Aliʻiōlani Hale

Aliʻiōlani Hale is a building located in downtown Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, currently used as the home of the Hawaiʻi State Supreme Court. It is the former seat of government of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi and the Republic of Hawaiʻi.

Located in the building's courtyard is the famed gold-leaf statue of Kamehameha the Great.

Aliʻiōlani Hale
Aliʻiōlani Hale at midday
Aliʻiōlani Hale is today the home of the Hawaiʻi State Supreme Court and the statue of Kamehameha the Great.
Aliʻiōlani Hale is located in Hawaii
Aliʻiōlani Hale
Location417 King Street, Honolulu, Hawaii
Coordinates21°18′19″N 157°51′36″W / 21.30528°N 157.86000°WCoordinates: 21°18′19″N 157°51′36″W / 21.30528°N 157.86000°W
ArchitectThomas Rowe, Robert Stirling
Architectural styleItalian Renaissance Revival
Part ofHawaii Capital Historic District (#78001020)
NRHP reference #72000414[1]
Added to NRHPFebruary 2, 1972

Design and history

The Aliʻiōlani Hale was designed by Australian Thomas Rowe in an Italian Renaissance Revival as the royal palace for King Kamehameha V.[2] In the Hawaiian language, Aliʻiōlani Hale means "House of Heavenly Kings".[3] The name "Aliʻiōlani" was also one of the given names of Kamehameha V.

Although the building was designed to be a palace, Kamehameha V realized that the Hawaiian government desperately needed a government building. At that time, the several buildings in Honolulu used by the government were very small and cramped, clearly inadequate for the growing Hawaiian government. Thus, when Kamehameha V ordered construction of Aliʻiōlani Hale, he commissioned it as a government office building instead of a palace.

Kamehameha V laid the cornerstone for the building on February 19, 1872.[4][5] He died before the building was completed, and it was dedicated in 1874 by one of his successors, King David Kalākaua. At the time, Hawaiian media criticized the building's extravagant design, suggesting that the building be converted into a palace as originally designed.

Until 1893, the building held most of the executive departments of the Hawaiian government as well as the Hawaiian legislature and courts.

Overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy

It was from Aliʻiōlani Hale in 1893 that the Committee of Safety, under the leadership of Lorrin A. Thurston, deposed Queen Liliʻuokalani by public proclamation.

After the establishment of the Hawaiian provisional government in 1893 and the Republic of Hawaiʻi in 1894, some of the offices in Aliʻiōlani Hale were moved to ʻIolani Palace, including the Hawaiian legislature. As a result, Aliʻiolani Hale became primarily a judicial building.

Aliʻiōlani Hale since 1900

The growing size of Hawaiʻi's government continued to be a problem for the building, however, especially after Hawaiʻi became a United States territory in 1900. In 1911, the building was extensively renovated to help solve these space problems. The entire interior of the building was gutted and rebuilt, giving the building's interior a completely new floorplan. Since the building was originally designed to be a palace, its floorplan was not adequate for its later usage as a judicial building. The new layout of the building fixed this problem.

The size of the territorial government continued to grow. In the 1940s, a new wing was added to the building to help alleviate the growing problem of overcrowding. The architects who designed the new wing tried to blend it in with the original building that dated back to the 1870s.

Over the next many decades, most of the state judiciary functions moved out of Aliʻiōlani Hale to various other buildings around Honolulu (including the state district, family, and circuit courts). Today, the building houses the Hawaiʻi State Supreme Court and is the administrative center of the Hawaiʻi State Judiciary. It also houses the Judiciary History Center, a museum featuring a multimedia presentation of Hawaiʻi's judiciary, a restored historic courtroom, and other exhibits dealing with Hawaiʻi's judicial history. The building also houses Hawaiʻi's largest law library. In 2010, John Andreoni's firm of King's Custom Koa won the contract to replace the koa wood doors.[6]

In December 2005, a capsule buried by Kamehameha V when he laid the cornerstone was located, at the direction of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, by Professor Larry Connors of the University of Denver using ground penetrating radar. The capsule contained photos of royal families and the constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Hawaiian postage stamps, Hawaiian and foreign coinage, newspapers, a calendar and books. The capsule was located to protect it during future renovations, and not retrieved due to concerns of damaging the structure of the building itself.[7][8]

Copper thieves stripped several copper downspouts from the building in 2006.[9]

In the 2010 version of CBS' Hawaii Five-0 TV series, Aliʻiōlani Hale is depicted as the Iolani Palace; headquarters for the Five-0 task force with exterior shots of the building being used frequently throughout the series.

Aliʻiōlani Hale is one of many buildings in downtown Honolulu listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Within walking distance are the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace, Hawaiʻi State Capitol, Hawaiʻi State Library, Honolulu Hale, ʻIolani Palace, Kawaiahaʻo Church, Territorial Building, and Washington Place.

King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center

The King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center, located in Aliʻiōlani Hale, focuses on Hawaii's legal history and landmark court cases. Admission is free and the public can tour the exhibits from Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm. Group tours are offered by reservation.[10]

See also


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ "Historic Aliiolani Hale – Hawaii State Judiciary Building". Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  3. ^ Glenda Bendure; Ned Friary (2003). Oahu. Lonely Planet. p. 104. ISBN 978-1-74059-201-7.
  4. ^ Song, Jaymes (December 11, 2005). "Search Begins for Hawaiian King's Long Lost Time Capsule". The Victoria Advocate. p. 4C.
  5. ^ Jaymes Song (December 10, 2005). "Radar to search for royal time capsule". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved December 3, 2010.
  6. ^ Chiem, Linda (August 29, 2010). "Hawaii woodworker carves a new business niche". Pacific Business News.
  7. ^ Song, Jaymes (December 12, 2005). "Time Capsule of Hawaiian King Located". The Victoria Advocate. p. A3.
  8. ^ "Radar quickly pinpoints site of Kamehameha V capsule". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Associated Press. December 11, 2005. Retrieved December 3, 2010.
  9. ^ "Copper Thieves Hit Supreme Court Building". KITV. July 31, 2006.
  10. ^ "King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center". official web site. Retrieved 2009-11-10.

External links

1892 Legislative Session of the Hawaiian Kingdom

The 1892 Session of the Legislature of the Hawaiian Kingdom, also known as the Longest Legislature, was a period from May 28, 1892, to January 14, 1893, in which the legislative assembly of the Hawaiian Kingdom met for its traditional bi-annual session. This unicameral body was composed of the upper House of Nobles and the lower House of Representatives. This would be the first session during the reign of Queen Liliʻuokalani and the last meeting of the legislative assembly during the Hawaiian monarchy. Three days after the prorogation of the assembly, many of the political tension developed during the legislative debates and the queen's attempt to promulgate a new constitution while her legislators were not in session led to the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom on January 17, 1893.

Members of this legislative session included citizens and subjects of the kingdom of either full or mixed Native Hawaiian, Euro-American and Asian descent, who were divided across different party lines. They included the insurgents who would play an eventual role in the deposition of the queen, and also the political resistance leaders who would lead the opposition to the overthrow and attempts to annex the Hawaiian Islands to the United States.

Courts of Hawaii

Courts of Hawaii include:

State courts of HawaiiHawaiʻi State Supreme CourtHawaii Intermediate Court of AppealsHawaii State Circuit Courts (4 circuits)

Hawaii State Family Courts (4 circuits)

Hawaii State District Courts (including Small Claims Court)

Hawaiʻi State Land Court

Hawaii Tax Appeal CourtFederal courts located in Hawaii

United States District Court for the District 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.

First Hawaiian Center

First Hawaiian Center is the tallest building in the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi and the city of Honolulu, the largest city in the state. It is the world corporate headquarters of First Hawaiian Bank, the oldest and largest bank based in Hawaii. The tower is one of the most well-known buildings in Honolulu, with a striking presence at the center of downtown Honolulu's skyline.

Hawaiian Kingdom

The Hawaiian Kingdom (a.k.a. Kingdom of Hawaiʻi) originated in 1795 with the unification of the independent islands of Hawaiʻi, Oʻahu, Maui, Molokaʻi, and Lānaʻi under one government. In 1810, the whole Hawaiian Islands became unified when Kauaʻi and Niʻihau joined the Hawaiian Kingdom voluntarily. Two major dynastic families ruled the kingdom: the House of Kamehameha and the House of Kalākaua.

The Kingdom won recognition from major European powers. The United States became its chief trading partner. The U.S. watched over the Kingdom lest some other power (such as Britain or Japan) threaten to seize control. Hawaii was forced to adopt a new constitution in 1887 when King Kalākaua was threatened with violence by the Honolulu Rifles, a white, anti-monarchist militia, to sign it. Queen Liliʻuokalani, who succeeded Kalākaua in 1891, tried to abrogate the 1887 constitution and promulgate a new constitution, but was overthrown in 1893, largely at the hands of the Committee of Safety, a group of residents consisting of Hawaiian subjects and foreign nationals of American, British and German descent, many of whom were educated in the U.S., lived there for a time and identified strongly as American.. Hawaii became a republic until the United States annexed it using The Newlands Resolution which was a joint resolution passed on July 4, 1898, by the United States Congress creating the Territory of Hawaii.

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.

Honolulu Hale

Honolulu Hale (originally called the Honolulu Municipal Building), located on 530 South King Street in downtown Honolulu in the City & County of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, is the official seat of government of the city and county, site of the chambers of the Mayor of Honolulu and the Honolulu City Council.

In the Hawaiian language, hale (pronounced HAH-leh) means house or building. Honolulu Hale means Honolulu House (although the Hawaiian language word order would be Hale Honolulu). In 1978, it was listed as a contributing property to the Hawaii Capital Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

John Timoteo Baker

John Timoteo Baker, also given as John Tamatoa Baker, (1852 – September 7, 1921) was a Hawaiian politician, businessman, and rancher who served many political posts in the Kingdom of Hawaii, including Governor of the Island of Hawaii from 1892 to 1893. Baker and his brother became the models for the Kamehameha Statues.

Kamehameha Statue (Honolulu cast)

The Kamehameha I statue (Honolulu cast) is an outdoor sculpture by American artist Thomas Ridgeway Gould, erected in 1883. The first cast in the series, Kamehameha I statue (original cast), is located in North Kohala on the island of Hawaiʻi. The second cast stands outside the Aliʻiōlani Hale government building in Honolulu, located on the island of Oahu. Made of cast brass, it depicts Kamehameha I and has become a recognizable cultural symbol for the Hawaiian Islands.

Kamehameha V Post Office

Kamehameha V Post Office at the corner of Merchant and Bethel Streets in Honolulu, Hawaii was the first building in the Hawaiian Islands to be constructed entirely of precast concrete blocks reinforced with iron bars. It was built by J.G. Osborne in 1871 and the success of this new method was replicated on a much grander scale the next year in the royal palace, Aliʻiōlani Hale. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on 5 May 1972.

It was named for King Kamehameha V who built a number of other public buildings during his reign.The building served as a post office until it was converted into a district court office in 1922. In 1976 it was restored by the architects Anderson & Reinhardt as an example of the European Neoclassical architecture and new methods of construction during the Hawaiian Monarchy.

Kamehameha statue (original cast)

The Kamehameha I statue (original cast) is an outdoor sculpture by American artist Thomas Ridgeway Gould, cast in 1880 and installed in 1883. It stands in front of the old country courthouse in the town of Kapaʻau, located in North Kohala on the Island of Hawaiʻi. Made of cast brass and painted with lifelike colors, it depicts Kamehameha I, and represents an important cultural and spiritual object for the local community.

Kohala (mountain)

Kohala is the oldest of five volcanoes that make up the island of Hawaii. Kohala is an estimated one million years old—so old that it experienced, and recorded, the reversal of earth's magnetic field 780,000 years ago. It is believed to have breached sea level more than 500,000 years ago and to have last erupted 120,000 years ago. Kohala is 606 km2 (234 sq mi) in area and 14,000 km3 (3,400 cu mi) in volume, and thus constitutes just under 6% of the island of Hawaii.Kohala is a shield volcano cut by multiple deep gorges, which are the product of thousands of years of erosion. Unlike the typical symmetry of other Hawaiian volcanoes, Kohala is shaped like a foot. Toward the end of its shield-building stage 250,000 to 300,000 years ago, a landslide destroyed the northeast flank of the volcano, reducing its height by over 1,000 m (3,300 ft) and traveling 130 km (81 mi) across the sea floor. This huge landslide may be partially responsible for the volcano's foot-like shape. Marine fossils have been found on the flank of the volcano, far too high to have been deposited by standard ocean waves. Analysis indicated that the fossils had been deposited by a massive tsunami approximately 120,000 years ago.

Because it is so far from the nearest major landmass, the ecosystem of Kohala has experienced the phenomenon of geographic isolation, resulting in an ecosystem radically different from that of other places. Invasive species introduced by man present a problem to Kohala's ecosystem, as they push native species out of their habitat. There are several initiatives to preserve Kohala's ecosystem. Crops, especially sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), have been harvested on the Leeward side of the volcano for centuries as well. The northern part of the island is named after the mountain, with two districts named North and South Kohala. King Kamehameha I, the first King of the Kingdom of Hawaii, was born in North Kohala, near Hawi.

Merchant Street Historic District

The Merchant Street Historic District in Honolulu, Hawaii, was the city's earliest commercial center.

Outline of Hawaii

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the U.S. state of Hawaii:

Hawaii is the newest state among the 50 states of the United States of America. It is also the southernmost state, the only tropical state, and the only state that was previously an independent monarchy. The state comprises the Hawaiian Islands (with the exception of Midway) in the North Pacific Ocean and is the only U.S. state that is not primarily located on the continent of North America.

Prince Kuhio Federal Building

The Prince Kūhiō Federal Building, formally the Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole Federal Building and United States Courthouse, is the official seat of the United States federal government and its local branches of various agencies and departments in the state of Hawaiʻi. Its address is 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu, Hawaii 96850.The building was completed in 1977 with a total of 929,857 square feet (86,386.5 m2) of working space.

It houses the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii. the United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Honolulu Division), the offices of Hawaii's U.S. Senators, the offices of Hawaii's U.S. Representatives for Hawaii's 1st congressional district and Hawaii's 2nd congressional district, and branch offices of the United States Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, United States Department of Justice, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, among other entities.The building was named after Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole, heir to the throne of the overthrown Kingdom of Hawaiʻi, who served as Republican territorial delegate to the United States Congress from 1903 through 1922.

It was built on part of the former US Army Fort Armstrong, which was named for Samuel C. Armstrong (1839–1893), son of Hawaiian missionaries.

Across Ala Moana Boulevard is the Aloha Tower at the Honolulu harbor. Other parts of Fort Armstrong became a container terminal for military supplies.The Prince Kūhiō Building was constructed to replace the aging Federal Court, Customs House and Post Office building fronting ʻIolani Palace and adjacent to Aliʻiōlani Hale which had been built in 1922 and expanded in 1931. After being mostly vacant, the old building was renovated and put up for sale. The old building was given back to the state of Hawaiʻi and was renamed the King David Kalākaua Building in December 2003.Construction of the Prince Kūhiō Federal Building was not without controversy. The General Services Administration wanted a simple tall office tower, while local architects argued for a building more appropriate to Hawaii.

Statutes provided that all buildings between the shoreline and the foot of Punchbowl Crater could not be taller than the Hawaiʻi State Capitol. The federal government, not legally limited by local statutes, defied the statutes and constructed the building as the tallest structure in the path of the capitol building's view of the shoreline. The complex includes ten stories of offices (including a penthouse level), connected by an enclosed bridge to a six-story courthouse building (including basement).The Prince Kūhiō Federal Building was designed by Joseph G.F. Farrell's firm Architects Hawaii. Other government buildings designed by the firm include the capitol building of Palau, which opened in 2006.

The building was selected for $121 million of renovations as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The plan is to make the building more efficient by upgrading its mechanical, electrical, fire-safety, and plumbing systems.

It had already been cited as an efficient building by the Energy Star program.

Traces of asbestos were discovered during the first phase.

The second phase of construction was approved in March 2011.

Supreme Court of Hawaii

The Supreme Court of Hawaii is the highest court of the State of Hawaii in the United States. Its decisions are binding on all other courts of the Hawaii State Judiciary. The principal purpose of the Supreme Court is to review the decisions of the trial courts in which appeals have been granted. Appeals are decided by the members of the Supreme Court based on written records and in some cases may grant oral arguments in the main Supreme Court chamber. Like its mainland United States counterparts, the Supreme Court does not take evidence and uses only evidence provided in previous trials.

The court meets in Aliʻiōlani Hale in Honolulu.

Wilcox rebellion of 1889

The Wilcox rebellion of 1889 (also known as the Wilcox insurrection of 1889) was a revolt led by Robert Wilcox to force King Kalākaua of Hawaii to reenact the Hawaiian Constitution of 1864 from the Constitution of 1887.

William Little Lee

William Little Lee (February 25, 1821 – May 28, 1857) was an American lawyer who became the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for the Kingdom of Hawaii.

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.


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