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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|

Preservation Awards Spotlight: Ewa Community Church

Project Spotlight  Ewa Community Church, 91-1258 Renton Road, Ewa Beach Built: 1926 Designed by: Herbert Cohen Cayton Architecture style: Gothic Revival Preservation Award Honoree, 2017 Ewa Community Church is tucked away next to the Ewa Elementary School located in the ever-expanding neighborhood of Ewa. The building has a typical cruciform layout with an entrance on the side of the nave, instead of at the end opposite the altar.  The only exterior embellishments are the stained glass in Gothic-arched windows.  The church was originally built to service the Ewa Plantation workers residing in the village and was redone in 1937 keeping only the original framework. The church is a vital part of the local community and is currently home to the United Church of Christ congregation.  The restoration of the church began as a stained glass window repair project which, once underway, grew to include a condition assessment to establish interior and exterior maintenance and repair priorities, structural repair requirements and plans to improve accessibility and campus-wide electrical service. The bulk of the project was completed in 2016 with restoration work on the aging building supported by a preservation grant through the Freeman Foundation’s partnership with Historic Hawai‘i Foundation. The project thoughtfully restored the church which is an integral part of the Ewa Historic Sugar Plantation Historic District. The church continues today in its important role as a religious and community gathering place. The success in preserving this historical church is a positive example of the possibilities for other plantation village buildings and dwellings in disrepair in the surrounding neighborhood. Ewa Community Church will be recognized with a Preservation Award at the 2017 Honor Awards Ceremony & Celebration on May 19. Also honored will be project contributors Mason Architects, Robert Marcos, Inc. and James [...]

2017-05-30T14:00:09+00:00 April 28th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

Curtis and Victoria Ward’s Legacy

The Wards, Old Plantation, and New Ward Village By Kristen Pedersen  Imagine owning all the property between Thomas Square on King Street down to the ocean, including most of eastern Kaka’ako. Now envision the property, not as part of urban Honolulu, but as a green and productive plantation, as it was in the 1880’s. This vision was real and it began in 1870 when Curtis and Victoria Ward purchased this exact 100 acres of land. Over the next several years, the Wards established a self-sufficient farm and built a beautiful Southern-style house, called Old Plantation. The house was located on the mauka side of the property, and included an artesian well, a large fishpond, vegetable and flower gardens, more than 7000 coconut trees, and extensive pastures dedicated to raising horses and cattle. Victoria Ward raised 7 daughters_Photo credit - Victoria Ward Ltd According to Frank Ward Hustace, in his book “Victoria Ward and Her Family: Memories of Old Plantation,” the fishpond was filled with amaama, mullet, and aholehole. The artesian well was fed by a spring of cool water, as clear as glass. According to Hustace, “Queen Emma loved the cool water from the Wards’ artesian well and would stop to drink out of kaio leaves folded into cups.” Unfortunately, Curtis Ward did not get to enjoy the plantation for long. Just a year after construction on the house was finished, Curtis died and Victoria took over the plantation’s commercial operations. She successfully ran the business on her own until 1930 when she and her seven daughters established Victoria Ward Ltd, which assumed daily management of the property. Victoria died in 1935. Curtis Perry Ward died at age 53_ Photo credit Victoria Ward Ltd [...]

2017-04-28T12:51:59+00:00 April 27th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

The Labor Murals of Ceramicist Isami Enomoto

Our friends at Docomomo Hawaii shared a serendipitous story of how they came to be the proud caretakers of a set of five murals by renowned Hawaii artist,  Isami Enomoto. After agreeing to take the murals and not knowing who would adopt them for display, a series of "chance encounters" led them to the Center for Labor Education at West Oahu College, a perfect fit. THE PROJECT: On Oct. 31, 2015, the Bank of Hawaii, closed its Kapahulu branch and sold the building, which was home to a set of five 1961 murals by acclaimed Hawai‘i artist Isami Enomoto depicting labor in the islands. The bank did not want to keep the murals, and when none of the state’s established art institutions were able to accept them, Docomomo Hawai‘i assumed responsibility for the preservation of these artistically and historically important murals. The Bank of Hawaii donated the artwork, which was appraised at $50,000, to the organization. To date Docomomo Hawai`i has spent $5,000 for the moving, crating, and storage of the works, which range in size from 6'-8"x6'-6" to 11'-2"x6'-2 , with the largest piece estimated to weigh 650 pounds. Happily, Docomomo Hawai‘i has found a home for the murals at the Center for Labor Education at West Oahu College, which has agreed to publicly display them, and Docomomo is raising funds to prepare the wall, and clean, repair, move and install the them. The goal is to preserve and share this unique modern art with the people of Hawai‘i. THE ART: Rendered in a style reminiscent of Depression Era public works art projects, these five murals by Isami Enomoto depict laborers and occupations, vividly capturing an important moment in Hawai‘i's history. Commissioned by the [...]

2017-04-21T01:00:51+00:00 April 11th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

Volunteer at Loko Paaiau Fishpond on Earth Day

HHF In the Field Last week, HHF staff participated in the annual Cultural Resources Management meetings with Navy Region Hawai`i and Marine Corps Base Hawai`i this week. The 4 days of meetings and site visits are held to review all preservation actions from the previous year and prepare for coordination for anticipated projects in the coming year. The meetings included an opportunity for site visits to nearby historical and cultural sites and a memorable one was the trip to Loko Paaiau fishpond which is about 400 years old. Volunteer to help clean up the fishpond on Earth Day, April 22, from 9:00 a.m. to Noon Sailors and local volunteers pick invasive mangroves out of the ground during a July 18 cleanup at the ancient fishpond, Loko Pa’aiau, at McGrew Point Navy housing on Oahu. The fishpond restoration started September 2014 and is an ongoing cultural resources project involving the Navy and the local community. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Laurie Dexter The Navy and the Aiea Native Hawaiian Civic Club are partnering to clean up the Loko Paaiau fishpond. Volunteer for clean-up efforts this Earth Day and help remove invasive vegetation and plant native vegetation.  Other volunteer activities may include trash pick up and restoration of the makai wall and other features.     Volunteers will be briefed on the archaeological and cultural background of the fishpond, natural resources of the area and storm water issues. They'll be time for question and answers and light snacks will be provided. To volunteer, contact Jeff Pantaleo, 471-1171 X368 / jeff.pantaleo@navy.mil by April 17.  

2017-04-21T01:00:52+00:00 April 3rd, 2017|Categories: Blog|

Camp Tarawa Then and Now

Camp Tarawa Today by Fred Greguras Kamuela (Waimea) is located at the intersection of the Mamalahoa Highway (Highway 190) and Kawaihae Road (Highway 19) in the northwest part of the island of Hawai’i.  In 1943, it was a small town of about 400 called Kamuela and its residents were almost totally dependent on the Parker Ranch for their livelihood. Camp Tarawa was located on Parker Ranch property in and around Kamuela from 1943-1945.  The camp was between the volcanic peaks of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. The Marines and Seabees were at four locations: the camp main side at Kamuela; the artillery camp at Pohakuloa; the amtrac camp at Hapuna Beach and the division rear at the port facilities in Hilo. Most unit headquarters, tent camps, mess halls, clubs, recreation facilities, warehouses, etc. were located at main side.  There were large outlying training areas surrounding the camps for small arms practice, an artillery range, amphibious training and other purposes.   Main Side, Camp Tarawa, 1944-45 The 2nd Marine Division was sent to Camp Tarawa in December, 1943 after the World War II battle of Tarawa to recuperate, get replacements and train for the Saipan and Tinian campaigns in the Pacific. The 2nd Marine Division named their camp after the brutal battle they had just fought to honor the Marines who died there. The division departed from Camp Tarawa in the spring, 1944. The 5th Marine Division used Camp Tarawa beginning in the fall, 1944 to train for the assault on Iwo Jima. The 5th Marine Division left the camp in late December, 1944 and returned to the camp in March 1945 after the battle of Iwo Jima to recover, get replacements and prepare [...]

2017-04-21T01:00:52+00:00 March 30th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

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

2017-03-22T15:35:38+00:00 March 22nd, 2017|Categories: Blog|

Public Advocacy Efforts Help Pass County Resolution for Kapaia Swinging Bridge

UPDATE ON KAPAIA SWINGING BRIDGE We're happy to report that rapid response from the public showing support for the Kauai County Council resolution to transfer ownership of the bridge to the Kapaia Foundation was successful!  On March 22, 2017, the Council unanimously passed Resolution 2017-23. Next steps? Kapaia Foundation will submit the grant application for the $231,000 the Council appropriated for the bridge in 2006, and hope to start rebuilding within the next couple of months.  We'll keep you posted. ADVOCACY ALERT - March, 20, 2017 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 [...]

2017-03-30T17:47:13+00:00 March 21st, 2017|Categories: Blog|