ʻIolani Palace

The ʻIolani Palace was the royal residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaii beginning with Kamehameha III under the Kamehameha Dynasty (1845) and ending with Queen Liliʻuokalani (1893) under the Kalākaua Dynasty, founded by her brother, King David Kalākaua. It is located in the capitol district of downtown Honolulu in the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi. It is now a National Historic Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places. After the monarchy was overthrown in 1893, the building was used as the capitol building for the Provisional Government, Republic, Territory, and State of Hawaiʻi until 1969. The palace was restored and opened to the public as a museum in 1978. The ʻIolani Palace is the only royal palace on US soil.[1]

ʻIolani Palace
Iolani Palace (15536110307)
ʻIolani Palace is the hallmark of Hawaiian renaissance architecture
LocationHonolulu, HI
Coordinates21°18′24″N 157°51′32″W / 21.30667°N 157.85889°WCoordinates: 21°18′24″N 157°51′32″W / 21.30667°N 157.85889°W
Area10.6 acres (4.3 ha)
ArchitectThomas J. Baker, Charles J. Wall, Isaac Moore
Architectural styleAmerican Florentine
Part ofHawaii Capital Historic District (#78001020)
NRHP reference #66000293
Significant dates
Added to NRHPOctober 15, 1966
Designated NHLDecember 29, 1962

Early history

Pohukaina and the House of Kamehameha

Royal tomb at Pohukaina
Pohukaina with the Royal Tomb to the left, Hale Aliʻi directly behind with the two story home of Kana'ina and Kekauluohi to the far right, where Lunalilo was born

In the early 19th century, the area near an ancient burial site was known as Pohukaina.[2] It is believed to be the name of a chief (sometimes spelled Pahukaina) who according to legend chose a cave in Kanehoalani in the Koʻolau Range for his resting place.[3] The land belonged to Kekauluohi, who later ruled as Kuhina Nui, as part of her birthright.[4] She lived there with her husband Charles Kanaina. Kekūanāoʻa also had his home just west of Kekauluohi called Haliimaile and Keoni Ana lived in Kīnaʻu Hale (which was later converted into the residence of the royal chamberlain), all members of the House of Kamehameha.

This area was a sacred burial site for the aliʻi (ruling class).[5] Kekāuluohi and Kanaʻina's original home was similar to that of the other estates in the neighborhood consisting of small buildings used for different purposes. The sitting and sleeping area had a folding door entrance of green painted wood under glass upper panels. The house had two rooms separated by a festooned tent door of chintz fabric and was carpeted with hand crafted makaloa mats. In the front was a lounge area opposite a sideboard and mirror. In the middle they placed a semi circle of armchairs with a center table where the couple would write. Four matching cabinet-bookshelves with glass doors were set in each corner of the room with silk scarves hanging from each.[6] In his book, A visit to the South Seas, in the U.S. Ship Vincennes: during the years 1829 and 1830, Charles Samuel Stewart describes the area and homes in detail.[6]

Next to their home was an old estate that had been demolished called Hanailoia.[7] This was the spot oral history told of an ancient heiau (temple to the Hawaiian religion) called Kaʻahaimauli that was destroyed here.[8][9] In July 1844 Kekūanāoʻa began building a large home here as a gift to his daughter Victoria Kamāmalu. Instead, Kamehameha III would buy the estate and use as his Royal Residence after moving the capitol of the kingdom to Honolulu. It would become the Iolani Palace.[5] As older aliʻi died, the lands were passed down and concentrated into fewer hands.[10] Kekāuluohi's lands were passed down to her from the Kamehameha family. When she died, she left her accumulated lands and wealth to her son, not her husband Kanaʻina however, Lunalilo predeceased his father.[11]


Years after 1825, the first Western-style royal tomb was constructed for the bodies of King Kamehameha II and his queen Kamāmalu. They were buried on August 23, 1825. The idea was heavily influenced by the tombs at Westminster Abbey during Kamehameha II's trip to London. The mausoleum was a small house made of coral blocks with a thatched roof. It had no windows, and it was the duty of two chiefs to guard the iron-locked koa door day and night. No one was allowed to enter the vault except for burials or Memorial Day, a Hawaiian holiday celebrated on December 30.[4]

Over time, as more bodies were added, the small vault became crowded, so other chiefs and retainers were buried in unmarked graves nearby. In 1865 a selected 20 coffins were removed to the Royal Mausoleum of Hawaii called Mauna ʻAla in Nuʻuanu Valley. But many chiefs remain on the site including: Keaweʻīkekahialiʻiokamoku, Kalaniopuu, Chiefess Kapiolani, and Timothy Haalilio.

After being overgrown for many years, the Hawaiian Historical Society passed a resolution in 1930 requesting Governor Lawrence Judd to memorialize the site with the construction of a metal fence enclosure and a plaque. Tradition holds that the tomb was on the site of a former cave.[4][12]

Hale Aliʻi

Hale Aliʻi with Royal Guards (2)
The original ʻIolani Palace, the grandest house of its time in Honolulu, built by Mataio Kekuanaoa for his daughter, Princess Victoria Kamāmalu

The home built by Kekūanāoʻa was a wood and stone building called Hale Aliʻi meaning (House of the Chiefs). It had only one-third the floor space of the present palace. Mataio Kekūanāoʻa, who was long-time Royal Governor of Oʻahu and husband of Kīnaʻu, the daughter of Kamehameha I. He built the large home for his daughter Princess Victoria Kamāmalu who, from birth, was expected to rule in some capacity. It was purchased by King Kamehameha III from Kamāmalu (the King's niece) when he moved his capital from Lahaina to Honolulu in 1845.[13]

It was constructed as a traditional aliʻi residence with only ceremonial spaces, no sleeping rooms. It just had a throne room, a reception room, and a state dining room, with other houses around for sleeping and for retainers. Kamehameha III slept in a cooler grass hut around the palace. He called his home Hoʻihoʻikea, a separate building flanking the palace on the west side[14] in honor of his restoration after the Paulet Affair of 1843.[8][13] Kamehameha IV build a separate house on the east side of the palace called Ihikapukalani (on the mauka side) and Kauluhinano (on the makai side).[15]

ʻIolani Palace

House of Kamehameha (restored)
Kamehameha III with Queen Kamala to the left and Victoria Kamāmalu (original owner of the first palace) to the right with future monarchs Kamehameha IV, top left and Kamehameha V, top right

During Kamehameha V's reign Hale Aliʻi's name was changed to ʻIolani Palace, after his brother Kamehameha IV's given names (his full name was Alexander Liholiho Keawenui ʻIolani). It refers to the ʻIo (royal hawk).[16] The Palace served as the official residence of the monarch during the reigns of Kamehameha III, Kamehameha IV, Kamehameha V, Lunalilo, and the first part of Kalākaua's reign.[17] The original structure was very simple in design and was more of a stately home than a palace, but at the time, it was the grandest house in town. The palace was largely meant for receiving foreign dignitaries and state functions with the monarch preferring to sleep in private homes.

Seat of government

Kamehameha I formed his official government at Lahaina, Maui in 1802, where he built the kingdom's first royal residence called the Brick Palace. The Lahaina palace remained the seat of government under the first three Kamehameha monarchs until 1845 when Kamehameha III moved the royal court.[18] Lahaina had been the seat of government, where the royal courts of many chiefs of Maui had been located, including Kahekili II until 1794.[19] In 1845 Kamehameha III moved the Royal Court and capitol to Honolulu.[20][21] Hale Ali'i would become the seat of government and would remain so through the subsequent Kamehameha monarchs. After 1874, the main seat of government was transferred to the new central government building left by Kamehameha V. After the overthrow the provisional government would use the Iolani Palace as the seat of government. While a territory, the palace was called: The Capitol of the Territorial Government. It would also serve as the first state capitol building.[22] The area was culturally significant as a seat of government for many reasons including the palaces size, orientation and other factors of religious importance and bridged the ancient history of Hawaii with the new 19th century monarchy.[23]

Kalākaua's ʻIolani Palace

Iolani Palace in 1885
The palace shortly after construction

By the time David Kalākaua assumed the throne, the original ʻIolani Palace was in poor condition, suffering from ground termite damage. He ordered the old palace to be razed.

Kalākaua was the first monarch to travel around the world. While visiting Europe, he took note of the grand palaces owned by other monarchs. Like Kamehameha V, he dreamed of a royal palace befitting of the sovereignty of a modern state such as Hawaiʻi. He commissioned the construction a new ʻIolani Palace, directly across the street from Aliʻiōlani Hale, to become the official palace of the Hawaiian monarchy.

Design and construction

Three architects, Thomas J. Baker[24], Charles J. Wall[25], and Isaac Moore[26], contributed to the design; of these, Baker designed the structure, while Wall and Moore offered other details.[27] The cornerstone was laid December 31, 1879 during the administration of Minister of the Interior Samuel Gardner Wilder.[28]:204 It was built of brick with concrete facing. The building was completed in November 1882 and cost over $340,000 — a vast fortune at the time. It measures about 140 feet (43 m) by 100 feet (30 m), and rises two stories over a raised basement to 54 feet (16 m) high. It has four corner towers and two in the center rising to 76 feet (23 m). On February 12, 1883 a formal European-style coronation ceremony was held, even though Kalākaua had reigned for 9 years. The coronation pavilion officially known as Keliiponi Hale was later moved to the southwest corner of the grounds and converted to a bandstand for the Royal Hawaiian Band.[17]

ʻIolani Palace features architecture seen nowhere else in the world. This unique style is known as American Florentine. On the first floor a grand hall faces a staircase of koa wood. Ornamental plaster decorates the interior. The throne room (southeast corner), the blue meeting room, and the dining room adjoin the hall. The blue room included a large 1848 portrait of King Louis Philippe of France and a koa wood piano where Liliʻuokalani played her compositions for guests. Upstairs are the private library and bedrooms of the Hawaiian monarchs.[17] It had electricity and telephones even before the White House.

It served as the official residence of the Hawaiian monarch until the 1893 overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Therein not only Liliʻuokalani, but, Queen Kapiʻolani and other royal retainers were evicted from the palace after the overthrow.

The palace is the only official state residence of royalty on U.S. soil.[29]

Royal imprisonment and trial

Trial of Liliuokalani (PP-98-12-007)
Newspaper depiction of the trial of Queen Liliuokalani

Upon the overthrow of the monarchy by the Committee of Safety in 1893, troops of the newly formed Provisional Government of Hawaiʻi took control of ʻIolani Palace. After a few months government offices moved in and it was renamed the "Executive Building" for the Republic of Hawaiʻi. Government officials carefully inventoried its contents and sold at public auctions whatever furniture or furnishings were not suitable for government operations. Queen Liliʻuokalani was imprisoned for nine months in a small room on the upper floor after the second of the Wilcox rebellions in 1895. The quilt she made is still there. The trial was held in the former throne room.[17]

Sanford B. Dole and Harold M. Sewall (PPWD-8-3-009)
U.S. Minister to Hawaii Harold M. Sewall (right) accepts the transfer of Hawaiian state sovereignty from President Sanford Dole, August 12, 1898 on the steps of ʻIolani Palace

When a proposed annexation treaty up for ratification, the Hawaiian Patriotic League held a protest rally at the palace on September 6, 1897. They gathered petition signatures in an effort to demonstrate the treaty did not have popular support. On August 12, 1898 U.S. troops from the USS Philadelphia came ashore and raised the Flag of the United States at the palace to mark the annexation by the Newlands Resolution. The Queen and other Hawaiian nobles did not attend, staying at Washington Place instead.[30] The building served as the capitol of the Territory of Hawaiʻi, the military headquarters during World War II, and the State of Hawaiʻi. During the government use of the palace, the second floor royal bedroom became the governor's office, while the legislature occupied the entire first floor. The representatives met in the former throne room and the senate in the former dining room.[17]

When Liliuokalani died in 1917, territorial governor Lucius E. Pinkham accorded her the honor of a state funeral in the throne room of the palace.[31]


After annexation, there was a fear that all records would be moved to the mainland. Since an 1847 effort by Robert Crichton Wyllie, a set of archives had been kept of all kingdom records. A new fireproof building was built in 1906 on the grounds just to the southeast of the palace. It included a vault 30 feet (9.1 m) by 40 feet (12 m) with steel shelves. At first it was to be called the Hall of Records, but the name Archives of Hawaii made it clear the documents included those from the kingdom.[32] A new Kekāuluohi building provides digital access to some of the collections.[33]

Palace restoration

Iolani Palace Music Room
Interior of the music room with donations and artifacts in the restored palace

In 1930 the interior of ʻIolani Palace was remodeled, and wood framing replaced by steel and reinforced concrete. The name ʻIolani Palace was officially restored in 1935.[17] During World War II, it served as the temporary headquarters for the military governor in charge of martial law in the Hawaiian Islands.

The Hawaiian soldiers of Japanese ancestry who were accepted for service in the U.S. Army became the core of the 442nd Infantry Regiment. Before leaving Hawaii for training on the mainland, they were sworn in during a mass ceremony on the grounds of the Palace.[34]

Through more than 70 years as a functional but neglected government building, the Palace fell into disrepair. After Hawaii became a state, Governor John A. Burns began an effort to restore the palace in the 1960s. The first step was to move the former ʻIolani Barracks building from its original position northeast of the palace. It now serves as a visitors center for the palace.

ʻIolani Palace was designated a National Historic Landmark on December 29, 1962[35] and added as site 66000293 to the National Register of Historic Places listings in Oahu on October 15, 1966.[36] Government offices vacated the Palace in 1969 and moved to the newly constructed Hawaii State Capitol building on the former barracks site. In preparation for restoration, the Junior League of Honolulu researched construction, furnishings, and palace lifestyle in nineteenth-century newspapers, photographs and archival manuscripts. Overseeing the restoration was The Friends of ʻIolani Palace, founded by Liliʻuokalani Kawānanakoa Morris, grand-niece of Queen Kapiʻolani. Two wooden additions were removed and the interior was restored based on original plans.[37]

Through the efforts of acquisitions researchers and professional museum staff, and donations of individuals, many original Palace objects have been returned. Government grants and private donations funded reproduction of original fabrics and finishes to restore Palace rooms to their monarchy era appearance. ʻIolani Palace opened to the public in 1978 after structural restoration of the building was completed.[37] In the basement is a photographic display of the Palace, orders and decorations given by the monarchs, and an exhibit outlining restoration efforts.

The grounds of ʻIolani Palace are managed by the Hawaiʻi State Department of Land and Natural Resources but the palace building itself is managed as a historical house museum by the Friends of ʻIolani Palace, a non-profit non-governmental organization. The birthdays of King Kalākaua (November 16) and Queen Kapiʻolani (December 28) are celebrated with ceremonies.[38]

Contemporary events

On January 17, 1993, a massive observation was held on the grounds of ʻIolani Palace to mark the 100th anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. A torchlight vigil was held at night, with the palace draped in black.[39]

On April 30, 2008, ʻIolani Palace was overtaken by a group of native Hawaiians who called themselves the Hawaiian Kingdom Government to protest what they view as illegitimate rule by the United States.[40] Mahealani Kahau, "head of state" of the group, said they do not recognize Hawaiʻi as a U.S. state, but would keep the occupation of the palace peaceful. "The Hawaiian Kingdom Government is here and it doesn't plan to leave. This is a continuity of the Hawaiian Kingdom of 1892 to today," Kahau said.[41][42] Friends of ʻIolani Palace released a statement stating: "We respect the freedom of Hawaiian groups to hold an opinion on the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, we believe that blocking public access to Iolani Palace is wrong and certainly detrimental to our mission to share the Palace and its history with our residents, our keiki (children), and our visitors."[43]

An exterior view of the Palace was frequently shown on the TV show Hawaii Five-O, suggesting it hosted the offices of the fictional state police unit featured on the show.

A movie titled Princess Kaiulani about Princess Victoria Kaʻiulani Cleghorn was filmed at the palace in 2008.[44][45]


  1. ^ Staton, Ron (2004-03-19). "Oahu: The Iolani, America's only royal palace". Seattle Times. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Pohukaina
  3. ^ Papers of the Hawaiian Historical Society. Bulletin Publishing Company. 1930. p. 34.
  4. ^ a b c The Friends of ʻIolani Palace (2001). "Ka Pa Aliʻi: Protecting This Sacred Place: September 8, 2001 – Old Archives Building" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-04-10.
  5. ^ a b All about Hawaii: The Recognized Book of Authentic Information on Hawaii, Combined with Thrum's Hawaiian Annual and Standard Guide. Honolulu Star-Bulletin. 1904. pp. 75–76.
  6. ^ a b Charles Samuel Stewart (1831). A visit to the South Seas, in the U.S. Ship Vincennes: during the years 1829 and 1830; with scenes in Brazil, Peru, Manila, the Cape of Good Hope, and St. Helena. J.P. Haven. pp. 137–.
  7. ^ Judd1975, p. 66.
  8. ^ a b John M. Kapena (1906). Thomas G. Thrum (ed.). "Hawaiian National Reminiscences". Hawaiian Almanac and Annual. pp. 74–81. (extracts of address at cornerstone ceremony in 1879)
  9. ^ "Hawaii Alive |". Hawaiialive.org. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  10. ^ Roth 2006, p. 26.
  11. ^ Van Dyke 2007, p. 325.
  12. ^ Jim Bartels (2003). "Pohukaina". Pacific Worlds web site. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
  13. ^ a b Bartels, Jim. "ʻIolani Palace". Pacific World. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
  14. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Hoihoikea (historical)
  15. ^ Judd 1975, p. 67.
  16. ^ Kamehiro 2009, p. 61.
  17. ^ a b c d e f Ben Levy (December 1985). "Iolani palace nomination form". National Register of Historic Places. U.S. National Park Service. Retrieved 2010-04-06.
  18. ^ Trudy Ring; Noelle Watson; Paul Schellinger (5 November 2013). The Americas: International Dictionary of Historic Places. Routledge. p. 315. ISBN 978-1-134-25930-4.
  19. ^ John R. K. Clark (January 1989). The Beaches of Maui County. University of Hawaii Press. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-8248-1246-1.
  20. ^ Bonnie Friedman (1 April 2011). DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Hawaii. DK Publishing. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-4053-6742-4.
  21. ^ Fodor's (1993). Hawaii '94: The Complete Guide with Scenic Drives and Adventures Off the Beaten Path. Fodor's Travel Publications. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-679-02519-1.
  22. ^ Gladys L. Knight (11 August 2014). Pop Culture Places: An Encyclopedia of Places in American Popular Culture [3 volumes]. ABC-CLIO. pp. 433–434. ISBN 978-0-313-39883-4.
  23. ^ Mrinalini Rajagopalan; Madhuri Shrikant Desai (2012). Colonial Frames, Nationalist Histories: Imperial Legacies, Architecture and Modernity. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-7546-7880-9.
  24. ^ "Honolulu Star-Bulletin Travel".
  25. ^ "Charles John Wall". 2015-01-21.
  26. ^ "Honolulu Star-Bulletin Travel".
  27. ^ "'Iolani Palace". National Park Service. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  28. ^ Ralph Simpson Kuykendall (1967). Hawaiian Kingdom 1874-1893, the Kalakaua Dynasty. 3. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-87022-433-1.
  29. ^ Jessica Lane Lucier; Evelyn Z. Hsieh (25 November 2008). Let's Go Hawaii 5th Edition. St. Martin's Press. p. 117. ISBN 978-0-312-38579-8.
  30. ^ Mike Gordon (July 2, 2006). "Annexation". Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  31. ^ "Funeral is Held in the Throne Room". The Hawaiian Gazette. X (93). Honolulu. November 20, 1917. p. 3. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
  32. ^ Robert C. Lydecker (June 9, 1906). "The Archives of Hawaii". Papers of the Hawaiian Historical Society Number 13. Hawaiian Historical Society, Honolulu. pp. 5–23.
  33. ^ "Hawai'i State Archives". official web site. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  34. ^ Coffman, Tom et al. (2006). The First Battle: the Battle for Equality in War-time Hawaii, Script, Act II.
  35. ^ "Iolani Palace". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2009-08-28. Retrieved 2008-06-21.
  36. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  37. ^ a b "Restoration of the Palace". official web site. Friends of ʻIolani Palace. Archived from the original on 2010-05-03. Retrieved 2010-04-06.
  38. ^ Burl Burlingame (April 3, 2008). "The only royal residence in the U.S. celebrates the lost Hawaiian monarchy". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
  39. ^ Pat Pitzer (May 1994). "The Overthrow of the Monarchy: Winds of profound change swept over Hawai`i in the 1890s, turbulent times that altered the islands' future forever". Spirit of Aloha. Aloha Airlines. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
  40. ^ Newton-Matza 2016, p. 286.
  41. ^ "Native Hawaiians blockade historic palace". CNN. May 1, 2008. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  42. ^ "Protesters Occupy Hawaiian Palace In Peace: The Hawaiian Kingdom Government Group Does Not Recognize The Islands As A U.S. State". CBS News. April 30, 2008. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  43. ^ "Native Group Occupies Grounds of Palace". The New York Times. May 1, 2008. Retrieved April 2, 2010.
  44. ^ Richard Borreca (March 25, 2008). "Senators seek overthrow of 'Princess' film tax help". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2010-03-26.
  45. ^ Katherine Nichols and Gary Chun (October 16, 2009). ""Princess" sparks heated debate". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2010-03-26.


External links

2008 occupation of Iolani Palace

In 2008, two attempts were made by groups involved in the Hawaiian sovereignty movement to occupy Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu in the U.S. state of Hawaii.

Downtown Honolulu

Downtown Honolulu is the current historic, economic, governmental, and central part of Honolulu—bounded by Nuʻuanu Stream to the west, Ward Avenue to the east, Vineyard Boulevard to the north, and Honolulu Harbor to the south—situated within the City of Honolulu. Both modern and historic buildings and complexes, many of the latter declared National Historic Landmarks on the National Register of Historic Places, are located in the area, 21°18′12″N 157°51′26″W.

Dr. Archibald Neil Sinclair House

The Dr. Archibald Neil Sinclair House on Puʻu Pueo ('Owl Hill') overlooking Mānoa Valley and Diamond Head on the island of Oʻahu was built in 1917 in a Colonial Revival style designed by a leading local architectural firms, Emory and Webb, who also designed the Hawaii Theatre and other fine buildings on the island. The large, sloping property has two entrances: one below the front lawn at 2726 Hillside Ave., the other above the house at 2725 Terrace Dr., Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.The two-story, wood frame, 2,811 sq. ft. main house is a fine example of the Colonial Revival style as adapted to Hawaiʻi, with extensive verandahs and balconies outside and open spaces inside delineated by columns rather than walls. Its foundation rests on lava rock and redwood piles. There is a separate, 240 sq. ft. maid's quarters and garage accessible from Terrace Drive and an underground bomb shelter (added later) below the front lawn.Dr. Sinclair (b. 20 January 1871) was a prominent physician whose father had come to Honolulu from New York to supervise the construction of ʻIolani Palace. He attended Punahou School then obtained a medical degree from the University of Glasgow in Scotland in 1894. He began his medical practice in England before returning to Honolulu, where he served with the United States Public Health Service (1900–1919), as city physician (1901–1909), and as founding director of Leahi Home for tuberculosis patients (1901). His published research in the fields of bacteriology, immunology, and pulmonary diseases earned him induction into the American College of Physicians and other medical societies. The Sinclair Society of pulmonary specialists is named for him.The house was built in the College Hills tract (named for Oahu College, now Punahou School), a rapidly expanding suburb of Honolulu that was newly served by the extension of electric streetcar lines into Mānoa in 1901 and the relocation of the College of Hawaii to Mānoa in 1912. Many later residents of the house have been students and faculty of the University, the most notable being Janet Bell, who served as curator of the Hawaiian Collection from 1936 until 1970.

Guitar and Lute Workshop

The Guitar and Lute Workshop (GLW) was a manufacturer of custom guitars, ukuleles, and period stringed instruments based in Honolulu, Hawaii between 1970 and 1976. The workshop was known primarily for the talented luthiers employed in either construction of guitars, or the musicians that taught at the workshop or that used guitars made at the workshop. Additionally, an independent piano restoration and tuning business operated above the workshop floor and studios for at least two years. The GLW was notable as a nexus of activity supporting native Hawaiian musical cultural discovery during the Second Hawaiian Renaissance of the 1970s, with key Hawaiian musicians such as Keola Beamer and Kapono Beamer gaining starts in their careers at the GLW, as well as musical instrument restoration for instruments of Hawaiian royalty (of the Kingdom of Hawaii), now curated by ʻIolani Palace. Additionally, the GLW's focus on traditional period stringed instruments was, in part, responsible for the resurgent interest in the viol and traditional luthierie methods within the western United States in the early 1970s.

Hawaii Capital Historic District

The Hawaii Capital Historic District in Honolulu, Hawaii, has been the center of government of Hawaii since 1845.

Hawaii State Capitol

The Hawaii State Capitol is the official statehouse or capitol building of the U.S. state of Hawaii. From its chambers, the executive and legislative branches perform the duties involved in governing the state. The Hawaii State Legislature—composed of the twenty-five member Hawaii State Senate led by the President of the Senate and the fifty-one member Hawaii State House of Representatives led by the Speaker of the House—convenes in the building. Its principal tenants are the Governor of Hawaii and Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii, as well as all legislative offices and the Legislative Reference Bureau.

Located in downtown Honolulu, the Hawaii State Capitol was commissioned and dedicated by John A. Burns, second Governor of Hawaii. It opened on March 15, 1969, replacing the former statehouse, the ʻIolani Palace.

Hawaii State Library

The Hawaiʻi State Library is a historic building in Honolulu, Hawaii that serves as the seat of the Hawaiʻi State Public Library System, the only statewide library system and one of the largest in the United States. The Hawaiʻi State Library building is located in downtown Honolulu adjacent to ʻIolani Palace and the Hawaiʻi State Capitol. Originally funded by Andrew Carnegie, the building was designed by architect Henry D. Whitfield. Groundbreaking took place in 1911 and construction was completed in 1913. In 1978, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places, as a contributing property within the Hawaii Capital Historic District.The building holds over 525,000 cataloged books. The entire Hawaiʻi State Public Library System has a collection of over 3 million books. Nearby is the Hawaiʻi State Archives which holds book collections of historical significance to Hawaiʻi. The Edna Allyn Children's Room houses murals by artist Juliette May Fraser depicting Hawaiian legends while the garden courtyard features a mosaic of ocean currents by Hiroki Morinoue. Barbara Hepworth's cast bronze sculptures called Parent I and Young Girl greet visitors at the lawn in front of the building.

Hawaiian architecture

Hawaiian architecture is a distinctive style of architectural arts developed and employed primarily in the Hawaiian Islands of the United States — buildings and various other structures indicative of the people of Hawaiʻi and the environment and culture in which they live. Though based on imported Western styles, unique Hawaiian traits make Hawaiian architectural styles stand alone against other styles. Hawaiian architecture reflects the history of the islands from antiquity through the kingdom era, from its territorial years to statehood and beyond.

The various styles through the history of Hawaiʻi are telling of the attitudes and the spirit of its people. Hawaiian architecture is said to tell the story of how indigenous native Hawaiians and their complex society in ancient times slowly evolved with the infusion of new styles from beyond its borders, from the early European traders, the visiting whalers and fur trappers from the Canadian wilderness, the missions of the New Englanders and French Catholics, the communes of the Latter-day Saints from Utah, the plantation laborer cultures from the Orient to the modern American metropolis that Honolulu is today.

Jim Bartels

Henry James "Jim" Nape Bartels (July 25, 1945 – April 20, 2003) was a Hawaiian museum curator and historian, who was the curator of ʻIolani Palace and later Washington Place.


Kalākaua (November 16, 1836 – January 20, 1891), born David Laʻamea Kamananakapu Mahinulani Naloiaehuokalani Lumialani Kalākaua and sometimes called The Merrie Monarch, was the last king and penultimate monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. Succeeding Lunalilo, he was elected to the vacant throne of Hawaiʻi against Queen Emma. He reigned from February 12, 1874, until his death in San Francisco, California, on January 20, 1891. Kalākaua had a convivial personality and enjoyed entertaining guests with his singing and ukulele playing. At his coronation and his birthday jubilee, the hula that had been banned from public in the kingdom became a celebration of Hawaiian culture.

During his reign, the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 brought great prosperity to the kingdom. Its renewal continued the prosperity but allowed the United States to have exclusive use of Pearl Harbor. In 1881, he took a trip around the world to encourage the immigration of contract sugar plantation workers. Kalākaua wanted Hawaiians to broaden their education beyond their nation. He instituted a government-financed program to sponsor qualified students to be sent abroad to further their education. Two of Kalākaua's projects, the statue of Kamehameha I and the rebuilding of ʻIolani Palace, were expensive endeavors but are popular tourist attractions today.

Extravagant expenditures and his plans for a Polynesian confederation played into the hands of annexationists who were already working towards a United States takeover of Hawaiʻi. In 1887, he was pressured to sign a new constitution that made the monarchy little more than a figurehead position. He had faith in his sister Liliʻuokalani's abilities to rule as regent when he named her as his heir-apparent following the death of their brother, William Pitt Leleiohoku, in 1877. After his death, she became the last monarch of Hawaiʻi.

King Kamehameha I Day

King Kamehameha I Day on June 11 is a public holiday in the U.S. state of Hawaii. It honors Kamehameha the Great, the monarch who first established the unified Kingdom of Hawaiʻi—comprising the Hawaiian Islands of Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui, and Hawaiʻi. In 1883 a statue of King Kamehameha was dedicated in Honolulu by King David Kalākaua (this was a duplicate, because the original statue was temporarily lost at sea but was recovered and is now located in North Kohala, island of Hawaiʻi). There are duplicates of this statue in Emancipation Hall at the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C. and in Hilo, island of Hawaiʻi.

List of Hawaiian royal residences

This is a list of residences once occupied by Hawaiian royalty during the Kingdom of Hawaii. Few can be referred to as palaces; most were private residences used by the aliʻi nui.

Lydia Liliuokalani Kawānanakoa

Helen Lydia Kamakaʻeha Liliʻuokalani Kawānanakoa (1905–1969), was a member of the House of Kawānanakoa and the second daughter of Prince David Kawānanakoa and Princess Abigail Campbell Kawānanakoa. She was known by many in the Hawaiian community as Princess Liliuokalani although she never officially held such a title.Born July 22, 1905, Liliʻuokalani Kawānanakoa was named after Queen Liliʻuokalani. She attended a convent school in San Francisco. During her youth, she was known as the "flapper" princess and sported the then-fashionable bobbed hair.Liliʻuokalani married five times: first to Dr. William Jeremiah Ellerbrock on January 17, 1925 at Honolulu. Her second marriage was to Charles James Brenham at Niu, August 11, 1928. Her third husband was Clark Lee, and her fourth husband was Charles E. Morris. She had one daughter from her first marriage: Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawānanakoa (born 1926).

She was the founder of the Kona Hawaiian Civic Club in 1952 and was the founder and First President of Friends of ʻIolani Palace 1966-1969.She died of cancer at her home in Waialae, Honolulu, on May 19, 1969. At her request, her funeral was a private ceremony with none of the pomp or displays of former Hawaiian royal funerals. She is buried at Nuʻuanu Memorial Park.

Mauna ʻAla

Mauna ʻAla (Fragrant Hills) in the Hawaiian language, is the Royal Mausoleum of Hawaii (also called Royal Mausoleum State Monument) and the final resting place of Hawaii's two prominent royal families: the Kamehameha Dynasty and the Kalākaua Dynasty.

Proposed 1893 Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom

The proposed 1893 Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom would have been a replacement of the Constitution of 1887, primarily based on the Constitution of 1864 put forth by Queen Lili'uokalani. While it never became anything more than a draft, the constitution had a profound impact on Hawaiʻi's history: it set off a chain of events that eventually resulted in the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

Robert C. Barnfield

Robert C. Barnfield (1856–1893) was an English painter who was born in Gloucester. He trained in London as an architect, but relocated to New Zealand in 1883 because of his asthma. In 1885, he arrived in Honolulu aboard the Explorer. He remained in Honolulu, where he painted and gave art lessons, until his death on 14 May 1893 at age 37.The Bishop Museum (Honolulu), the Honolulu Museum of Art and ʻIolani Palace are among the public collections holding paintings by Robert C. Barnfield.

Territorial Building

The Territorial Building is a government building of the Territory of Hawaiʻi.

Throne room

A throne room or throne hall is the room, often rather a hall, in the official residence of the crown, either a palace or a fortified castle, where the throne of a senior figure (usually a monarch) is set up with elaborate pomp—usually raised, often with steps, and under a canopy, both of which are part of the original notion of the Greek word thronos.

ʻIolani Barracks

ʻIolani Barracks, or hale koa (house [of] warriors) in Hawaiian, was built in 1870, designed by the architect Theodore Heuck, under the direction of King Lot Kapuaiwa. Located directly adjacent to ʻIolani Palace in downtown Honolulu, it housed about 80 members of the monarch's Royal Guard until the overthrow of the Monarchy in 1893. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 as part of the Hawaii Capital Historic District.

Lists by state
Lists by insular areas
Lists by associated state
Other areas
State Parks,
Recreation Areas
and Preserves
Royal sites of Hawaiʻi


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