You are here

First Church of Christ Scientist

-A A +A
1923, Hart Wood. 1508 Punahou St.
  • (Photograph by Augie Salbosa)
  • (Photograph by Augie Salbosa)

The picturesque church sits on a spacious lawn under large, spreading, monkeypod trees. Distinctly Hawaiian with its coursed lava-rock walls and steep, shingled, gable roof with wide overhanging eaves, as well as deeply recessed side lanai, the church is one of the masterworks of regional architecture in the Islands. The introduction of side lanai to allow circulation, ventilation, and vistas of the grounds was a major contribution to ecclesiastical design in Hawaii. Ralph Adams Cram emulated this feature for the nave at Central Union Church (OA110), and many others followed this lead.

The Tudor Gothic entrance and spire convey a sense of the sacred. Inside, the simple, high volume with large rusticated wooden beams reflects Tudor Revival and Arts and Crafts influence. Hart Wood claimed to have spent more time detailing the screen than he spent designing the entire building.

Writing Credits

Don J. Hibbard


What's Nearby


Don J. Hibbard, "First Church of Christ Scientist", [Honolulu, 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, 146-146.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.