Waimea's preeminent building at the time it opened, this reinforced-concrete bank sits on a raised foundation and presides over Hofgaard Park and the town of Waimea. With its attached Ionic columns supporting a simple entablature, denticulated cornice, and partially balustraded parapet, this Classical Revival building made a solid statement on the permanence and stability of Bishop Bank's operations on Kauai. The Honolulu bank had expanded its operations to Kauai in 1911, and the current building occupies the site of the bank's initial, and for many years, only, branch on the island.
John Mason Young (1874–1947) taught in the University of Hawaii's Engineering Department from 1908 to 1940. He was born in Tennessee, obtained degrees in engineering from the University of Florida and Cornell University, and came to Hawaii as one of the University of Hawaii's first twelve instructors. He also organized and headed Pacific Engineering Company, which constructed a number of prominent buildings in Honolulu. Prior to this Waimea branch, he designed Bishop Bank's main building in Honolulu, the Classical Revival Damon Building (1925; demolished).
First Hawaiian Bank fronts the small, coconut-landscaped, triangular Hofgaard Park. Developed contemporaneously with the bank, the park was named after Judge C. B. Hofgaard (1859–1931), a longtime resident, businessman, and circuit court judge in Waimea. Two monuments to Captain James Cook stand in the park. The lava-rock monolith of 1928 was designed by Honolulu architect Hart Wood, and its bronze plaque is the work of San Francisco artist Adele Stackpole. The statue of Cook is a replica of the one in Whitby, England, Cook's birthplace. It was given to the County of Kauai in 1978 for the bicentennial anniversary of Cook's initial landing in Hawaii at Waimea. Initially placed at Waimea High School, the statue was moved to the park in 1987.