The History of Hawai‘i From Our Files: Why Did a Honolulu Architecture Firm Work on the Design for a South Pole Research Station in 2000?

For 133 years HONOLULU Magazine has kept its readers and advertisers at the vanguard of fashion, insight and fun. Starting out as “Paradise of the Pacific” in 1888 with a commission from King Kalākaua, we’re the oldest continually publishing magazine west of the Mississippi. Here is a look into our archives in 2010.
hawaii history


Honolulu architecture firm Ferraro Choi and Associates Ltd. works on the design for a 65,000-square-foot South Pole research station. Why a Hawai‘i firm? “Well, we do eat a lot of shave ice!” jokes Bill Brooks, director of architecture. The station will sit on stilts to combat snowdrifts and will feature “bigger berths and better acoustics for privacy, larger work areas and more color inside to break up the monotony,” compared to the current facility, “a decrepit geodesic dome built in 1975,” HONOLULU says. Completed in 2010 on a glacier 1.68 miles thick, the facility is currently used by the National Science Foundation to study subjects such as astrophysics, biology, geophysics and seismology, glaciology and astronomy. About 150 people live and work there during the four-month summer, and 50 during the eight-month winter. “The South Pole is at such a high altitude—an elevation of 9,200 feet—with so little water vapor in the region’s atmosphere,” HONOLULU says, “that Science magazine once suggested it could eclipse the Big Island’s Mauna Kea as the hot spot for astronomy.”


history of hawaii magazine covers

Learn more about the evolution of covers in HONOLULU Magazine and Paradise of the Pacific: 125 Years of Covers, available at


Find more photos from Honolulu’s past every Thursday on Instagram @honolulumag.


Read more stories by Katrina Valcourt