Hawaii's Most Endangered Historic Places


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(page 4 of 4)

Updates

Here’s what’s happening with a few historic places we’ve written about in previous years.
 

Coco Palms Resort in Kapaa, Kauai

A developer has finally purchased this defunct historic resort, which was ravaged by Hurricane Iniki in 1992. Ron Agor, the architect on the project, is dedicated to maintaining its historic integrity. “We are rebuilding structures that can’t be saved on the same footprint,” he says. “All we’re really doing is replacing wooden walls with windows with big glass and putting a railing up. We’re keeping all the structural elements. The whole idea is not to dig the earth, because it’s pretty sacred land. Even if one doesn’t believe in the spiritual, you’re compelled to respect other people’s beliefs.”
 

The Honolulu Advertiser Building in Honolulu, Oahu



Photo: Courtesy Historic Hawaii Foundation

It’s mixed news for the old Honolulu Advertiser building. A year ago, the 1929 Beaux Arts-style structure was purchased by Honolulu-based developer Downtown Capital and is now being converted into workforce housing. The back portion, where the printing press and warehouse were located, has already been torn down and converted into a high-rise.

The old editorial office building is on the block for phase two of the project. The builder will retain the historically significant features of the news building, which include the front façade facing Kapiolani Boulevard as well as the lobby and the stairway, but the rest will be demolished and replaced with a 46-story tower and parking structure.

Although some history will be saved, it’s not much of a win for preservation. “The entire building tells the entire story. When you start only saving the front facade, you’re ignoring the whole story,” says Faulkner.
 

The Queen’s Retreat in Kailua, Oahu

Interestingly enough, something that threatens this location is also helping it: television crews. “The Hawaii Five-O film crew came in this year and they made some significant improvements to the foundations of the Irwin House, the house that was constructed in 1893,” says Paul Brennan of the Kailua Historical Society.

But it was accidental that Brennan came across the crew, who he said had no idea of the significance of where they were filming. After explaining its history, he was able to supervise the carpenters for a few days. “They took a great deal of care, responding with the kind of malama that we wish would happen all the time,” Brennan says.

Despite this, the landowner has still done nothing to restore or protect the property, which is rife with graffiti and continues to deteriorate.

 

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