Holoholo Honolulu

Foster Botanical Gardens
is a 20-acre, green oasis

Situated on more than 20 acres in downtown Honolulu, Foster Botanical Gardens is a green oasis in the midst of soaring development. Although it's isolated and has no significant architectural marvels, the park does contain historic trees and landscape.

After all, in the late 19th century, remodeling the landscape to improve on Mother Nature was a theme in urban planning -- look at New York's Central Park, or San Francisco's Golden Gate or Presidio parks.

Ship owner Thomas Foster and his part-Hawaiian wife Mary purchased the property in 1880 from Dr. William Hillebrand, a German botanist who started a garden there for his own enjoyment. Mrs. Foster expanded the garden by purchasing additional acres. An adjoining property was purchased by Princess Liliuokalani from the estate of Queen Kalama, wife of Kamehameha III. Liliuokalani kept a cottage on the property, and a few years before her death, transferred title to the Civic Federation of Honolulu as a park.

In 1930, Mrs. Foster also bequeathed her garden to the city of Honolulu, and the two properties were joined together. Intensely cultivated Foster Garden remains is the centerpiece, while the smaller Liliuokalani Garden, to the north, is a bit more rural in nature.

While Foster Botanical Garden is considered to be the most significant tropical plant collection in the United States, it's also a cool and refreshing place to stroll on a hot day.


Foster Botanical Garden

Opened: 1853
Architect: Harold L. Lyon
Style: Landscaping
Address: 50 N. Vineyard Blvd.
National Register: 1993 #93000377
Hawaii Register: 1988

Foster Botanical Gardens is an oasis in the center of downtown Honolulu.


See Honolulu City Highlights

Various Honolulu historical organizations have clamored for years to have some sort of survey created of downtown Honolulu's historical sites. The mayor's Office of Economic Development stepped in last year to create order, and 50 locations were chosen as representative of Honolulu's history.

There is, of course, far more history in Honolulu's streets than indicated here, but these sites give the high points and can be visited on a walking tour lasting about three hours.

Click to view enlarged map

To commemorate Honolulu's bicentennial, the Star-Bulletin kicks off "Holoholo Honolulu" today, a year-long project to examine these historic properties. For the next 50 Sundays in the Travel section, stories and photographs will illuminate these sites.

But that's just the tip of the architectural iceberg. Viewers can step right into these locations via the magic of QuickTime Virtual Reality, a computer process that allows visitors from around the world to feel as if they're standing right there on the street.

WE'RE ALSO looking for old photographs of these sites to scan for public use. If you have anything, let us know:

Write to:
Honolulu Star-Bulletin
7-210 Waterfront Plaza
500 Ala Moana
Honolulu, HI 96813.



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