The History of Hawai‘i: “Gone Are the Days of the Old Hotel-By-The-Sea”

Back in 1955, an affordable if sketchy rental in Waikīkī was bulldozed to make way for “progress.”


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.


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“Gone Are the Days of the Old Hotel-By-The-Sea,” bemoans Paradise, marking the destruction of the last vestiges of the old Castle estate near the Elks Club, an affordable if sketchy rental that was bulldozed to make way for “progress” in Waikīkī.


“Converted for the last eight years into ten rental units, the remarkable old structure was ‘home’ to a variety of tenants living, sometimes not so peacefully, in the high rental district known as Sans Souci, paying rents far below those of their neigbors,” Paradise says.


The writer acknowledged it had a somewhat shady reputation while confessing a personal fondness for the place where he once rented a room for $40 a month. A studio apartment near there now rents for between $1,800 and $3,800 a month.


SEE ALSO: One Year Later: The Effects of Hawai‘i’s Illegal Short-Term Rental Ban


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