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Robert Shipman Thurston Jr. Memorial Chapel

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1967, Vladimir Ossipoff
  • (Photograph by Augie Salbosa)
  • (Photograph by Augie Salbosa)
  • (Photograph by Augie Salbosa)

Built over Kapunahou, the spring from which the school derived its name, the chapel is surrounded on the makai side by a pool fed from that spring. It presents two distinct faces, one of masonry walls and a copper roof and the other of wooden entrances and a shingled roof. The circular arrangement of the interior seating accommodates five hundred people and focuses on the altar, which is illuminated by a glass lantern at the apex of the hipped roof. The stained glass, lancet windows on either side of the altar made by Erica Karawina contribute to the interior's holy atmosphere. Copper reliefs on the koa doors are the work of Jean Charlot. The chapel is named for Robert Shipman Thurston Jr., who graduated from Punahou School in 1941. During World War II, he served in the Pacific, flying twenty-seven missions. He died after the war, when the plane on which he was homeward-bound was lost in a storm between Okinawa and Iwo Jima.

Writing Credits

Don J. Hibbard


What's Nearby


Don J. Hibbard, "Robert Shipman Thurston Jr. Memorial Chapel", [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, 150-150.

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