Although the first settlers, the Polynesians, were probably in the Hawaiian Islands a thousand years ago, today’s Honolulu began to take shape in 1795 when King Kamehameha I unified the Hawaiian Islands, conquering the king of Oahu. The royal monarchy would last just short of 100 years before being tossed out and in that time Honolulu would grow into a cosmopolitan town. 

Its central location in the Pacific Ocean meant that the port of Honolulu was on call for Russian, English, French and American traders. Missionaries from Boston and New York established bulkheads in Honolulu in the 1820s. Not that their efforts weren’t welcome but they were shuffled off to land in the southeast of town that was considered too arid for any useful purpose. They constructed residences and houses of worship nonetheless on land that today is the heart of downtown Honolulu. In 1850 King Kamehameha III proclaimed Honolulu as the capitol city and built his government palace in the area.

The influx of Westerners took its toll on the native Hawaiians. By the time Queen Liliuokalani, the last Hawaiian monarch, was pushed off the throne by a cartel of American businessmen and United States Marines in 1893 it was estimated that the population of Hawaiians had declined by as much as 80% from a century before. Five years later, the Islands were annexed by the United States.

In 1907 Honolulu was incorporated both as a city and a county embracing the island of Oahu. By that time the economy was dominated by an oligarchy of sugar companies referred to as The Big Five. Also, in 1899, after graduating from Harvard, James Dole sailed to Hawaii, where his cousin Sanford was Governor of the Territory, to seek his fortune. With him he packed a $1200 nest egg. When he died at the age of 80 the New York Times wrote, “Mr. Dole was personally responsible for the pineapple industry, the popularity of that fruit in the United States, and in large measure, for the prosperity of the Hawaiian Islands.” 

Hawaii was squarely on the path to American statehood which it achieved in 1959. Today more than seven million tourists fly into Honolulu each year, greeted by a thoroughly modern city. But interspersed among the steel-and-glass towers is some of the most exciting century-old architecture in the country and we will begin our explorations in the center of downtown at the only royal building in the United States...

1.
‘Iolani Palace
364 South King Street between Punchbowl and Richards streets

This National Historic Landmark was constructed as a royal palace in 1882 and subsequently served as a territorial capitol, a state capitol and, perhaps most famously, as the headquarters for Steve McGarrett’s police team in the CBS television series, Hawaii Five-O, from 1968 until 1980. This is the second royal residence to stand here, commissioned by King David Kal?kaua. The monarch traveled around the world and made copious notes of the palaces he saw. His input to architect Thomas J. Baker led to a style of building seen nowhere else and was tabbed American Florentine. The well-appointed palace came with a staggering price tag of $340,000 that included phone and electrical service even before the White House got wired. Only King Kal?kaua and Queen Liliuokalani lived in the ‘Iolani Palace before the monarchy was deposed in 1893. Following a restoration the palace has functioned as a museum since 1978. On the grounds you can see the ornate Coronation Pavilion for King Kal?kaua and Queen Kapiolani in 1883. 

FACING THE PALACE, TURN LEFT AND WALK OVER TO THE SIDE OF THE PALACE TO SEE...

2.
‘Iolani Barracks
Palace grounds

The architecture of a medieval fortress was adapted by Theodore Hueck in 1870 to house some 80 members of the monarch’s Royal Guard. Builders used 4,000 coral blocks to create the crenelated parapets and towers. After the monarchy was overthrown in 1893 the Royal Guards were paid their remaining wages for the month and dismissed. After that Hawaii never found a good use for the barracks - the National Guard moved in a couple times, government offices were set up here for awhile and it did duty as a warehouse. The Barracks were originally located one block to the rear of the palace but to clear room for the new State Capitol in 1965 it was taken apart, stone by stone, and re-assembled here.

EXIT THE PALACE GROUND TO THE REAR TO STAND IN FRONT OF THE...

3.
Hawaii State Capitol
415 South Beretania Street between Punchbowl and Richards streets

The architectural team that created the state capitol in 1969 called their unique interpretation “Hawaiian international architecture.” Their goal was to represent the new state’s natural treasures in man-made form. So you can see a reflecting pool surrounding the building like the Pacific Ocean wraps around the Islands, two legislative chambers constructed in a conical shape like that of the volcanoes that formed the Hawaiian Islands and slender columns around the perimeter in harmony with the royal palm trees - eight on either side, one for each main island. The interior lobby is open to reflect the traditional openness of Hawaiian society and the reinforced concrete overhang is a shout-out to the Western influences that have shaped the recent culture.

TURN RIGHT AND WALK OFF THE GROUNDS TO PUNCHBOWL STREET. TURN RIGHT, ON YOUR RIGHT IS...

4.
Hawaii State Library
478 South King Street

In 1900 steel magnate Andrew Carnegie and banker J.P. Morgan sat down to discuss the sale of the Scotsman’s United States Steel Corporation. Morgan asked Carnegie how much he wanted for his company. Carnegie wrote down the figure “400 million” and shoved the piece of paper across the table. “Congratulations, Mr. Carnegie,” said Morgan. “You are now the richest man in the world.” Carnegie then set out to give away all the money. One of his pet projects was libraries and he funded more than 2,500 around the world, including $100,000 in 1909 for the Hawaii State Library. When it lent its first books on February 1, 1913 it was the only public library in the Territory and remained so until 1921. In 1966 it was re-christened the Hawaii State Library. The Neoclassical design came from architect Henry D. Whitfield.

ACROSS THE STREET IS...

5.
Honolulu Hale (Honolulu City Hall) 
530 South King Street

This has been the home of the Honolulu municpal government since 1929. Most of the town’s leading architects contributed bits and pieces to its creation, although its major design influence was the Palace of the People, a one-time barracks and prison in Florence, Italy that was constructed around an interior courtyard. The three-story wings are a 1950s addition. The large bell inside the front door hails from the warship U.S.S. Honolulu, a light cruiser which was commissioned in 1938. The Honolulu, the second ship named for the city (a submarine has since followed) received eight battles for its service in World War II. 

CONTINUE TO KING STREET AND TURN LEFT. WALK TO KAWAIAHAO STREET.

6.
Mission Houses
553 South King Street at southeast corner of Kawaiahao Street

This collection of frame houses dates all the way back to the arrival of the first English missionaries in Hawaii in 1820. The lumber for the “Oldest Frame House” arrived by ship from Boston in 1821. The various pieces were pre-cut and ready to assemble - even if the finished product was better suited for a New England blizzard than the sun-soaked Hawaiian Islands. The Chamberlain House from a decade later n 1831 shows the adaptations the missionaries had made for the tropical climate where the adversary is heat and not cold. 

RETRACE YOUR STEPS ON KING STREET TOWARDS PUNCHBOWL STREET. ON THE LEFT IS... 

7.
Kawaiaha’o Church
957 Punchbowl Street at southeast corner of King Street

Hiram Bingham, who led the first Protestant missionaries to the Hawaiian Islands and helped forge the spelling system for putting the Hawaiian language into words, designed the church to resemble those from his native New England. Work began in 1836 with divers gouging blocks of coral from an offshore reef on the south shore with hand tools. Some 14,000 limestone slabs were hauled to the building site which featured a freshwater pool, hence its name meaning the “water of Ha’o.” Construction was completed in 1842. At various times the church was used for worship by the royal family and today parts of the service are conducted in traditional Hawaiian language.    

CONTINUE ON KING STREET ACROSS PUNCHBOWL STREET.

8.
Territorial Office Building (Kek?ana?’a Building) 
425 South King Street

Despite its prominent location across the street from Iolani Palace the Territorial Office Building is seldom accorded star status among the architectural stars that are its neighbors in the Hawaii Capital Historic District. You even have to peek around the trees to see it. Local architect Arthur Reynolds created his 1926 composition with a balanced four-story tower plopped onto a square base. There is little ornamentation beyond the three-story fluted Corinthian columns and classical cornice of tooth-like dentils. Its signature architectural feature is an impressive double-landing stairway. Inside are all the trappings of a nondescript office building which, when it wants to put on airs, goes by the name of royal politician Mataio Kek?ana?’a.

9.
Ali’i?lani Hale
417 King Street

Thomas Rowe, one of Australia’s leading Victorian architects, designed this grand Italian Renaissance structure in 1871 to be a royal palace but Kamehameha V targeted it for office use instead to relieve his cramped government quarters. This would cause aggravation down the line, first by criticism that Rowe’s creation was far too extravagant for an office building. By 1911 the government was growing so much that the entire building was gutted down to the walls to create an office-friendly floorplan rather than one designed to be a palace. Eventually most of the Hawaiian government workers escaped to more spacious digs and today Ali’i?lani Hale is the home of the State Supreme Court and is the administrative center of the Hawaii State Judiciary. The gold-leaf statue out front is King Kamehameha who unified the Kingdom of Hawaii.    

10.
US Post Office, Custom House & Court House (King David Kalakaua Building)
335 South King Street

After annexation by the United States is 1898 most of the government offices huddled inside the ‘Iolani Palace. The federal government broke out in 1922 with this Spanish Colonial tour-de-force designed by Edward York and Philip Sawyer out of New York City, laying the foundation for similar landmarks that were soon to follow in the Hawaii Capitol Historic District. The U-shaped building features a pair square towers, arcaded openings and a tile roof. After 80 years the Feds transferred the property to the State of Hawaii in exchange for $32.5 million and it was promptly renamed in honor of King David Kalakaua who was the last king in the Hawaiian monarchy. 

11.
Hawaiian Electric Co. Building
900 Richards Street at northwest corner of King Street

Architects Edward York and Philip Sawyer of New York City established themselves as America’s foremost designers of grand classical banks in the first decades of the 20th century. The partners returned to Hawaii in 1927 to design this headquarters for the Hawaiian Electric Company in one of their last commissions before York died the following year. York and Sawyer displayed their versatility by delivering a showcase of Spanish Colonial architecture, applying their bank-building experience to create one of the most elegant interior spaces in Hawaii, composed under a great coffered ceiling.  

TURN LEFT ON RICHARDS STREET. TURN RIGHT ON MERCHANT STREET. WALK TWO BLOCKS TO BISHOP STREET.

12. 
Alexander & Baldwin Building
141 Merchant Street at northwest corner of Bishop Street

The son of missionaries, Samuel Thomas Alexander was born on the island of Kauai in 1836. In his early twenties Alexander went to chase gold in California (he found nothing) and tried his hand at missionary teaching, which did not take. He found himself back in Hawaii, managing a sugar plantation. With his brother-in-law, Henry Perrine Baldwin, Alexander formed his own sugar plantation and mill in 1870. He knew that to expand his business after the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 removed tariffs on sugar sent to the United States he needed a steady supply of water. Alexander embarked on the construction of a 17-mile irrigation aqueduct that took two years to build but springboarded Alexander & Baldwin to the first rank of Hawaii companies, one of the Big Five which had a stranglehold on the territorial economy in the early 1900s. By that time Alexander had left the company for the life of an adventurer in the 1890s. He bicycled around Europe and sailed to remote Pacific islands and the Far East. This headquarters building was erected in 1929, from the pens of Charles William Dickey and Hart Wood. The designers unleashed their architectural playbooks, employing elements from Chinese, Italian, Moorish and Hawaiian themes on the four-story building. Look up to see sugar motifs, carved water buffalo and more on the whimsical facade.  

13.
Stangenwald Building
119 Merchant Street

Soaring six stories tall, this was considered Hawaii’s first skyscraper when it was raised in 1901 and remained one of the town’s tallest structures for half a century. The building is the handiwork of Charles William Dickey, who infused his Beaux Arts creation with decorations of terra cotta and fancy grillwork. Upon its completion the Stangenwald Building was trumpeted as being completely fireproof, executed with no wood beyond the windows and doors. Hugo Stangenwald was born in Germany in 1829 and left in exile as a young man, arriving in Hawaii in 1851. He took up the practice of medicine and was called by the locals “the instantaneous healer.” He was also responsible for shooting the first daguerreotypes, the earliest types of photographs, in Honolulu. Stangenwald kept his offices at this location until his death in 1899. 

14.
Judd Building
111 Merchant Street at southwest corner of Fort Street Mall

Oliver Green Traphagen was born in the Hudson River Valley of New York in 1854 and died in the Bay Area of California in 1932. In between he learned his architecture as an apprentice in Minnesota where he became the go-to architect in the boom times of iron-rich Duluth in the 1880s. When his daughter fell ill the family went in search of a warmer climate and settled in Hawaii in 1897. Traphagen’s reputation was such that during his ten-year stay in Honolulu he was said to be “the most prolific and highly regarded architect in town.” This richly decorated Renaissance Revival corner building was one of his earliest Hawaii efforts, a prelude to his Maona Hotel that would be the first large-scale resort hotel on Waikiki Beach in 1901. The Judd Building carries the name of Gerrit Parmele Judd, a New Yorker who was a missionary doctor in the Sandwich Islands beginning in 1827. He later became involved in political affairs and was an advisor and translator to King Kamehameha III. Judd founded Hawaii’s first medical school, three years before he died at the age of 70; his medical offices were at this location.        

15.
Bishop Estate Building
71 Merchant Street 

Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop was the last legal heir of the Kamehameha Dynasty, which ruled the Kingdom of Hawaii between 1810 and 1872. When she died of cancer at the age of 52 she decreed that most of her money be used “to erect and maintain in the Hawaiian Islands two schools, one for boys and one for girls, to be called the Kamehameha Schools.” Today, with assets north of $10 billion, the Bishop estate is the largest private property owner in the state of Hawaii and one of the richest private charities in the world. In the beginning that estate was administered here, in a modest two-story building constructed of dark lava quarried on the school property. The plans were drawn up by Clinton Briggs Ripley and Charles Williams Dickey whose Richardsonian Romanesque-flavored plans included a parapet at the roof line and four rough stone pilasters dripping down through the upper story. The building also originally contained the Bishop Museum that was set up by banker-husband Charles Reed Bishop in honor of his wife; today it is the state’s largest museum and boasts the world’s finest collection of Polynesian cultural and scientific artifacts.   

16.
Old Bishop Bank Building
63 Merchant Street

Charles Reed Bishop was born in Glen Falls, New York in 1822 into a family headed by a toll collector who worked on an island in the Hudson River. By age four, Charles was an orphan on his grandfather’s farm. At age 24 he was a clerk when a recent Harvard Law School graduate friend, William Little Lee, convinced him to light out for the Oregon Territory by ship. When the transport pulled into Honolulu the young men never left. Bishop would marry into the royal family and in 1858 he opened Bishop & Company which was the first bank chartered in the Kingdom of Hawaii. The first day’s deposits totaled $4784.25. In 1878 the bank moved into this two-story Italianate brick vault designed by Thomas J. Baker, an alumnus of the design crew on ‘Iolani Palace. Bishop Bank would leave in 1925 and most of the building’s exterior decoration would depart with it. Today Bishop Bank is the powerful First Hawaiian Bank.  

17.
Melchers Building
51 Merchant Street at southwest corner of Bethel Street

This is the oldest commercial building in Honolulu, dating back to 1854 when it was constructed with coral blocks. The boxy vernacular structure, long since stuccoed over, was first used as the showroom for the wares of partners Gustav Melcher and Gustav Reiner who dealt in koa wood shelves and glass cabinets.  

18.
Kamehameha V Post Office
southeast corner of Merchant and Bethel streets

The Kingdom of Hawaii launched mail delivery in 1851 with two classes of letters for five and 13 cents. Newspapers could be posted for two cents. When A.P Brickwood got into the position of Postmaster in 1865 he agitated for system-wide upgrades, including a new post office. The result was this two-story structure that was designed and crafted by J.G. Osbourne, an English mason and contractor. King Kamehameha V put down the cornerstone on March 2, 1870 and the stamp windows opened a year later. Osborne used a revolutionary construction process of pre-cast concrete blocks stiffened by iron rebar in the building. The system was developed in Europe and still so new it had not yet been seen in the United States. As a result the Kamehameha V Post Office, that was in use until 1922, is not only listed on the National Register of Historic Places but has been designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark as well.     

19.
Yokohama Specie Bank
36 Merchant Street at northeast corner of Bethel Street

 Not many architects were busier in Honolulu in the early 1900s than Henry Livingston Kerr and he considered this two-story corner-accessed building from 1909 his masterwork among 900 some creations. The windows and doors are framed in copper and marble and classical terra-cotta accents enliven both elevations and the arched entrance. The client was the Yokahama Specie Bank that was the first bank for Japanese nationals living in Hawaii. It was quickly seized after Pearl Harbor and spent World War II as a military prison, mostly for drunken sailors. After the war it served many masters, including Honolulu Magazine, but has recently been spruced up as an academy for young people.

20.
Old Honolulu Police Station
842 Bethel Street at northwest corner of Merchant Street

In the 1930s Hawaii architects were given orders to decorate the streetscape with more indigenous-feeling buildings. Louis E. Davis responded with this Spanish Colonial Revival effort fashioned from stuccoed concrete, Waianae sandstone and 11 tons of French marble in 1931 as the new home for the Honolulu Police Department. Policing began in the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1834, one of the oldest municipal forces in the world; by contrast Boston did not get a police force until 1838 and New York streets were un-patrolled until 1845. The police took leave of the property in 1967. The oversized doors, by the way, are Philippine mahogany.  

21.
Royal Saloon
2 Merchant Street at southeast corner of Nuuanu Avenue

In the 1800s, when drinking establishments stretched in every direction from this point the sailors called this area “Fid Street,” a slang term for liquor. They have been serving adult beverages on this location since the 1850s and this particular saloon building has been here since 1890. This was barkeep Walter C. Peacock’s establishment and it is believed he provided the eclectic design. A decade later Peacock would go on to pioneer resort hospitality on Waikiki Beach with the Moana Hotel. The Royal was shut down during Prohibition after 1919 but a partial basement hidden inside hints that the booze kept flowing for sailors in port.

TURN RIGHT ON NUUANU AVENUE, ONCE HONOLULU’S MAIN DRAG SEPARATING DOWNTOWN FROM CHINATOWN.

22.
T. R. Foster Building
902 Nuuanu Avenue at northeast corner of Merchant Street

On thegale-swept night of March 4, 1866 the German barque Libelle foundered on a reef on the then-uninhabited atoll of Wake Island. The Libelle was carrying a valuable cargo of 1,000 flasks of quicksilver (we call it mercury today) and some $150,000 worth of coins and precious stones (at the time a good daily wage was about a dollar). Also on board was a coterie of prominent passengers including English-born opera singer Anna Bishop who was touring the world. After three weeks on the island the passengers and crew made for the island of Guam across open seas in a 22-foot longboat (which made it) and a 20-foot gig (which didn’t). The survivors told a tale which kept newspaper readers around the world enthralled for weeks. Five ships set out on salvage operations and the one led by Captain Thomas R. Foster on the sloop Hokulele returned to Honolulu with 247 flasks of quicksilver in 1867. Foster founded the Inter-Island Steam Navigation Company in 1878, plying the waters to Kauia and the Kona and Kau Coasts of the island of Hawaii. Foster passed away in 1889 at the age of 54 and two years later his prospering company erected this exuberant Italianate commercial building that was named in his honor. After airplanes began servicing the Hawaiian Islands the steam boat shuttles were mothballed in 1947.     

23.
Irwin Block (Nippu Jiji/Hawaii Times Building)
1010-1040 Nuuanu Avenue

Architect Clinton Briggs Ripley was born in Maine and migrated West to California in the 1890s where he became Commissioner of Patents. By 1896 he was in Hawaii which was in the midst of a building spree. Ripley linked up with Charles William Dickey, whose ancestors included some of Hawaii’s earliest missionaries and pioneers and who himself was in the early stages of a nearly 50-year design career in the islands. For this commercial block Ripley and Dickey tapped the brawny Romanesque style of Boston architect Henry Hobson Richardson with its trademark broad arches, rough-cut basaltic stone and checkerboard-patterned facade. The money man was local developer William G. Irwin, who picked up the $20,000 tab. The most notable tenant here was the Nippu Jiji, which purchased the building in 1923. The Nippu Jiji was the successor Japanese newspaper of the Yamato, started in 1895. During World War II the publication became the Hawaii Times and remained so until the presses stopped rolling in 1985.    

24.
Perry Block
northeast corner of Nuuanu Avenue and King Street

In 1900 city officials attempted to burn a house suspected of harboring the bubonic Plague. As the Honolulu Fire Department looked on the winds shifted suddenly and most of Chinatown burned instead. The Perry Block, completed in 1889 for a pricey $16,650, was one of the few commercial buildings on Nuuanu Avenue to survive the conflagration. Look up to see designs in the keystones above the windows based on a Portugese coat of arms. Jason Perry, of Portuguese origin, was a leading merchant in town. His widow Anna bankrolled the project. 

25.
McLean Block
1121 Nuuanu Avenue at southeast corner of Hotel Street

This is one of the first substantial buildings to arise from the ashes of the Great Chinatown Fire of 1900, replacing a decimated wooden building once located here. James L. McLean, President of the Pioneer Building and Loan Company and Vice-President of the Inter-Island Steam Navigation Company, hired Oliver G. Traphagen to perform design duties and he delivered a well-proportioned, classically flavored arcade. Despite his business responsibilities McLean anchored the Honolulu target shooting team in the early 1900s known as the Sharpshooters. His prowess was enough to move the Hawaiian Gazette to gush, “He has all the qualifications for a good marksman except physique. He is apparently without nerves, has good eyesight and never uses liquor or tobacco.”

TURN RIGHT ON HOTEL STREET. TURN LEFT ON BETHEL STREET.

26.
Hawaii Theatre
1130 Bethel Street at northwest corner of Pauahi Street

The neon marquee of the 1922 Hawaii Theatre was the largest ever built in Honolulu and it is appropriately framed by massive Beaux Arts windows and classical fluted pilasters, supplied by local architects Walter Emory and Marshall Webb. Emory and Webb didn’t let up on the opulence as they moved inside their vaudeville house, outfitting the interior with a gilded dome, marble statues, plush carpets and silk hangings. A mural of a Roman procession, contributed by Lionel Walden - “the finest seascape painter to work in Hawaii” - graced the proscenium. The local press hailed its appearance as “the Pride of the Pacific” and conceded nothing to the finest San Francisco stages. The Hawaii was converted to a movie palace and operated into the 1980s before it succumbed to television age and suburban flight. But it was one of the lucky American downtown theaters to escape the wrecking ball and emerged with a $20 million facelift to once again become a showcase for live entertainment.

WALK UP TO BERETANIA STREET AND TURN RIGHT. AT FORT STREET MALL TURN RIGHT AND WALK A FEW STEPS ONTO THE CAMPUS OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH OF HAWAII.

27.
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Peace
1175 Fort Street Mall

Here, at the north end of Fort Street Mall, resides what is considered to be the oldest Catholic cathedral in continuous use in the United States, formally dedicated on August 15, 1843. Catholic missionaries had arrived in Hawaii in 1827 but were expelled by King Kamehameha III in 1837 under pressure by Protestant factions. When freedom of Catholic religion was restored to the Islands by intervention from French frigate captain Cyrille Laplace in 1839 little time was wasted in assembling a house of worship. Coral blocks from the same reef that supplied building slabs for the contemporary Kawaiaha‘o Church were used here. The present concrete tower is the third to grace the church, installed after termite damage doomed the second bell tower in 1917. Included on the campus today is the trunk of the original kiawe tree that was introduced to the Islands by the first Catholic missionary to Hawaii, Father Alexis Bachelot. The seedling came from the Royal Garden in Paris and grew where native trees could not, populating many of the previously barren Hawaiian hillsides. 

RETURN TO BERETANIA STREET AND TURN RIGHT, CONTINUING EASTWARD. CROSS QUEEN EMMA STREET.

28.
St. Andrew’s Cathedral
southeast corner of Queen Emma Street and Beretania Street

This cathedral of the Episcopal Church is one of four cathedrals in the Hawaiian Islands. The Islands’ first Episcopalians congregated in a small house of worship in 1862. Among the congregants were Anglophiles King Kamehameha IV and his consort Queen Emma who spearheaded the construction of this French Gothic style sanctuary that was pre-assembled in England and shipped for construction beginning in 1867. By that time the king had died and the first services were not held until Christmas Day 1886, which the queen also did not live long enough to enjoy. A standout feature of the cathedral is a monumental stained glass window that tells the story of European exploration in the Hawaiian Islands.

29.
Washington Place
320 Beretania Street opposite the State Capitol

Italian John Dominis came to America in his early twenties in 1819, rising to the captaincy of his own merchant ship and taking a Bostonian wife. His main routes were in the Pacific Ocean and he settled in Hawaii in 1837, pouring profits into the construction of a Greek Revival frame house atop a coral foundation. The design work was handled by Isaac Hart, a master carpenter who built the first ‘Iolani Palace and master mason Daniel Jenner helmed stonework duty. Dominis was unfortunately lost at sea in 1846 while trying to raise more funds for the house but his widow lived here until here death in 1889, renting out rooms to make ends meet. Among her boarders were officials of the American government (who gave it the name Washington Place) and lawyer William Little Lee who took the lead in setting up a Western-style legal system in the Islands and writing the rules on private land ownership. In 1918 Washington Place was designated the official Hawaii Executive Mansion and afterwards served 12 territorial and state governors until it was de-commissioned in 2002 and another governor’s residence was built on the grounds. It now operates as a house museum.  

WALK BACK A FEW STEPS AND TURN LEFT ON RICHARDS STREET.

30.
Hawaii State Art Museum (Armed Services YMCA Building)
250 Hotel Street at northeast corner of Richards Street

This space was first occupied by a government-sponsored hotel (hence the street name) in 1872. The hotel was converted into a YMCA facility in 1917 and used by troops during World War I. In 1926 the rickety wooden structure was pulled down and in its place rose this U-shaped, Spanish Mission-style facility created around an open courtyard. Lincoln Rogers of San Diego was the lead architect, in tandem with locals Walter Emory and Marshall Webb. In addition to the gymnasium, members could enjoy a games hall, a billiard room, a restaurant and the services of a tailor and a barber. The upper three floors offered overnight accommodations in 268 sleeping rooms. Today the space has been adapted for use by the Hawaii State Art Museum. 

31.
YWCA Building
1040 Richards Street

Julia Morgan was perhaps the most celebrated of all American woman architects. A San Francisco native, Morgan was the first woman to graduate with an architecture degree from the famous ノcole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France. She became a favorite architect of publishing mogul William Randolph Hearst and designed his famous Hearst Castle at San Simeon, California. Morgan’s affiliation with the Hearst family brought her a connection to the YWCA and she designed buildings for the organization and other women’s groups throughout California and across the Southwest. In her long career Julia Morgan designed over 700 buildings and in 2008 she was inducted into the California Hall of Fame. Morgan arrived in Honolulu in 1920 to work with the YWCA and after fits and starts the collaboration resulted in this landmark in 1927, known as Lani?kea. Morgan avoided unnecessary ornamentation in favor of functionality and here she blended Hawaiian materials into a Mediterranean design for the courtyards, roofs and arches.

WALK ACROSS THE STREET TO THE TOUR STARTING POINT ON THE GROUNDS OF THE ‘IOLANI PALACE.