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Kawaiahao Hall, Mid-Pacific Institute

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1908, H. L. Kerr. 2445 Kaala St.
  • (Photograph by Kaoru Lovett)
  • (Photograph by Kaoru Lovett)
  • (Photograph by Kaoru Lovett)
  • (Photograph by Kaoru Lovett)
  • (Photograph by Kaoru Lovett)

One of the oldest school buildings in Hawaii that is still in use, Kawaiahao Hall was built to house Kawaiahao Seminary, which was established in 1864 as a boarding school for Hawaiian girls. Originally, the seminary was located across S. King Street from today's Mission Houses Museum (OA61). It was moved to this thirty-two-acre Manoa site in 1908, when it merged with Mills Institute, a boarding school for Chinese and, later, Japanese and Korean boys. The combined schools, both of which operated under the wings of the Hawaiian Evangelical Association, were renamed Mid-Pacific Institute.

The sturdy, three-story building with rusticated basalt walls stands on a raised foundation and presides over the campus from the top of a small rise. Its shed-roofed dormers and similarly roofed, chaletlike balconies root the building to the site. The first story is marked by a round-arched arcade, a portion of which is now enclosed. In 1981, the interior was gutted and revamped for contemporary scholastic needs. Originally, Kawaiahao Hall had a companion lava-rock structure, Wilcox Hall, which housed Mills Institute; it was destroyed by fire in 1950.

Writing Credits

Don J. Hibbard


What's Nearby


Don J. Hibbard, "Kawaiahao Hall, Mid-Pacific Institute", [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, 151-151.

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