Touring old Manoa

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live in a home that once belonged to movers and shakers in Hawaii’s history? Yesterday, my friend and I decided to go on a tour put on by Malama o Manoa, a historic preservation committee.

The group offers a self-guided walking tour of historic homes – some that are actually listed in the Hawaii State Register of Historic Places – once every two years. For $25, you get a catalog describing two dozen houses and a map. This year, six homes were open for people to walk through; docents provided additional facts about each home and answered questions.

These are well-preserved homes, some almost 100 years old, featuring notable architecture. The coolest thing was learning about the owners of each home, from John Young (of Young Brothers) to the Judds (including former Governor of Hawaii Lawrence McCully Judd) to people descended from missionary families. The second coolest thing was seeing some of the photos and memorabilia from the turn of the 20th century, which many of these families continue to display even after many generations have passed.

These are just a sampling of photos from the tour, limited to exteriors because interior photos were not allowed. However, this has inspired me to start a monthly series. I plan to feature each of these homes to give you a glimpse inside, get to know the history of the homes and learn about the current owners. Stay tuned!