A History of the Buildings

The University of Hawaii's buildings have an interesting history of its own.


Atherton House:

built in 1932 as a men’s dormitory.

Johnson Hall:

built in 1954 as a men’s dormitory, named after an alumnus who was the former football captain and killed in World War II.

Frear Hall:

built in 1950 as a women’s dormitory and named after Mary Dillingham Frear. It was demolished and rebuilt under the same name and opened this fall.

George Hall:

was originally built as the library in 1925, books were previously housed in Hawaii Hall.

Saunders Hall:

originally named Porteus Hall, after Professor Stanley Porteus. His writings concluded that whites were intellectually superior to all other races. Controversy ensued, including student protests at the naming of the hall. It then was referred to as the Social Science Building and eventually Saunders Hall in 2001, after Allan and Marion Saunders, he a professor and dean at UH and she an academic activist.

Hemenway Hall:

built in 1938 and named after long-time BOR chair, Charles Hemenway, who was an active member in student life. An additional wing was added after WWII.

Andrews Amphitheatre:

built in 1935, it became become a hot make-out spot for couples. Rumor has it that the groundskeeper would turn on the irrigation sprinklers in the middle of the night. “There were occasional screams when the cold water came out,” laughs Cartwright. It also became the new site of graduation ceremonies.

Hawaii Hall:

site of freshman hazing death in 1923. Sophomores didn’t permit freshman to enter the hall from the front steps, and a freshman man died after almost getting into the building but was dragged down the steps by older students, in the process breaking his neck.


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