Materials for the rebuilding of Charles Lindbergh's house sit on Haleakala National Park property in Kipahulu, Maui.
Advocate fears for Lindbergh house
A man behind an effort to relocate and rebuild famed aviator Charles Lindbergh's Kipahulu home on Haleakala National Park land fears he has just two weeks to persuade National Park Service officials to change their minds and re-accept his proposal before the partially rebuilt structure will be bulldozed.
Greg Marshall bought the home from the landowner and dismantled it in 2003.
The nonprofit Historic Hawai'i Foundation agreed to accept donations for the project. And the park service agreed to allow Marshall to rebuild the home on park property in Kipahulu to serve as a conservation center.
However, as the cost of the project grew from the original $300,000 estimate -- to $495,000 and then $800,000 -- Marshall said the Historic Hawai'i Foundation backed out and even returned some checks to donors.
He said the cost increased because the house has to be rebuilt to existing code, which means a different foundation, concrete walls to back the original ones made of lava rock, an upgraded electrical system and sprinklers.
Also, Haleakala National Park Superintendent Don Reeser, who supported the project, retired in 2005 and was replaced by a new superintendent who wanted the stalled project removed from the park land, Marshall said.
With time running out on his agreement with the park service to complete the project in five years, Marshall sued the Historic Hawai'i Foundation and the park service in federal court to uphold their agreements.
Yesterday a federal jury found in favor of the Historic Hawai'i Foundation and the park service.
"The jury left the parties where they were before they came to court," said James Bickerton, Marshall's lawyer.
On the site today stand concrete walls on a concrete foundation. Lumber from the exterior of the home is in stacks nearby. And interior redwood lumber is in a container on the site.
Marshall said the exterior lumber shows deterioration and that the roof needs to be replaced, but he said the interior lumber shows no damage.
He said the five years the park service gave him to complete the project expires March 24.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry Yee said the park service wants to return the project site to its original condition. That means the walls and foundation will be removed, he said.
Marshall said he has been trying to talk to current Superintendent Marilyn Parris to try to get an extension for the project. "She hasn't been returning my calls," he said.
He says there is about $150,000 in the bank to fund the project and has promised an additional $650,000 he anticipates from the sale of an apartment in New Mexico. Marshall is hoping a good-faith showing will change Parris' mind.
He said he has already put in a lot of his own money in the project, including $150,000 he took out from a second mortgage on his home.