The 7 Most Endangered Historic Places in Hawai‘i
The Historic Hawai‘i Foundation, the state Historic Preservation Division and HONOLULU Magazine compile an annual list of some of our state’s most endangered places.
(page 5 of 5)
Location: wailuku, maui
When we last wrote about Ka‘ahumanu Church, it needed $700,000 to restore structures on the property. Unfortunately, that number increased to $1.5 million to do essential repairs after February’s storm wreaked havoc on the steeple and adjoining buildings, especially the Hawaiian immersion school. According to the Rev. Anne Wong Troy, some progress has been made—they’ve gotten some grants, and a company lent the church a crane for free—but there’s still a long way to go. “There are musicians and artists willing to donate their time [to fundraisers], but the church is so small they can’t get enough volunteers to collect money, organize the concert, be at the door, etc.,” Troy says. “If there are 10 people there on a Sunday, that’s a large number.” Anyone willing to volunteer or donate can go to kaahumanuchurch.org.
Much has changed on Lāna‘i since the last update we ran in 2006, the biggest, of course, being Larry Ellison’s purchase of 98 percent of the island in 2012. And though he, like previous owner David Murdock of Castle & Cooke, is investing in tourism, Ellison is also preserving historic structures. “All of the stores, all of the original buildings in the Dole Park square built between about 1924 and 1955, have been restored in their fronts, appearance and approach so that they look as they did when they were originally built, but are no longer falling apart,” says Kepā Maly, senior vice president of culture and historic preservation at Pūlama Lāna‘i. “Every community needs to have some type of economic driver. The foundation of that driver on Lāna‘i is our stories, our sense of place. The look of Lāna‘i City is part of that unique attribute.”
Marconi Wireless Telegraph Station
Location: kahuku, o‘ahu
Not much has happened with this site, though owner Jeremy Henderson says they’ve done some minor cleanup to improve the view, secured the buildings for safety reasons and gotten the station onto both state and national historic registers. “We’d still like to preserve the historic buildings,” Henderson says. “Next, we’re planning a market feasibility study” to determine the options for adaptive reuse.
The Board of Water Supply Buildings
Location: honolulu, o‘ahu
The Board of Water Supply withdrew its request for proposal to develop the land after all interested developers backed out. “We’re regrouping,” says Ernest Lau, manager and chief engineer of BWS. “We intend to rethink the process and go out with another RFP in the next couple of years, but probably not to touch any of the existing buildings. I think people have a lot of emotional connection to the architect who designed some of these buildings (Hart Wood).” BWS will instead focus on infrastructure upgrades and becoming accessible. Lau says they are also considering resubdividing the land into more developable parcels, or rezoning the site to give developers more flexibility.
‘Ōpaeka‘a and Pu‘uopae Bridges
Both bridges are scheduled for replacement, with construction beginning on the Pu‘uopae Bridge in January 2017. Instead of steel girders, which have heavily corroded over the years, the new bridge will have concrete beams and a concrete deck, says Kaua‘i County engineer Larry Dill. After its completion, construction will start on ‘Ōpaeka‘a. “The original ‘Ōpaeka‘a Bridge is an iron truss, with the deck mounted at the bottom of the trusses,” Dill says. “It was rehabilitated in 2009 so that the truss no longer supports the bridge, but remains as a visual element. The proposed replacement bridge would have concrete beams and a concrete deck, and the truss would be restored as part of that project, to maintain the appearance of the original bridge.”