State Capitol Awash with Meaning

State Capitol shares lessons in art, culture, history and aloha By Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi, Honolulu Star Advertiser, January 14, 2018 Updated January 14, 2018 12:05am, photos by Craig T. Kojima (Reprinted with permission from editor.) “The open sea, the open sky, the open doorway, open arms and open hearts — these are the symbols of our Hawaiian heritage. In this great State Capitol there are no doors at the grand entrances which open toward the mountains and toward the sea. There is no roof or dome to separate its vast inner court from the heavens and from the same eternal stars which guided the first voyagers to the primeval beauty of these shores.” Gov. John A. Burns At the dedication of Hawaii’s state Capitol on March 15, 1969 After nearly a decade of planning, Hawaii’s territorial and state legislatures moved from Iolani Palace, where they had convened for some 70 years, to the state Capitol building. Gov. John A. Burns wanted the structure of the Capitol to represent Hawaii’s people, history, culture and aloha. IF YOU GO: HAWAII STATE CAPITOL TOUR > Address: 415 S. Beretania St. >> Tours: Guided tours for the general public are on Wednesdays from January through May and Mondays and Wednesdays from June through December, except for state and most federal holidays and opening day of the Legislature, which is Wednesday. Meet in the governor’s office, Room 415. Advance reservations are not required; however, unforeseen circumstances sometimes require cancellation of the tour, so call to ensure the tour will be running. >> Time: 1 p.m.; tours typically last 75 minutes >> Cost: Free >> Phone: 586-0034 >> Email: >> On the Net: Click here for more info. >> Notes: Self-guided tour information is available online and in [...]

2018-01-18T15:51:35+00:00 January 18th, 2018|Categories: Blog|

Grantee Spotlight: Church of the Crossroads

Church of the Crossroads was the recipient of a Freeman Grant in 2014 catalyzing a three phase campus-wide roofing project which was recently completed. The Church: Church of the Crossroads was founded in 1923 by students of the Mid-Pacific Institute and of McKinley High School as Hawaii's first interracial  congregation. From inception, the church has emphasized community interaction, been multi-racial and attempted to eliminate distinctions between members and non-members.* It's listed on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places and is significant for its association with the twentieth century social history of Honolulu and as an example of the work of Claude Stiehl, master architect. Click here to learn more.  The Project:  The grant was used to re-roof the sloping roofs of three historic buildings and the covered walkway, or loggia, that links them together around the main courtyard of the Church of the Crossroads campus.  The existing cedar shingle roofing needed to be replaced, and the cost of replacing it with the same historically-appropriate material too high for the church to do by itself. The work was done by a well-qualified and conscientious contractor using the proper specifications, both for the materials and their installation, for long-life expectancy for the new roof. The Goal:  To protect the structural and historic integrity of an architecturally and socially significant set of buildings and do so in keeping with the visual appearance of the historic cedar shingle roof as viewed from the ground inside and outside the property.  The roof needed to be repairable, resistant to too much heat gain and strong enough to resist being swept away by wind. *Noted from National Register of Historic Places nomination form. The initial grant inspired the congregation [...]

2017-12-13T17:04:38+00:00 December 13th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

Giving Thanks

Thanks for all you do to help preserve Hawai‘i’s historic places! Here's some highlights from 2017 that you helped make possible. January 26: (left to right) Iolani Palace Docent Educator, Zita Cup Choy; Iolani Palace Curator, Teresa Valencia & Dr. William Chapman, Director of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation and Professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, at the first of five Experts at the Cathedral lectures.   February 21: Līhu‘e residents showing the postcards they signed in support of saving the Līhu‘e Post Office from closure and relocation.   April 1: Our first-ever Mission Houses Saturday Sketch event paired art and heritage.   May 19: Architectural historian Don Hibbard accepting the Frank Haines Award. Mr. Haines unexpectedly passed away this year. A memorial service is scheduled for December 27th at the Star of the Sea Church.                             July 1: Learning about the history and culture of Waimea Valley at our Volunteer Mahalo event.   July 12: Welcoming our 2017-2018 Board of Trustees at the Historic Hawai‘i Foundation Annual Meeting.    August 4: Community members working on a preservation case study at our Tools for Saving Places seminar on Maui. The seminars, a collaboration with National Park Service, were held between August 2 and August 11 on Kaua‘i, Maui, Hawai‘i Island (Hilo and Kona) and O‘ahu. August 17: Sean McNamara sharing Native Hawaiian History of Leahi Crater at our Diamond Head Unseen Walking Tour, a collaboration with Hawai‘i State Parks (photo credit: Denby Fawcett).  

2017-12-13T12:04:28+00:00 November 21st, 2017|Categories: Blog|

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Legislation to Honor Nation’s World War I Memorials

Repost Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Legislation to Honor Nation’s World War I Memorials November 9, 2017 Press Release Washington, DC—Ahead of the 100th Anniversary of World War I next year, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today introduced bipartisan legislation to rehabilitate World War I memorials in Hawai‘i and across the country. H.R. 4328, the Honoring World War I Memorial Act of 2017 would authorize $50 million awarded through VA grants to eligible entities for the rehabilitation of World War I memorials throughout the United States. Eligible entities include non-profit organizations or state or local governments with direct jurisdiction over the rehabilitation of a World War I memorial. Hawai‘i is home to one eligible World War I memorial at Waikiki Natatorium, along with 47 other states. In recognition of Veterans Day, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard will deliver the keynote address during the Veterans' Day Ceremony in commemoration of the 99th Anniversary of the end of World War I at the Waikiki Natatorium this Saturday, November 11. “More than four million brave men and women, including 10,000 soldiers from the territory of Hawai‘i, bravely served our country during World War I,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “Nearly a century later, many of the memorials, like the WWI Waikiki Natatorium in Hawai‘i, are deteriorating, decaying, and crumbling due to decades of neglect, and many have been closed to the public for decades. The heroes of World War I fought bravely and sacrificed greatly for our country and deserve places of rest and reflection that honor their service. Passing the Honoring World War I Memorials Act of 2017 to restore our country’s World War I memorials would provide a small measure of our nation’s gratitude to those who served and sacrificed.” “Part [...]

2017-11-21T02:02:57+00:00 November 9th, 2017|Categories: Blog|Tags: |

UPDATE on the Federal Historic Tax Credit

12/20/2017: We're pleased to share that the 20 percent federal historic tax credit (HTC) is included in the tax reform package that has now passed the House and Senate and is on its way to the President’s desk for signature. Keeping the HTC as a permanent part of the tax code is a significant victory for the preservation community—especially considering that the first House version eliminated the credit. This extraordinary success underscores the power of the credit and the broad support it has earned in the preservation community.  Its inclusion in the most expansive overhaul of our nation’s tax code in more than three decades is a reaffirmation that reviving older and historic buildings is sound federal policy and good for the nation. The final version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) passed by Congress keeps the historic tax credit at 20 percent but requires that the credit be taken over five years instead of all at once at the time of project completion.  The legislation also repeals the 10 percent rehabilitation tax credit for non-historic buildings. While we were not able to maintain the status quo in all respects, this outcome reflects the widespread support for preserving our historic buildings from stakeholders across the country and bold leadership by several members of Congress who have long championed historic rehabilitation as a way to revitalize our communities. The Federal Historic Tax Credit is Under Threat. Find Out How You Can Help Protect It. WHAT IS IT? The Federal Historic Tax Credit (FHTC) program encourages private sector investment in the rehabilitation and re-use of historic buildings. It provides a 20% tax credit for the certified rehabilitation of historic structures and a 10% tax [...]

2018-02-02T00:21:28+00:00 October 30th, 2017|Categories: Advocacy, Blog|

Energy Conservation Measures for Historic Buildings

Glenn Mason, FAIA, president of Mason Architects, Inc.; Joseph Higgin, PE, associate principal/Hawaii operations manager with Allana Buick & Bers; and Ramsey Brown, resource acquisition manager with Hawaii Energy presented a session on energy conservation measures for historic buildings at the 2017 Pacific Building Trade Expo on October 24.  The session covered what makes a historic building unique, shared energy efficiency incentives and programs, and discussed how to appropriately incorporate these to reduce building maintenance and performance costs while maintaining the historic integrity of the property. Click here to access the presentation.

2017-10-25T13:49:41+00:00 October 25th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Events - Past|

Update on the Campaign to Save Lihue Post Office!

USPS ANNOUNCES DECISION TO CLOSE HISTORIC LĪHU‘E POST OFFICE 12/6/2017: The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced its final decision to close the historic post office on Rice Street in Lihue, Kaua‘i, via letter to Kaua‘i Mayor Bernard Carvalho dated November 29. USPS received over a thousand written comments in opposition to the proposal to “relocate retail services” from the historic facility to the Līhu‘e Carrier Annex on Kapule Highway. Letters in opposition to the move were sent to USPS by Historic Hawai‘i Foundation, Līhu‘e Business Association, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Mayor Carvalho, U.S. Senators Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz, Governor David Ige, State Senate President Ron Kouchi and other officials. Over 850 postcards and 116 coconut mailers were also sent to oppose the move. Many citizens and residents sent individual letters and signed an online petition to save the historic post office. Despite the overwhelming opposition of the community, USPS stated that “the Postal Service has determined that the relocation is the optimal solution to satisfy the Postal Service’s need to improve operational efficiency, and reduce the financial burdens facing the Postal Service.” At the February 23, 2017 public meeting, the USPS representative claimed that the proposed relocation was not prompted by financial concerns, but rather was in response to the need to address parking and vehicular access issues. In response, the County of Kaua‘i offered to set aside dedicated parking spaces in the Civic Center lot directly across the street from the post office with a cross walk. The County is also implementing transportation and street improvement projects that address pedestrian safety, bicycle access, vehicular safety and parking in the Līhu‘e Town Core. Although USPS claimed that it “considered community input,” the [...]

2018-02-02T00:21:40+00:00 September 12th, 2017|Categories: Advocacy, Blog|Tags: |

Support Preservation this September through Foodland’s “Give Aloha” Campaign

Historic Hawaii Foundation will participate in Foodland's Annual Community Matching Gifts Program beginning September 1 What? Give Aloha, Foodland's Annual Community Matching Gifts Program, was created in 1999 to honor Foodland’s founder, Maurice J. "Sully" Sullivan, and continue his legacy of giving back to the community.  "Maurice J. "Sully" Sullivan (October 1909 – February 28, 1998) was an immigrant from Ireland who moved to Hawaii and was the co-founder, with See Goo Lau, of Foodland Super Markets, the largest and only locally owned supermarket chain in Hawaii.[1][2] The first store opened on May 6, 1948 in Honolulu, Hawaii.[3] By 2007, Foodland stores could be found on each of the four largest Hawaiian Islands and is the flagship of the Sullivan Family of Companies." (Wikipedia)[2][4]    How to Help Make a donation to Historic Hawai‘i Foundation at any Foodland, Sack N Save or Foodland Farms checkout, and Foodland and the Western Union Foundation will make a donation to our organization, too! Make a donation to our organization at any Foodland, Sack N Save or Foodland Farms checkout, and Foodland and the Western Union Foundation will make a donation to our organization, too! 1)  Show your Maika‘i Card and make a donation to our organization (up to $249 per person) at any Foodland, Sack N Save or Foodland Farms checkout from September 1-30, 2017. Historic Hawai‘i Foundation's donation code is 77064. 2)  Foodland and the Western Union Foundation will match all donations up to a total of at least $300,000 for all organizations combined. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

2017-10-04T23:48:11+00:00 August 31st, 2017|Categories: Blog|Tags: |

October Events on Kaua‘i & O‘ahu Foster Appreciation of Modern Architecture

Kaua‘i Modern Events to Share Mid-Century Modern Architecture within a Historical and Social Context This October, Historic Hawai‘i Foundation is partnering with the Hawai‘i chapter of Docomomo US to produce a multi-faceted study of Modern architecture on Kaua‘i.  Architectural historian Don Hibbard and noted author Pat Griffin will provide insight on the architectural features, historical background and social context of Modernist buildings and places around Kaua‘i, beautifully photographed by David Franzen. Project takeaways will include a full-color booklet, guided walking tour in Līhu‘e, as well as school presentations and community gatherings in both Līhu‘e and Honolulu.  Funded in part by a grant from the Hawai‘i Council of the Humanities, the project aims to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of Modern architecture statewide among the general public and all age groups from youth to kūpuna. The booklet will be available in mid-September with tours and public presentations to be held in early October. To encourage appreciation of these notable historic places, the booklet will be distributed to all local public libraries, private school libraries, government leaders and policy makers.  To purchase a copy, please contact Historic Hawai‘i Foundation in mid-September at 523-2900 or email Click here to download flier. Related events: Līhu‘e Modern Architecture Presentation & Talk Story Friday, October 6 5:00- 7:00 PM Līhu‘e Civic Center, Moikeha Conference Room 2A/2B 4444 Rice Street, Interactive discussion will look at Līhu‘e’s past and reflect on the historic events and social changes that influenced its built environment. Free and open to the public. Registration required. Click here to reserve your space.   Līhu‘e Walking Tour Saturday, October 7 Tour 3:00-5:00 pm Pau Hana 5:00-7:00 pm Meet in front of the Līhu‘e Civic Center, 4444 [...]

2017-10-31T15:52:44+00:00 August 22nd, 2017|Categories: Blog, Events - Past|

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 for distribution at the meeting or faxed [...]

2017-10-04T23:49:07+00:00 June 23rd, 2017|Categories: Advocacy, Blog|