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Sunday, April 18, 2004



[ A WALKING TOUR ]

Holoholo Honolulu


3 ‘court architects’ were
involved in ’Iolani Palace
work


There is probably no more historic and memorable structure in downtown Honolulu than this ornate Christmas present of a building, and we'll get back to it at a later date with more details. It's also one of the most difficult to pin down in terms of architectural style. It used three "court architects," one after another, and Thomas Baker's influence is generally considered to dominate.

Even when it opened in 1882, exasperated newspaper accounts said, "If a name is to be coined for it we should favor 'American Florentine' as the nearest approach ..." and note was made of the "Italianate" towers capping the structure.

Replacing an earlier, wood-frame 'Iolani Palace, the building is brick faced with cement and trimmed with concrete block, with extremely ornate interior wood motifs.

'Iolani Palace was the primary residence of both King Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani, and the center of attention in the 1893 overthrow. Once a "provisonal" government was declared, it remained the seat of power in Hawaii until the new capitol building was erected. Since then, it has been restored to its royalist glory by the Friends of 'Iolani Palace.

It was officially renamed 'Iolani Palace by the Territorial Legislature in 1935. And, televised memories to the contrary, the Palace never did house the Five-O branch of Hawaiian law enforcement.

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’Iolani Palace

Opened: 1882
Architect: Thomas J. Baker, C.S. Wall and Isaac Moore
Style: Italianate
Address: 364 S. King St.
National Register: 1966 #66000293 (1962 NHL)
Hawaii Register: No



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BURL BURLINGAME / BBURLINGAME@STARBULLETIN.COM
With a style all its own, many are at a loss to describe 'Iolani Palace's architecture. At upper left is a stair detail.


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HAWAII STATE ARCHIVES
Soldiers of the provisional government watch over the palace during the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.



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Quicktime VR Panorama
Click on pictures to view panaromas

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Every Sunday in the Star-Bulletin Travel section, rediscover the charms of old Hawaii through a tour created by the Honolulu Historic Trail Committee and Historic Hawai'i Foundation and supported by the city's Office of Economic Development. The yearlong project commemorates Honolulu's bicentennial.


See Holoholo Honolulu for past articles.

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