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Wailuku Library

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1928, C. W. Dickey. 251 S. High St.
  • (Photograph by Augie Salbosa)

Set back from High Street on a sloping lawn, the Wailuku Library was said by the Maui News to have “an attractive front elevation that may be called Hawaiian.” Asymmetrically massed, the single-story library appears more as a house than a public building. Its expansive, sheltering, double-pitched hipped roof and cozy entrance offer an intimate air of homeliness and comfort. The entrance lanai's exquisite mosaic tile water fountain depicts a silversword, a native plant only found on the slopes of Haleakala. The grandfather clock in the adult reading room, made by the Herschede Clock Company, was the gift of the Maui Woman's Club on the opening of the new building. The library owed its existence to this organization, whose members urged Maui senator Harold Rice to introduce and oversee the territorial legislature's passage of the County Library Law in 1921, and subsequently the appropriation of funding to construct this building. An addition in the 1950s enclosed a children's patio and reading area, traces of which can be observed in the steps going down into the present Hawaiian Room.

Writing Credits

Don J. Hibbard


What's Nearby


Don J. Hibbard, "Wailuku Library", [Wailuku, 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, 195-195.

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