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.
4/27/17: Update on the Campaign to Save Lihue Post Office What Happened On April 27, 2017, the United States Postal Service issued an announcement that it has decided to redo the regulatory process related to the proposal to relocate the retail operations of Lihue Post Office from its current location on Rice Street to its Lihue Carrier Annex facility at 3230 Kapule Highway. In a letter also dated April 27 addressed to Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr., Tom A. Samra, V.P., Facilities, for the United States Postal Service, noted, "I reviewed the concerns you and others in the Lihue community have expressed, and I determined that the Postal Service should redo the regulatory process to better inform elected officials and the community of the Postal Service's need for relocation and to better explain the proposal to meet that need." What This Means This means the entire process will begin anew. There will be a new comment period and/or another community meeting according to the announcement. Essentially, we will need your heroic efforts to make your voice heard in favor of keeping Līhu‘e Post Office open, once again. We’ll keep you “posted” and let you know when you need to act. What You Can Do Sign up for our E-news and/or email email@example.com to join our Advocacy Alert lists to stay informed. Mahalo for your tremendous efforts and enthusiasm thus far! 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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
.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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
What are Hawaii's Most Endangered Historic Places and why do they matter? The Most Endangered Historic Places is a public awareness campaign that seeks to remind people of historical sites that are often overlooked or forgotten. Sharing their connection to real people and events from the past that are still relevant today serves as a rallying cry for citizen action to protect these community landmarks. The annual list serves to highlight some of the best opportunities for preservation each year because the historic sites are threatened in some way, but still have opportunities for survival and reuse. Seven sites have been added this year with a total of 79 historic sites listed since 2005. The 2016 sites are: Ala Kahakai Mauka to Makai Trails Ninole Stream Bridge Kaniakapupu Ruins Loko Ea Piliaama Stone Read more about each site, why it’s relevant and what threatens it by clicking on each (above). Click here to read the full article by Katrina Valcourt in HONOLULU Magazine. The list of threatened historic properties is an annual program of Historic Hawai‘i Foundation, in partnership with the Hawai‘i State Historic Preservation Division and HONOLULU Magazine.
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 [...]