Father William J. Larkin founded the College of Saint Louis, a Hawaiian commercial and business academy, around 1880, on a parcel of land adjacent to Washington Place. However, the collapse in 1881 of a newly constructed building resulted in the death of a student and led to the closing of the school. In 1883, following the arrival of the first Marianist brothers to Hawaii from Dayton, Ohio, the College of St. Louis opened as an elementary school on the west bank of the Nuuanu stream, fronting the street which became known as College Walk. The school expanded to include a high school in 1914. In short time, the school outgrew its location, and in 1923, 207 acres were purchased in Kaimuki to accommodate the increased enrollment. Thirty-two acres were cleared for the new campus, and an entrance bridge was erected to span the Palolo stream. Brother Eiben laid out the initial campus plan, and the first four buildings were completed in 1928. Later that year, the science building (now Newell Hall) opened. To fund its construction, eighty acres of the campus were sold and eventually subdivided into four hundred residential lots. The resulting subdivision was named St. Louis Heights, and the initial twelve streets all were named after St. Louis teachers. During World War II, the campus was leased to the U.S. Army for use as a hospital. In addition to the original buildings, the campus also boasts the Mystical Rose Oratory (OA158.2) and Mamiya Theater.
The campus now houses St. Louis High School and Chaminade University. The university started operations as a junior college in 1955, expanding to a four-year curriculum two years later; the St. Louis elementary school was gradually eliminated between 1950 and 1957.