BIG ISLAND EARTHQUAKE
1 YEAR LATER
COURTESY DAUGHTERS OF HAWAII
The exterior of Hulihee Palace in Kailua-Kona shows damage remaining to be repaired. The attraction was briefly closed following the earthquake and aftershocks, but its ground floor was soon reopened to visitors.
State weighs bids to repair Kailua-Kona attraction
KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii » State officials hope to have a contract approved soon to repair a popular tourist attraction in the heart of Kailua-Kona that was heavily damaged by the quake.
Hulihee Palace, built in the style of a New England mansion in 1838 by Hawaii Island Gov. John Adams Kuakini, was briefly closed following the earthquake and aftershocks, but its ground floor was soon reopened to visitors at a reduced price of $4, compared with the normal $6.
Built of rough basalt stones, the palace suffered the most serious damage with displacement of stones in the triangular gables at either end of the attic above the second floor, an architectural report said.
"The stone walls have sort of inched in," said David Scott, of the Daughters of Hawaii, which has leased the state-owned building since 1927, displaying it as a museum while also being responsible for the maintenance.
Repairs following the earthquakes were beyond the organization's means. Part of the damage was destruction of heavy plaster cornice molding at the ceiling line of some rooms. No one in Hawaii knows how to do that work, so a specialist will come from the mainland, Scott said.
This spring the Legislature appropriated $1 million for repairs, but the sole bid on the job came in higher than the funds available. The state is negotiating to lower the cost, Scott said.
When the work is completed, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse 75 percent of eligible costs, but not all costs will be eligible, he said. The Daughters have collected $200,000 in donations for other expenses.
Scott hopes the work can be completed in nine months.