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Office Building (Seaman's Hospital)

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Seaman's Hospital
1833, with later alterations. 1038 Front St.

Situated on the periphery of Lahaina, this two-story, fieldstone building was constructed for teenaged King Kamehameha III “for the purpose of keeping a House to accommodate Masters and offcers of whale ships.” Erected at a distance from Lahaina's missionary compound where most aliʻi residences were focused, this structure was apparently built surreptitiously without the Christian aliʻiʾs awareness of regal involvement in the enterprise. Here Ah Chon operated a Chinese store, which served as a front for the monarch's convivial pursuits within.

Over the course of 170 years, the building has seen a variety of uses. In 1844 it was converted into a U.S. Marine hospital, serving the American whaling fleet. Fraudulent fiscal practices, coupled with the decline in whaling, led to its closure in 1862. Three years later, St. Cross, an Anglican Church school for girls, opened in the building, operating until 1877 when the Anglican Church converted the structure into a vicarage for its ministers. In 1909, the church disposed of the property to the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Estate, which continued its residential use. It was renovated by the Lahaina Restoration Foundation in 1981 for commercial and professional office space under the direction of Maui architect Uwe H. H. Schulz.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Don J. Hibbard
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Citation

Don J. Hibbard, "Office Building (Seaman's Hospital)", [Lahaina, Hawaii], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/HI-01-MA34.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Hawaii

Buildings of Hawaii, Don J. Hibbard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2011, 207-207.

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