Every year, the Historic Hawaii Foundation (HHF) releases a list of Hawaii’s most endangered historic places. It’s meant to be a reminder of how these amazing island sites should be cared for; otherwise, there’s a chance of losing them forever.
In past years, the list included places like Alekoko Fishpond on Kauai. The pond is believed to be built by menehunes and has become a popular stop for tourists driving by.
Another site, also on Kauai, would be the Coco Palms Resort. We took you inside the dilapidated resort made famous by Elvis’ “Blue Hawaii” film. The good news is that things are looking up for Coco Palms, as it may soon be getting a second chance. Kauai County officials aim to revoke the permit given to a Maryland-based developer. The company bought the resort several years back but never followed through with its plans to redevelop. Hence, it continues to sit in a decrepit state.
On Oahu, the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium made the 2005 list of endangered places. It took several decades of debate between government officials and community stakeholders to decide on the Natatorium’s future. Like Coco Palms, it sat in a decaying state throughout such discussions. However, a recent decision to replace the 86-year-old complex with a new beach (to be called Memorial Beach) had been made. The famous arches will be kept intact and moved inland.
Many places on the endangered list most likely made it there because they have fallen victim to time. The list initiates discussions on the future of such sites, particularly on how to preserve them in the best interest of the public. But most importantly, it opens our eyes to pieces of history planted throughout the community; things that would have otherwise continued to go unnoticed.
Check out this map of Hawaii’s Endangered Historic Places.