The Reverend Hiram Bingham prepared plans for a stone building of two stories with cellar, galleries, pillars in front, and a bell tower. The final dimensions were 144 feet long by 78 feet wide, large enough to accommodate thousands. “March 12th, 1839. Work on meeting house commenced. June 5th. Cornerstone of church laid.” “The high chief Abner Paki furnished the corner stone which was laid in 1839. It was hewn out of the reef at Waianae and floated to Honolulu on a raft, some say on canoes.” “Rev. R. Armstrong succeeded (Hiram Bingham) as Pastor of the church, and under him it was completed and dedicated July 21, 1842 (before the steeple and gallery had been completed.)”
In 1850, the town’s first clock, presented by the King, was installed in the Kawaiaha‘o tower, having come around the Horn from Boston. It cost $1,000.00 and commenced running January 10, 1851. The tower chock has continued in operation to this date. Kawaiaha‘o Church ordered an organ in 1867 to replace the melodion then in use. Music was under the leadership of Mrs Lydia Dominis (later Queen Lili‘uokalani) and Mrs Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Pauahi died on October 16, 1884. Her will (Clause 13) “provide first and chiefly a good education in the common English branches”. But Pauahi’s will also provided funds to Kawaiaha‘o Church – $5000 for repairs to Kawaiaha‘o Church. With those funds, they built up the tower with coral stone to give it the square tower (at its present height) and removed the pointed spire.