Kawaiaha‘o Church to get new annex
Construction of a $12.5 million multipurpose building will begin this summer on the grounds of the landmark Kawaiaha'o Church in downtown Honolulu.
On Friday, the state Board of Land and Natural Resources authorized release of a $1 million state grant appropriated by the 2006 Legislature.
The board reviewed plans for the two-story building that will replace a small office annex built in 1924 and Likeke Hall, which has been used as meeting space by government, community and cultural organizations, as well as a social hall for church events since 1940. Construction will be on the makai side of the church sanctuary at 957 Punchbowl St.
The new building will include offices, classrooms, meeting rooms, a conference room, a social hall and a kitchen. Also planned are a bookstore, a reading library, space for church archives and a minimuseum of historical artifacts.
COURTESY OF KAWAIAHA'O CHURCH
An artist's rendering shows what a new two-story, $12.5 million multipurpose building will look like next to Kawaiaha'o Church. Groundbreaking is planned for August.
The coral-block Kawaiaha'o Church is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in 1842 at the site of the first Christian church in Hawaii, established in 1829 by New England Protestant missionaries. It was attended by 19th-century Hawaiian alii and was the scene of formal state ceremonies. Hawaiian cultural events, concerts, Japanese weddings as well as religious services are held there, and tourists come to join the 600-member congregation for services in the Hawaiian language.
Church trustees sought a $2 million historical preservation grant from the state and also have applied for $500,000 from the National Park Service's Save America's Treasures program, said Valerie Lota Trotter, church treasurer and co-chairwoman of the Kawaiaha'o Capital Campaign Committee.
"With all the competing demands for money, we appreciate what the Legislature gave," Trotter said. "We have received contributions from the major foundations in town," including the Atherton, Castle, Cooke, Frear and Strong family trusts.
"Many have a historical tie, through missionary and Hawaiian ancestors," she said.
She said the capital campaign has collected more than half its goal, also receiving contributions and commitments from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Kamehameha Schools, businesses and individuals.
Trotter said the new building "will almost triple the space we have."
New facilities will help in the church's ministry to homeless people, she said. Volunteers prepare meals at the Likeke Hall kitchen and distribute them in Maili and Waianae. "Our membership is largely Hawaiian and we recognize the needs in some Hawaiian communities."
Groundbreaking is planned for August. Franklin Wong and Associates are the architects and S&M Sakamoto is the general contractor. During the three-year construction project, church staff and programs will relocate to the basement of the sanctuary building.