You are here
Kanaina Building (Archives Building)
Following the annexation of Hawaii, the federal government commenced efforts to transfer all Hawaiian government records to Washington, D.C. The Territory of Hawaii, however, successfully objected to this idea, and constructed this single-story, fireproof, Renaissance Revival building to house the records, making it the first public building in the United States to serve exclusively as an archive. A small cement-finished brick building, its classical elements lend this repository of history and culture a quiet dignity.
In 1930, fifteen feet were added to both sides of the building and a thirty-seven-foot wing was placed on the rear. In 1953, the Territorial Archives relocated to the modern Mark Potter–designed structure located behind the original building, which was then utilized as government offices. It was restored in 1987 under the direction of Spencer-Mason Architects, who took special care with its entrance hall and its stained glass skylight. Today the building houses the administrative offices of the Friends of Iolani Palace.
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.