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S. Hata Building

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1912, William C. Furer. 318 Kamehameha Ave.
  • (Photograph by Augie Salbosa)
  • (Photograph by Augie Salbosa)

Anchoring one end of Kamehameha Avenue, the S. Hata Building curves slightly, reflecting the original bend of the street. The building is well ordered and proportioned, with pilasters and round-arched windows demarcating the three bays. Pedimented parapets define the two end bays and echo the Hackfeld Building (HA33) at the other end of Kamehameha Avenue. At the pedestrian level, wrought-iron brackets with a curvilinear design fabricated by the Hilo Iron Works support the metal awning. This building was the third reinforced-concrete commercial building in Hilo and the first such building in the then predominantly Asian part of the city. The erection of a masonry building was a condition attached by the federal government in its sale of this land to Judge W. S. Wise, who then sold it to Sadanouke Hata. Hilo's foremost merchant of Japanese ancestry, Hata established his store in 1896. He sold silks, kimonos, Japanese provisions, and Japanese-themed souvenirs. He later expanded his business beyond Hilo to include two branches in Honolulu and three in Japan. During World War II, the United States seized this building, and when the government later auctioned it, the family repurchased it. It was rehabilitated in 1992, following the plans of architect Boone Morrison.

Writing Credits

Don J. Hibbard


What's Nearby


Don J. Hibbard, "S. Hata Building", [Hilo, Hawaii], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Hawaii

Buildings of Hawaii, Don J. Hibbard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2011, 263-264.

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