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Monday, March 13, 2000


By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
The pumping station on Ala Moana Boulevard
sits empty amid construction rubble.

Pumping station
plans bust

This week, we revisit the scene of the very first WatDat five years ago. The elegant pumping station on Ala Moana Boulevard, an architectural landmark designed by O.G. Traphagen (who also dashed off the Moana Hotel) is one of Honolulu's few historic structures on the National Register. The pumping station is a Richardson Roman-esque homage to the glory days of municipal pride at the dawn of the 20th century.

When last we visited, the building had been empty since 1955 and awaiting a sugar daddy to spruce it up. Today, nothing's changed, except more windows are broken, and the grounds are a dumping site for construction materials.

Grand plans have come and gone. The Historic Hawaii Foundation was going to lease it for a nominal fee and operate a learning center, but then state planners -- the site is on ceded lands -- demanded "fair market" rents based on commercial, not educational, usage. Then the Hawaii Community Development Authority asked for proposals, figuring the "best use" of the property is one that generates lots of cash.

They struck a deal with South Carolina developer Weiser Cos., who spun off schemes such as theme restaurants. But Weiser -- who was supposed to start paying rent on Jan. 8 -- missed the state's deadline and the deal collapsed.

Back to square one. "The bottom line is that it's not easy to do that building," said HCDA director Jan Yokota. "Since it's a historic structure, it has to be restored and then revenue has to be generated from it. You can't tear it down and build on the site."

Even if another state agency were interested, they'd have to pay for everything and then generate revenue, and that's generally not how government services work.

And so it remains a crumbling monument to how little the state cares about its own history, even though the landmark building is seen by every single tourist coming to and from Waikiki.

Burl Burlingame

Curious or puzzled about something? Write WatDat, P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu, HI 96802.

Radio Log

KONG 570-AM / 93.5 FM: Adult contemporary rock with some Hawaiian music
KSSK 590-AM / 92.3-FM: Adult contemporary music
KHNR 650-AM: All news
KQMQ 93.1-FM: Contemporary hit radio
KQMQ 690-AM: Radio Disney
KGU 760-AM: Sports radio
KHVH 830-AM: News, talk, traffic, weather
KAIM 870-AM / 95.5-FM: Christian music and teaching
KJPN 940-AM: Japanese-language news, adult contemporary music and talk shows
KIKI 990-AM / 93.9-FM: Contemporary country AM; contemporary hits FM
KLHT 1040-AM: Christian radio
KWAI 1080-AM: Talk radio
KZOO 1210-AM: Japanese-language
KNDI 1270-AM: Live news from the Philippines; programs in 10 languages
KIFO 1380-AM: News, public affairs
KCCN 1420-AM / 100.3-FM: All talk / UH sports AM; contemporary island hits, FM
KUMU 1500-AM / 94.7-FM: Adult standards, AM; light rock, FM
KHPR 88.1-FM: Classical, news, public affairs
KIPO 89.3-FM: Jazz, classical, news
KTUH 90.3-FM: Jazz, blues, Hawaiian, rock, countryand alternative
KKUA 90.7-FM: Classical, news and public affairs
KKCR 90.9 / 91.9-FM: Hawaiian music, midnight-3 p.m.; and rock, reggae, classical and new age
KRTR 96.3-FM: Adult contemporary music and news
KPOI 97.5-FM: Modern rock
KDNN 98.5-FM: Contemporary Hawaiian
KORL 99.5-FM: Adult contemporary
STAR 101.9-FM: Modern hits
KKHN 102.7-FM: Country
KXME 104.3-FM: Top 40
KINE 105.1-FM: Hawaiian
KGMZ 107.9-FM: Oldies

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