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St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church

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1952, Edwin Bauer. 720 N. King St.
  • (Photograph by Augie Salbosa)
  • (Photograph by Augie Salbosa)

A well-composed modern church with Gothic overtones, St. Elizabeth's conveys a dynamic verticality through its two-story entrance, shallow pilaster-like buttresses, and side bell tower. Its Christian foundations are made evident through the use of stylized Tudor Gothic elements, yet with equal subtlety the building reflects its congregation's Chinese heritage and Hawaii's tropic balm. Masonry screens with cross patterns derive from Chinese architectural traditions, and the prominent, narrow entrance, although centered on the body of the building, is not aligned with the front gate, in accord with feng shui concepts. The side lanai with Tudor Revival archways was originally open, with sliding doors accessing the nave.

Inside is the finest ecclesiastic Tiffany window in Hawaii. This window of 1904 includes drapery glass used for the robes and shattered glass for the foliage, both innovations of Tiffany. The window was the gift of the William Procter family of Cincinnati, of Procter and Gamble fame, in memory of Charlotte Elizabeth Procter. Ardent supporters of the mission, the Procters funded the construction of the original Shingle Style church on this property. St. Elizabeth's was formed as a mission of St. Andrew's Cathedral (OA44) tending to the spiritual needs of Chinese immigrants in the Kalihi-Palama district. With the demise of the original church in 1952, the window was retained and placed in the new building. The modern windows in the nave and clerestory date from 1977 and are the work of Judson Studios of Los Angeles. The front window was designed by Bernard Atkins in 1991 and fabricated by Raymond Ho.

The church's architect, Edwin Bauer, was a graduate of the University of Southern California. He came to Hawaii during World War II to work at Pearl Harbor, and stayed after the war. In addition to St. Elizabeth's, he designed several Waikiki hotels, including the Breakers (OA134), Hawaiiana (OA135), and several buildings at Hilton Hawaiian Village (OA131). He eventually concentrated his efforts on building and managing his own apartments.

Writing Credits

Don J. Hibbard


What's Nearby


Don J. Hibbard, "St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church", [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, 86-87.

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