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Tuesday, October 21, 2014         

Keep Hawaii Hawaii Premium

The Cooke family has contributed so much during the years to the Honolulu community in business, in the arts and in education. In one form or another, most of the physical manifestations of these contributions still exist, which can be attributed to the family's deep love for Hawaii.

While I sat at the bus stop in Haleiwa — pretty well beat from having ridden my bicycle from the Hygienic Store in Kahaluu — I turned and looked away from the roadway, and a tired glance introduced me to the Waialua Courthouse.

Over the years, very wealthy Americans have often left behind pretentious residential structures. In many cases these castles and manors have been willed to the public for their enjoyment after their owners have gone to the afterlife.

Of the six major lighthouses spotted around the islands, the Kilauea Lighthouse on the North Shore of Kauai is so popular that it draws a half-million visitors a year, which ranks it ninth among all visitor attractions across the state.

When anyone steps down into a cellar or basement in Hawaii, it is most likely a brand-new experience. We don't have those cool underground spaces here that are found just about everywhere on the mainland.

As your Island Air flight banks left and descends closer and closer to the Lanai Airport, there seem to be endless stretches of green pasture on either side of the airplane.

This year, the Outrigger Canoe Club celebrates the 50th anniversary of its traumatic move from the heart of Waikiki to its present Diamond Head location.

Among many remarkable facts about the Cooke manse in Manoa is that a part of the Cooke family for more than 100 years has lived at Kualii. Sam and Mary Cooke reside there now. The result is a historic preservation endeavor probably without parallel in Hawaii.

It is hard to believe there is a gem of a 10-acre park above Kaneohe Bay that is owned by neither the government nor a corporation. Instead, it is mostly the vision of two individuals who over time have preserved this mini ahupuaa for enjoyment of the public.

With the community's eyes soon to be sharply focused on Honolulu Hale for the Christmas season, it seems appropriate to write about this important historic building since, besides the holiday gaiety, what goes on inside it affects most of our daily lives.

In its heyday, the Coco Palms Hotel in Wailua, Kauai, was probably the best known resort in Hawaii. There were good reasons for that exalted position. Certainly the design of the hotel and its grounds at the edge of a huge coconut tree planation was one.

If there is any question of the significance of the historic Advertiser building at the corner of South Street and Kapiolani Boulevard, consider this: Every day, seven days a week, for more than 80 years, various reporters, editors, production crew and printers chronicled almost every aspect of the daily life of Hawaii.

When it was built in 1924, the Albert Spencer Wilcox Memorial Library in the center of Lihue was a standout for a couple of reasons. First, there weren't any other substantial buildings surrounding it, except the stodgy Kauai County Building. Second, it was a relatively formal structure for Lihue, which is still mostly a country village.

Typical of Hawaii, Mid-Pacific Institute today is an amalgam of ethnic groups. But in its early days it was really two schools without much diversity, made up of Kawaiaha‘o Seminary (1864), for the daughters of missionaries, and Mills School (1892), for boys of Chinese ancestry. Both were schools started in separate private homes.

Most of us think of College Hill as the stately and historic mansion usually occupied by University of Hawaii presidents. Actually, the whole area behind Punahou School was at one time called College Hill.

According to one source, the site for the historic Waterhouse home on Wyllie Street in the 1880s was "a place of leisure country living. Nuuanu Street was little more than a buggy lane twisting and following Nuuanu Stream past ranch lands and taro patches."

Most of us who live in Honolulu usually crest the hill on Waialae Avenue only to get from one place to another.

It remains a mystery to many people why our Honolulu Harbor waterfront isn't more robust from a commercial point of view. The Aloha Tower Marketplace is a notorious example.

In today’s column, we invite you to listen in on our conversation as we take a walk down Nuuanu Avenue in Chinatown. The discussion covers how Chinatown was saved and the latest progress in its preservation.


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