By Dennis Odar, Star-Bulletin
Vicky Cayetano announced that Jim Bartels will be the
new director of Washington Place during a press conference
held in the mansion's dining room. Behind them is a
portrait of Queen Liliuokalani.
Jim Bartels named
new director of
He wants to reinstillBy Gordon Y.K. Pang
'feeling' at the mansion
New Washington Place Director Jim Bartels says he and first lady Vicky Cayetano want to enhance the mansion's legacy as a living tribute to Queen Liliuokalani, Hawaii's last monarch.
Bartels was named to the $52,000-a-year position at a news conference held with the first lady yesterday at the Washington Place dining room.
"As this home is now 152 years old, it really needs a little more attention," Cayetano said. "I greatly appreciate the expertise and background of Mr. Bartels."
Bartels resigned as Iolani Palace curator and managing director during the summer after differences with board leadership. He stays on with the palace as a volunteer.
Bartels said the goal of restoration at Washington Place is not to restore it to a certain period of history, which is the case at Iolani Palace.
Instead, he said, the mission is to reinstill Liliuokalani's personality and "feeling" and mingle it with various touches made through the years by its other occupants, as well as make it livable for the Cayetanos.
"This is a living home, we don't need or want to be as rigid in its usage," Bartels said. "This home has to live."
Further, he said, "the history of this house is the story of its whole history so it's very important to remember the Burns family, the Waihee family, the Ariyoshi family, the Quinn family. That's part of the history.
"As much as we bring Queen Liliuokalani back to the home, we aren't going to destroy its later history - it's all part of the story."
The Cayetanos have had a number of open houses for the public since occupying the home and that will continue, Cayetano said.
"We want to do that but at the same time we're very sensitive to the appropriateness too of having certain things at Washington Place," she said.
Bartels said the mansion is "fine shape" despite being the home of 16 governors and their families, including that of first state Gov. William Quinn, who had six teen-agers living with him. Gov. Ben Cayetano, Vicki Cayetano and four of their children now live there.
Washington Place, which uses Greek Revival architecture, was built by seafaring ship captain John Dominis for his family. Later, it became home to his son John Owen Dominis, and his wife, the future Queen Liliuokalani.
It served as Liliuokalani's home until her death in 1917. Beginning in 1922 with Wallace Farrington, Washington Place has been the home of Hawaii's governors after the territory purchased it from the queen's estate.
Annual operating budget for Washington Place, including Bartels' position and that of six others, is $218,000.