Could You Imagine Living in One of These Gingerbread Houses in Waikīkī?

These charming gingerbread homes along Waikīkī’s Gold Coast have been owned by the same kama‘āina families since the 1970s. Now, one of the waterfront homes is on the market.


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Gingerbread Homes Waikiki

Photo: Dan Schuenke

 

If you surf, you know them. In the midst of Waikīkī’s Gold Coast, among the condos sometimes called Divorcee Row, there is a neighborhood of six little gingerbread homes. They’re so charming that tourists stop to take photos and walk down the driveway to peek into the courtyard on the water. The two on the water get wet when the tide is high, and sometimes crabs crawl along the balcony. Have you ever wondered how they came to be and who lives there?

 

Three are owned by long-time kama‘āina families, including the two oceanfront homes. They haven’t changed hands since the 1970s. If you had a gingerbread house on the ocean, would you give it up? We didn’t think so.

 

Three are owned by part-time Hawai‘i, part-time Japan residents. Of those three, two are rented out. As you might guess, the tenants are active people. There are surfers, active-duty military and other outdoor folks. They’re a mini-community in one of O‘ahu’s most desirable locations, nestled in the lee of Diamond Head, looking out at Waikīkī.

 

Liz Perry, who lives in one of the gingerbread homes, is frequently spotted surfing out at Tonggs with a group of longtime friends. It is literally her backyard, after all.  When asked what it’s like to live there, she said, “Every morning I wake up and think how grateful I am to live in this little neighborhood. The surf at my doorstep, the friendly community…It’s a nice feeling!”

 

The homes were built in French Tudor style in 1932 by architect Earl Williams. Surprisingly, they aren’t condos or part of any association—they’re single-family homes. They’re on the Hawai‘i State Register of Historic Places, as well as the National Register of Historic Places for their historical significance.

 

One of the waterfront homes, 3033B Kalākaua Ave., was recently on the market for $4.69 million and is sometimes still held open, though not currently listed on the MLS.

 

READ MORE STORIES BY RACHEL ROSS

 

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