Historic Hawaii Foundation has developed a map and self-guided walking tour documenting twenty-five historic sites along a 3-mile route in historic Downtown Honolulu.
1 – Hawai‘i State Capitol (1969)
Hawaii’s State Capitol building houses the offices of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, offices of state legislators, and the chambers of the state House and Senate. The Capitol was constructed at the direction of Governor John A. Burns and designed by the firms of Belt, Lemmon & Lo of Honolulu, John Carl Warnecke & Associates and Architects Hawai‘i. The building opened in 1969. Like the Hawaiian Islands, the Capitol is surrounded by water, and the outer columns that rise from the reflecting pools represent Hawaii’s palm trees.
2 – Board of Water Supply Building (1959)
The BWS building was completed in 1959 and was designed by famous architect Hart Wood in a local Hawaiian Style that combined elements of Asian and American influences. The entire building is constructed of reinforced concrete and the exterior was designed by renowned landscape architect Catherine Jones Thompson.
3 – Advertiser Building (1929)
The neo-Renaissance designed building by famed architects Walter Emory and Marshall Webb was home of the iconic Advertiser newspaper for over eighty years until the paper merged with the Star-Bulletin in 2010.
4 – Kaka‘ako Fire Station (1929)
Built in the Spanish Mission style, the historic ﬁ re station is considered to be haunted. It is located across from the graveyard of smallpox victims from the 1850s. Kamehameha III created Honolulu’s ﬁre department, making it the only one in America sponsored by royalty.
5 – Territorial Building (Kekuanao‘a) (1925)
Large fluted Corinthian columns grace the front of this classical revival-style building. A stained-glass dome is positioned above the lobby. Built as a governmental office building it continues to function as such today.
6 – Hawaii State Archives (1906)
Designed by Oliver Traphagen in the Renaissance Revival style, the building also known as Kana‘ina is currently used as the offices for the Friends of ʻIolani Palace. It was originally constructed to house Hawaiian governmental documents from before annexation based on a compromise with the US government.
7 – King Kamehameha Statue (1882)
The 18-foot bronze statue was dedicated in 1883 to represent the famed unifier of the islands, King Kamehameha I. It was sculpted by Thomas Gould in Florence.
8 – Ali‘iolani Hale (1874)
The State Supreme Court and the Judiciary History Center are located here. It is the oldest government building in Hawaiʻi. Originally commissioned as a new royal residence by Kamehameha IV, Kamehameha V decided that it should become an administrative building.
9 – ‘Iolani Palace (1882)
Home to the Hawaiian monarchy before it was overthrown in 1893, ‘Iolani Palace was built in the Italianate style with fluted cast-iron Corinthian columns, decorative iron railings, mansard-style tower roofs, and wide lanai on all sides. After the overthrow, from 1895 to 1968, ‘Iolani Palace served as the capitol of the Republic, Territory and State of Hawaiʻi. Restored to its
original grandeur, the building opened to the public as a historic site in 1978.
10 – US Post Office, Custom House and Court House (1922)
Designed by New York architects York and Sawyer, this classic Mediterranean-style structure features large roof overhangs, shaded arcades, open interior courtyards, spacious porticos and two towers. It is still currently used as the Downtown Post Office.
11-Dillingham Transportation Building (1929)
The Mediterranean/Italian Renaissance style building was designed by architect Lincoln Rogers. The building consists of three wings connected by a covered arcade and spans from Queen Street to Ala Moana Boulevard. It features an Art Deco lobby, painted high ceilings, and a classical cornice.
12 – Alexander & Baldwin Building (1929)
A design collaboration between Charles W. Dickey and Hart Wood. The building is a unique fusion of eastern and western design elements that features a double-pitched hipped tile roof, a fourth ﬂoor lanai, water buffalo heads above the ﬁrst-ﬂoor windows, and a matte glazed terra cotta exterior.
13 – Joseph W. Podmore Building (1902)
Located at 202 Merchant Street, it was constructed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style from locally quarried lava rock. It was originally built to be rented out as commercial and ofﬁce space; it maintains the same purpose today.
14 – St. Andrew’s Cathedral (1867-1958)
It took over ninety years to complete this English Gothic-style headquarters of the Episcopal diocese in Hawaii. After visiting
Queen Victoria in England, Queen Emma raised $30,000 for the Anglican Church in Hawaii and to build St. Andrews Cathedral. Beretania was the Hawaiian interpretation for Britannia.
15 – Hawaii State Art Museum (formerly the Army and Navy YMCA) (1928)
Located on the original site of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, the site was renovated and reconstructed in the late 1920s to become the Army and Navy YMCA. Designed by Lincoln Rogers, it features an open-sky courtyard; palladian windows; cast-stone detailing; iron-grille work and light ﬁxtures; and arched openings. It is now the home of the Hawaii State Art Museum.
16 – Hawaiian Electric Building (1927)
This four-story building is characteristic of an early 18th century Spanish form that features half-stilted arched windows with
Churriguera -decorated column supports, a corner cupola and a low-rise, polygonal tiled roof. The building was designed by York and Sawyer with construction overseen by Emory and Webb.
17 – YWCA Building (1927)
The ﬁrst structure in Hawaii designed completely by a woman. Julia Morgan, known for her work on Hearst Castle, designed the building in Spanish, Colonial and Mediterranean styles. It features a two-story loggia ﬂanked by the outer buildings.
18 – ‘Iolani Barracks (1871)
Built between 1870 and 1871, the barracks were home to the Royal Household Guard and are situated within the ‘Iolani Palace grounds. They were designed by Theodore Heuck. The barracks were relocated to the current position during construction of the state capital on the original site.
19- ‘Iolani Bandstand (1883)
Constructed for the coronation of King Kalākaua and Queen Kapi‘olani, the structure was moved and rehabilitated in the late 1900s. Most Friday’s at noon the Royal Hawaiian Band performs weather permitting.
20 – Washington Place (1846)
A Colonial Greek revival-style house was originally built for John Dominis, a clipper ship captain. It is most well known as the inherited residence of his daughter-in-law, Queen Lili‘uokalani. After the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, the Queen lived in Washington Place until her death in 1917. From 1922-2003, the residence housed Hawaii’s governors. It is now a house museum and used for State events.
21 – Hawaii State Library (1913)
The library’s construction was made possible through a gift from industrialist Andrew Carnegie. The Greco-Roman style building was designed by Henry Witchﬁeld and still serves today as the downtown branch of the Hawaii State Public Library.
22 – Honolulu Hale (1929)
Designed by Dickey, Wood and others, this Spanish mission style building features open-to-the-sky courtyards, hand-painted ceiling frescos, 1,500-pound bronze front doors, and 4,500-pound courtyard chandeliers. The main entry faces King Street, behind a zig-zag pattern of planters (for security reasons) and the exterior of the building is complex, with deeply fenestrated windows and balconies of carved stone. The tower is particularly complex and features varied window treatments, open and closed balconies, loggias and cast-concrete grill work.
23 – Kawaiaha’o Church and Cemetery (1842)
This is considered to be the mother Protestant Church in Hawaii. Construction started in 1837 based on Pastor Hiram Bingham’s own design of a “simple New England church”. The structure is comprised of some 14,000 coral blocks, each weighing up to 1,200 pounds. The church continues to conduct services in both English and Hawaiian.
24 – Mission Memorial Building (City Hall Annex) (1915)
Built by the Hawaiian Evangelical Association as a museum and archive to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Protestant Missionaries in Hawaii. The city took over the building during the 1940s and it has since been converted to the City Hall Annex. It is an example of Georgian architecture.
25 – Mission Houses (1821, 1831, 1841)
These are the oldest standing western structures in Hawaii. The timbers for the ﬁrst house were cut and ﬁtted in Boston. The initial house introduced New England style architecture to Hawaii. Originally utilized as housing for the missionaries, the buildings exist today as living house museums open to the public.
The image shows the layout of the Historic Downtown Honolulu tour from Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation. In addition, I have added other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.
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