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Tripler Army Medical Center color inspired by red dirt

The choice of hues was made because dust stirred by wind would stain buildings

By Bob Sigall / Special to the Star-Advertiser

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 09:51 p.m. HST, May 19, 2011


A persistent rumor about Tripler is that the pink color was a mistake; the wrong paint was ordered or delivered. But is it the truth? Was Tripler painted pink accidentally or on purpose?

In a 1995 interview, Robert Wood, who was with the Army Corps of Engineers when Tripler was built, set the record straight.

"The architect came into my office one day and said, 'It's time we selected the color for the hospital.' I looked out the window of my office at the red dirt on Moanalua Ridge and said, 'You've got to get it as close to that color as you can because that's the color it will be when you're through.'"

"At that time there wasn't any landscaping on the entire ridge, and the winds would blow the red dirt of Moanalua on the hospital, making it pinkish or a terra-cotta color." Actually, Tripler is not pink. Its color is officially called rose coral.

Bob Sigall, author of the "Companies We Keep" books, looks through his collection of old photos to tell stories each week of Hawaii people, places and companies. Email him at Sigall@yahoo.com.





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