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Most Endangered Spotlight: Ninole Stream Bridge

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.

November 8th, 2016|Categories: Blog|

Rededication of the Neal S. Blaisdell Center War Memorial

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 [...]

November 21st, 2016|Categories: Blog|

Honolulu Fort is Gone but the History Behind it Remains

200 years ago the Russians built a fort, and Fort Street is its namesake By Bob Sigall October 30, 2016  Honolulu Star-Advertiser Sunday Magazine This year 2016 is the 200th anniversary of the founding of Honolulu Fort at the waterfront. Very little remains of the fort, which was started by Russians who were interested in taking over the kingdom. Its enduring remnant is Fort Street, which began as a path from the fort leading mauka. In the early 1800s Russian fur traders began coming to the islands for fruit, vegetables, meat and other supplies. When Kamehameha the Great found out they were building a fort on land he had given them for a supply house, the king had them removed. The Russians met with King Kaumualii, the last king of Kauai, and conspired with him to take over the islands that Kamehameha controlled. They built four forts on Kauai. The remains of one, in Waimea, are still visible to this day. John Adams Kuakini, governor of Oahu, rebuilt the fort and extended its walls to a height of 16 feet and a thickness of 12 feet. It was rectangular and about 340 feet long and 300 feet wide. It enclosed about 2 acres. It was the largest structure in the islands at the time. The fort was made with coral blocks cut from the nearby reef, similar to those that would later build Kawaiaha‘o Church. A heavy wooden gate hung on massive iron hinges facing mauka, up Fort Street. It was located slightly makai of where Fort Street meets Queen Street today. Hawaiians referred to the fort as Kekuanohu (“thorny back,” because of the guns on it walls) or Kepapu (“the gun wall”), wrote Walter [...]

November 4th, 2016|Categories: Blog|

What You Need to Know about Insuring Your Historic Home

Seven Insurance Tips for Historic Homeowners by The National Trust for Historic Preservation If your historic home were severely damaged, but not enough to declare a “total loss,” does your insurance policy have high enough coverage limits to repair and restore the building? And will your insurance company pay to hire experienced restoration craftsmen if you have a fire? These are questions you need to consider when insuring your historic property. The following are a few tips to help lower your insurance costs and check to make sure you have the right coverage. Increase your deductible. Most insurance companies give significant premium credits for higher deductibles. Nothing jeopardizes coverage availability and price stability quicker with insurers than several small claim submissions. Increasing your deductible to $1,000, $2,500, or $5,000 is a great way to offset the increased premiums associated with insuring your building properly. Historic property on Maui Insist on Guaranteed Replacement Cost coverage with an insurance company whose claims philosophy allows for the restoration (not just replacement) of your historic home. This would cover you for the full cost of rebuilding, or restoring, regardless of policy limit. Guaranteed Replacement Cost is essential for full protection. Some insurers no longer offer this coverage, or sell it at 115% or 125% of the policy limit, but it is available. Ask your agent to help you find out who offers Guaranteed Replacement Cost for historic homes in your area. Consolidate policies with one insurer, when possible, to achieve package discounts, avoidance of coverage gaps, and easier administration, particularly if common effective dates are used. “Itemize” significant valuable items such as jewelry art, antiques, silver, cameras, and musical instruments on a Fine Arts floater, to avoid [...]

October 12th, 2016|Categories: Blog|

Learning to Love History Prompts New Passion for Preservation

Researching Stories Related to Kona's Scenic Byway Opens Up a Whole New World by Peter Young I hated history as a kid - I thought it was only about dead people and memorization of seemingly meaningless dates. In fact, I wasn’t interested in history until a few years ago when I became involved in preparing a management plan for a Scenic Byway in Kona. Scenic Byways are about ‘roads that tell stories.’ So a good part of the work was finding stories about the place that could be shared with others.  We would periodically meet with an advisory group of lifelong Kona residents - I would research a ‘story’ of that area, then share it with a group.  Invariably, people would say ‘I never knew that’ and they wanted more. So did I. So my interest in history actually grew out of my work.  There were times that I couldn’t sleep because I wanted to learn some more and I’d get up at 3 am to do more research.  After three Scenic Byway master plans in Kona, Koloa and Waikiki, I realized I didn’t need a planning project (or to get up at 3 am) to learn about our past, and I began researching and sharing stories about Hawaii’s people, places and events. I still can’t get enough of it.  Five years ago, wanting to learn what this thing ‘Facebook’ was all about, I committed to make a daily Facebook post for one year, try to get some ‘Friends,’ and see where that led.  Rather than ‘I’m eating lunch’ kind of post, I started to share some of the stories I learned along the way.  Well, the 1-year commitment has long past, but the daily [...]

October 7th, 2016|Categories: Blog|

HHF in the Field: Limestone Engraving at Courts of the Missing Begins!

This past February, HHF visited the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific as a consulting party to the American Battle Monuments Commission* (ABMC).  Our role was to inspect the proposed limestone that would be used to repair the memorial walls which have been marred by staining, corrosion and vandalism.  We also discussed the installation technique and maintenance issues, and provided a third-party review of the prospective plan.  We had reported back at that time that the selected material and plan provided an appropriate solution for restoring the Memorial! Courts of the Missing - damaged walls Fast forward to September—and the project at the Courts of the Missing needed to repair damage at the Memorial is now underway.  Our visit to the site this past Friday was very exciting! Construction lead Michael Gangloff and his team at Mira Image Construction have begun the process of engraving the names of those missing in action from World War II and the Korean conflict. Did you know each limestone slab at the Courts of the Missing weighs over 300 pounds? The work being done is intricate yet mammoth as each slab is moved by a specialty hydraulic lift. In sets of eight, the stones are placed in the engraving machine, which measures the depth and level of each stone. Each letter is engraved by a diamond bit, controlled by precision lasers and meticulous programming. Calibration takes about four hours, with another four hours to engrave each stone. Pre-construction work included multiple checks of the names and other identifiers, such as branch of service, rank and home state of those being honored at the Memorial.  This is no small task as there are [...]

September 20th, 2016|Categories: Blog|

Preserving History at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard

A Lesson in Preservation at the Shipyard by Captain Martin McMorrow I recently enjoyed a seminar which focused on the recognition of historic properties and the criteria that make a structure/place significant so as to be worthy of preservation.  I especially found interesting the challenges of the property owner who seeks improvement of his property while still maintaining the historical integrity of that property. The seminar presentation used the recent Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard Machine Shop renovation as an example of meeting this challenge successfully.  Today that building looks better than ever but still maintains the character of the 1908 shipyard.  A job well done and a winner of a Historic Hawaii Foundation’s Preservation Honor Award. Reflecting on the Machine Shop, I remembered my experience with that same shop 30 years earlier.  The term used then was “modernizing”. Primarily the work was to remove and replace the sheet metal sides and roof before they completely rusted through.   This too, we thought was a job well done until the Chief of Engineers came from Washington and advised our Admiral that the we were guilty of “gold plating” on the project.  We in design were eager to learn what we had done wrong. I had not been on the project but I remember driving down past the shops and couldn’t tell the Machine Shop from any of the other buildings.  I asked my friend if it was the building with the blue plastic awning above the entrance door.  That awning, as it turned out, was the “gold plating”.   Replacing the rusted corrugated awning with a blue vinyl sheet of roofing material was enough for the Chief to decide that we here out in the far [...]

September 13th, 2016|Categories: Blog|

Foodland’s “Give Aloha” Campaign Allows You to Support HHF While you Shop Throughout the Month of September!

Maurice J. "Sully" Sullivan Historic Hawaii Foundation is participating again this year in Give Aloha, Foodland’s Annual Community Matching Gifts Program.  This program honors Foodland’s founder, Maurice J. "Sully" Sullivan, and continues his legacy of giving back to the community. For a special treat check out the new Foodland Farms Ala Moana. (Read HONOLULU Magazine's recent article, "Five Reasons Foodies will Love Foodland Farms at Ala Moana.") A portion of all sales during opening week, August 31 to September 6, will be donated to this year’s Give Aloha matching gifts. This means that all participating organizations throughout the state, including HHF, will have the opportunity to receive more in matching gifts! How It Works From September 1-30, customers are invited to make donations up to $249 to participating Hawaii non-profit organizations at checkout.  Individuals must use their own Maika'i card to make a donation.  Foodland and the Western Union Foundation will match a portion of each donation made with a Maika'i card.  Donations made without a Maika'i card will not be matched.   Matching Gift The Western Union Foundation has generously donated $50,000 to add to Foodland’s gift of $250,000 to Hawaii non-profit organizations participating in Give Aloha this year.  Therefore, the total gift that will be given to all participating organizations combined is $300,000!   How to Donate At checkout, present your Maika'i card (or give your 10-digit number) and inform the cashier that you would like to make a donation to Historic Hawaii Foundation, code number 77064. If you do not have a Maika'i account, you may establish one by telling the cashier you would like to do so; you will need to give a unique 10-digit number (such as your [...]

August 30th, 2016|Categories: Blog|

National Park Service Opens Application Period for New Civil Rights Grants

National Park Service Announces Availability of New Civil Rights Grants WASHINGTON – The National Park Service (NPS) recently opened the application period for new grants to preserve and highlight the sites and stories related to the African American struggle for equality in the 20th Century. Congress appropriated $8.0 million for this new grant program in FY 2016. “This year the National Park Service is marking 100 years as America’s storyteller by finding new ways to provide Americans a more complete history of our country as we enter our second century of stewardship,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Through the African American Civil Rights Grant Program the National Park Service will enlist the support and expertise of state and local governments and non-profit organizations to educate and inspire a new, diverse generation of citizens who must continue our nation’s march toward a more perfect union,” Jarvis said.   The grants are funded by the Historic Preservation Fund and administered by the NPS. The competitive grant program will provide funding to states, tribes, local governments, and non-profit organizations. Funding will support a broad range of planning, development, and research projects for historic sites associated with African American civil rights in the 20th century. Possible projects include surveys and documentation, interpretation and education, oral histories, architectural services, historic structure reports, planning, and bricks and mortar preservation. A 2008 NPS study, Civil Rights in America, A Framework for Identifying Significant Sites, will serve as the principle reference for grant applicants to determine the appropriateness of proposed projects and properties.  Who may apply? States, territories, federally-recognized tribes, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiian Organizations, local governments (including Certified Local Governments), non-profit organizations, including private non-profit historically black colleges [...]

August 24th, 2016|Categories: Blog|

How the Pali Highway Came to Be

The Pali Highway: From Rough Trail to Daily Commute  By Kristen Pedersen Those of us who live on the windward side of Oahu zip back and forth to Honolulu on the Pali Highway without a moment’s thought. The 11 miles of highway that we now know so well is actually the third roadway constructed across and through the Koolaus and Nuuanu Valley. It connects Kailua and Kaneohe with Vineyard Boulevard in downtown Honolulu. Not so well known is that getting across this expanse wasn’t always so easy. Before the highway or road existed, you had several options: take a canoe around the island; trek through the back of Kalihi Valley; or hike the most direct (and dangerous) route on a trail over the Pali cliffs. In the early 1800’s, the cliffs trail was the main route farmers in the Kailua area used to bring produce to sell in the city and transport necessary goods back to the windward side. According to Kailua archaeologist Paul Brennan in his book KAILUA, the route was a scary series of “ropes and ladders where travelers had to climb straight up or down. Still, they trekked the trail every day, taking poi, fruits, sweet potato and pigs to residents of the city.” In 1845, the narrow trail was widened to six feet and paved with large stones, allowing easier passage for horses and carts. This first Pali Road was a critically important improvement to the lives of farmers and their families, but as late as 1877, even with continued enhancements, was still not considered a safe passage. In 1896, the legislature authorized the use of dynamite to widen the road for paving. A young engineer, Johnny Wilson, headed up the much-needed [...]

August 22nd, 2016|Categories: Blog|