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MLR Center

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1998, Media Five. 26-238 Hawaii Belt Rd.
  • (Photograph by Augie Salbosa)
  • (Photograph by Augie Salbosa)

The MLR Center sits on a small, carefully manicured peninsula approximately two miles north of Hilo on the site of the former Wainaku Sugar Mill. Overlooking the ocean and situated amongst the concrete ruins of the mill and its flume system, this corporate headquarters was built around a single story, reinforced-concrete warehouse of 1920. Expanding upon that utilitarian base, this contemporary Hawaiian-style building features broad, green tile, double-pitched hipped roofs, expansive lanai, and the extensive use of koa on the interior. The imposing, two-story portico, supported by columns on both floors, the ground-floor octagonal windows, and the cavetto band floating mid-story between the second-floor windows all lend formal variation. A Hawaiian quilt motif adds visual interest to both the wrought-iron and masonry balustrades. The koa employed on the interior's walls, staircase, and doorways was all gathered from company-owned lands. The small makai amphitheater is the scene of Easter sunrise services, as well as other community-oriented events.

Writing Credits

Don J. Hibbard


What's Nearby


Don J. Hibbard, "MLR Center", [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, 270-271.

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