Hawaii's Most Endangered Historic Sites
(page 6 of 7)
By Lorraine Jonemann and Jenny Quill
Ewa Field | Ewa, Oahu
“Not much has changed in the past six months,” says historian John Bond, whose attempts to set up meetings with the property owner/developer, Ford Island Properties, a subsidiary of Hunt Development Group, have been met with silence. Assistance from the Navy or DLNR has been in short supply as well. Bond is, however, hoping to move forward with this year’s Ewa Field Commemoration event on Dec. 6 and 7.
Fort Kamehameha | Hickam Air Force Base, Oahu
This past August the Air Force announced its plans to demolish 30 of the houses, the chapel and flagpole, and possibly cut down mature monkeypod trees and landscaping. The Air Force would preserve just three houses, the Battery Hawkins annex, a general storehouse and bandstand, unless the right conditions were met, in which case the Air Force would allow the structures to be removed instead of destroyed. To complicate matters, the State Historic Preservation Division is no longer able to enter into a long-term lease of the property due to budget issues. As a compromise, the Air Force has offered to document the site prior to demolition. “The Historic Hawaii Foundation has questioned the Air Force rationale for the need for the project,” says executive director Kiersten Faulkner, “including asking for its cost estimates comparing the different scenarios, to which the Air Force has not responded.”
The IBM Building | Honolulu, Oahu
This Vladimir Ossipoff-designed building in Honolulu’s Kakaako community is still slated for demolition as part of General Growth Properties’ (GGP) Ward Neighborhood Master Plan, a 60-acre, mixed-use development consisting of housing, retail, dining, office and community space. However, GGP’s financial woes—the company filed for bankruptcy in April of this year and put the Ward property up for sale—will most likely prevent the company from moving forward with its plan anytime soon.
The Kalauhaehae Fishpond | Niu Valley, Oahu
According to Chris Cramer of the nonprofit Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center, the fishpond is still the property of the Department of Transportation (DOT). “It’s safe with them right now,” he says. In the meantime, the local scientific community has been talking with the DOT about setting up a restoration day, which would include cleaning and replanting of native plants. “We’ve contacted [the DOT] about doing that, and they’re moving it through their channels to see what kind of waivers need to be done.” All in all, he says, the DOT has made a “good faith effort” in working with the community.
Maui Jinsha Shinto Shrine | Pauk-ukalo, Maui
As of press time, there were no up-dates available regarding the shrine’s restoration.
St. Sophia Church | Kaunakakai, Molokai
When we spoke to Frank Skowronski of Territorial Architects in late July, he was prepping a building permit in hopes that the upcoming Blessed Damien Church will be completed by 2011. As for the relocation of Saint Sophia Church, the odds are slim to none. “The termites, weather and multiple renovations have taken their toll on the church. Moving the structure without damaging it seems unlikely,” said Skowronski. But the architect says he plans to incorporate the history of the original church and of the site within the Blessed Damien Church.