Chinatown gets designation as historic area for preservation
Honolulu's Chinatown has been put on a list of historical areas in the United States that should be preserved.
The Preserve America Community Neighborhood designation was announced yesterday by John Nau, chairman of the White House Advisory Council on Historical Preservation.
The designation will make Chinatown eligible for federal historic preservation funds, said Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who joined Nau in making the announcement at a reception hosted by the Historic Hawaii Foundation.
"This will help our efforts to develop Chinatown as a culture and arts center while ensuring we maintain its rich historic legacy for future generations," he said in a written release.
The downtown area that has been a center of commerce since the mid-1800s is the first place in Hawaii to be recognized in the Preserve America program. Nau said it is only the seventh urban neighborhood to be designated.
The revitalization of Chinatown will be the topic of the Mayor's Chinatown Summit June 22 at Hawaii Theatre. The all-day program is free and open to the public. June 17 is the deadline to register by calling the theater box office, 528-0506.
Preserve America is a White House program that initially focused on historic communities and was expanded last year to recognize historic areas within large cities as well.
The application for recognition was submitted by the Honolulu Culture and Arts District Association and supported by the city administration, the Historic Hawaii Foundation and the Downtown Neighborhood Board. It was approved by the U.S. Advisory Council for Historic Preservation and the U.S. Department of the Interior.