Using nearly 100 acres of land previously leased out as a dairy farm, Punahou School subdivided the rolling landscape above its campus into separate parcels of from 10,000- to 20,000-square feet – they named it the College Hills Tract. The “Atherton House” was built on one of the most attractive of these parcels (actually six lots purchased together.) College Hills soon became a desirable residential area served by a streetcar.
The Atherton House was the residence of Frank C Atherton and his wife Eleanore from 1902 until his death in 1945. (Mrs. Atherton continued living in the house until the early-1960s.) For 60 years the “Atherton House” was the home of the Atherton family; the Atherton’s children donated it to the University of Hawaiʻi in 1964 to serve as a home for the University of Hawaiʻi president – the University named the home “College Hill.”