kalaeloa" (long cape or headland), a legendary birthplace of Hawaiian kings. Kalaeloa later became known as Barbers Point. Both names are used today.   Naval Air Station (NAS) Barbers Point NAS Barbers Point began life in the early 1930’s when the Navy leased some land from the James Campbell estate to moor a blimp (dirigible). A few years later, the Navy leased another section of the estate to build an outlying field near the mooring, but it was never used. Not an auspicious start! In 1940, after the original lease expired, an additional parcel of 3500 acres was acquired by the Navy to enlarge the outlying field and establish the Ewa Marine Corps Air Station. It was completed in 1941. Around this same time, the Navy decided to expand its aviation facility at Barbers Point, but base construction was interrupted by the attack on Oahu on December 7, 1941. The main concentration of the attack occurred at Pearl Harbor, but several other installations [...]

2017-05-17T11:58:05+00:00 May 17th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

Preservation Awards Spotlight: Reflections on Talk Story on the Land Hikes at the Nu‘u Refuge

The Hawaiian Islands Land Trust’s Talk Story on the Land environmental education series, a free, public hike series on properties protected by the Hawaiian Island Land Trust, will receive a Preservation Commendation at the 2017 Preservation Honor Awards.   The program provides residents and visitors the opportunity to visit these lands to witness responsible stewardship, learn about the natural history and cultural significance of each place, and the vital necessity of conserving them. To date, 1,300 individuals have participated on 63 hikes to properties including Waihe'e Coastal Dunes and Wetlands Refuge, Nu‘u Refuge on Maui and Maunawila Heiau Preserve on O‘ahu.  By providing a personal experience of these places, the Talk Story on The Land program is a successful means of engaging the public in the benefits of conservation and preservation. Maui's Nuʻu Refuge Shares Kupuna Wisdom from the Natural World By Scott Fisher, Ph.D. Leading our Talk Story on the Land hikes at our Nuʻu Refuge, on Maui’s arid south east coast, is an amazing experience.  These excursions are an opportunity for us to learn more about our land, to dig deeper to learn the stories of ka poʻe kahiko, the people of old, who lived and thrived on this land, and to understand the importance of these special places. Based on the landscape, it makes sense that one of the most common question I am asked is “how did people survive in this dry, arid land?”  I really love this question since it gives me an opportunity to explain how caring for the land will lead to sustainability and abundance.  Our kupuna knew how to do this, and not only lived sustainably, but thrived.  We can learn so much from them--their stories are recorded on the land; [...]

2017-07-07T12:21:36+00:00 May 15th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

Anniversary Spotlight: Manago Hotel – Home Away from Home for 100 Years

Congratulations to Manago Hotel on their centennial anniversary! Manago will be awarded an Anniversary Recognition at the 2017 Preservation Honor Awards Celebration on May 19. Hotel History Manago Hotel is located in Captain Cook Town on the slopes of Mauna Loa at an elevation of 1,350 ft. It overlooks the beautiful Kealakekua Bay, and the ancient Hawaiian Place of Refuge in Honaunau. Named after the family who founded it, Manago endures as a piece of old Hawai‘i attracting visitors from around the world. Woven into the Manago Hotel’s history are the captivating stories of two immigrants who came to Hawai‘i from Japan. Kinzo arrived while en route to Canada to study English. When one of his travelling companions lost his money gambling in Honolulu, Kinzo came to Hawai‘i Island to look up a relative and find work. He became a cook for the Wallace family in Captain Cook, settled in and saved money to send away for a picture bride. Osame was one of 14,000-plus picture brides who immigrated to Hawai‘i between 1907–1923. She arrived in Honolulu in 1913 where she and Kinzo married at a Shinto shrine. A farmer’s daughter, Osame was a hard worker. She soon found work sorting coffee beans for the Captain Cook Coffee Mill and embroidering linens. Manago Hotel in its early years. The Wallaces encouraged the couple to open a coffee shop, loaning them $100. The Managos bought a small building and divided it into two rooms: one for their personal use and the other for a sink, stove, and table for making udon (noodles). In addition to the udon, they baked bread to serve with jam and coffee. The couple also did laundry and made a [...]

2017-05-11T15:37:12+00:00 May 11th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

Community Reflections on Places That Matter

For Preservation Month, we tapped into our diverse local community to find out more about the historic places they love and why they care about preserving them. We'll be adding new content at the top of the page weekly on an ongoing basis to capture the essence of the historic places we cherish and want to protect. The Kalahuipuaa Fish Ponds (shown above) are located at the Mauna Lani Resort on Hawaii Island and date back to 250 BC based on bottom samples. They are one of our favorite historic places and emit a tangible reminder of  a Hawaii before Western contact when a simpler way of life, one which understood and integrated the Islands' natural ecosystems into everyday existence, was prevalent. The fish ponds now serve as a powerful tool for sharing cultural education with the modern world. Our Favorite Historic Places and Why We Care Building 1102 on Hickam Field, also known as Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Oahu John Lohr in front of the Courtyard of Heroes As the former Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Historic Preservation Officer (2014-2017) and 30 years of military service (with two tours at Hickam Air Force Base), I could easily list several historic places across the State of Hawaii. However, I selected Building 1102 on Hickam Field (also known as Headquarters Pacific Air Forces) as “my favorite historic place”. More specifically, the “Court Yard of Heroes” located within Building 1102. Bullet holes riddle the exterior of the PACAF Building on Hickam Air Force Base. The structure was once the barracks of the airmen during the 1941 attack. (Photo/caption from Cindy Ellen Russell, Honolulu Star Advertiser) The Court Yard of Heroes was established in 1995 and dedicated during the 50th Anniversary commemorating the [...]

2017-07-14T12:53:43+00:00 May 11th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Featured Homepage|

Final Harvest Ends Hawaii Sugar Industry

The musing below by Jill Engledow captures the wistful nostalgia of the plantation era and its end. Jill's recent book, "Sugarcane Days: Remembering Maui’s Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company", is the recipient of a 2017 Honor Award for Achievements in Interpretive Media.  Green cane still grows on fields left fallow by the closing of Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co., the last sugar plantation in the Islands. Winter rains have kept the ratoon crop alive on some 36,000 acres of the great plantation begun in the 1870s by Samuel T. Alexander and Henry P. Baldwin and their rival, Claus Spreckels. But the old mill is still, its tall stacks no longer sending out the plumes of smoke that acted as a weather vane for generations of Central Maui residents. Six hundred laid-off workers are figuring out what to do with the rest of their lives. Alongside a cane-field road, a couple of out-of-work Tournahaulers stand idle, their chain-net sides examples of the ingenuity of generations of plantation workers who shaped tools and processes to meet their needs. That ingenuity helped keep this plantation in business longer than any other, despite financial losses and ongoing community conflict over cane smoke and the control of water from mountain streams. Other remnants remain of the plantation life that ruled this island and its neighbors for nearly two centuries--an old market, church buildings, a school, a pool, a post office. Here and there in the fields, a stand of trees memorializes the site of a camp, a village where workers lived, and just down the road is busy Kahului, the town the plantation built to replace those camps. Across from the mill, two old houses remain, home to the Alexander & [...]

2017-05-10T11:07:56+00:00 May 9th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

National Monument Designations & the Antiquities Act: What You Need to Know

President Trump's recent executive order calling for the Department of the Interior to review all National Monument designations over 100,000 acres or "made without adequate public outreach" from the past 21 years has triggered much discussion surrounding the Antiquities Act. Our friends at Preservation Action and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have issued statements which we share below.  We also wanted to spotlight a few of Hawaii's National Monuments that could be affected. Preservation Action notes that:  This order impacts dozens of natural, cultural and historically significant sites across the country. Presidents Bill Clinton, George W Bush, and Barack Obama all used the Antiquities Act of 1906 to permanently protect iconic places as National Monuments over the last 21 years. President Trump called the recent use of the Antiquities Act an "egregious use of government power." Both Republican and Democratic presidents going back to Theodore Roosevelt, have used the Antiquities Act to protect critically important natural and historic resources for future generations. The Antiquities Act has been used to protect sites like the Grand Canyon and the Statue of Liberty, to more recently protecting sites like the Stonewall Inn in New York and Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. The review ordered by President Trump could lead to big changes to the size of several national monuments or the rescinding of national monuments. Secretary of Interior, Ryan Zinke, said he would have recommendations on the Bear's Ears National Monument in 45 days and a complete report in 120 days. Preservation Action is extremely concerned by this latest executive order. The Antiquities Act has been used to establish more than 150 National Monuments, protecting iconic landscapes and historic sites across the country, while benefiting local communities through [...]

2017-05-04T12:35:29+00:00 May 4th, 2017|Categories: Blog|