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Irwin Health Center

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1938. Kamehameha V Hwy., mile marker 16

With its lava-rock steps, corrugated-metal, double-pitched hipped roof and centered inset porch with French doors, this simple, shingled building is another example of Hawaiian-style institutional architecture. Irwin Health Center was funded by the Irwin Foundation, thanks to the efforts of Paul and Helene Fagan, who at that time owned the Puu O Hoku Ranch, which encompassed most of the east end of Molokai. Helene Fagan was the daughter of sugar entrepreneur William G. Irwin, and Paul served as a director of the Irwin Trust Company. Operation of the health center was a cooperative endeavor with the Territorial Board of Health, providing public health nurses to staff it. To further improve the medical service for Molokai, the Irwin Foundation provided the island with its first ambulance, in 1939. This building has served the medical needs of the people of Molokai's east end for the past seventy years.

Writing Credits

Don J. Hibbard


What's Nearby


Don J. Hibbard, "Irwin Health Center", [Kaunakakai, 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, 233-233.

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