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Kapuaiwa Building

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1884, George Lucas. 426 Queen St.
  • (Photograph by Kaoru Lovett)
  • (Photograph by Kaoru Lovett)
  • (Photograph by Kaoru Lovett)
  • (Photograph by Kaoru Lovett)

Designed to complement Aliiolani Hale, this modest two-story government office building is constructed of reinforced-concrete blocks and incorporates such Italian Renaissance Revival elements as a balustraded parapet and the use of different arched openings for each story. Originally designed for government record storage, the building was immediately claimed for office space. In 1930, a wing was added to the building's southeast side and connected by a recessed, central entrance corridor. The round-arched, original mauka entrance bears the motto of Kalakaua's reign, “Ho‘oulu Lahui” (Increase the Race). The name “Kapuaiwa” means “the mystical/profound taboo” and honors King Kamehameha V, being one of the sobriquets given to the earlier monarch. It is also the name bestowed upon his royal coconut grove on Molokai.

Writing Credits

Don J. Hibbard


What's Nearby


Don J. Hibbard, "Kapuaiwa Building", [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, 114-114.

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