HISTORIC HAWAI‘I FOUNDATION
1877: King David Kalakaua designates Crown land at the foot of Diamond Head to be a "a place of innocent refreshment for all who wish to leave the dust of the town street." This area now includes Kapiolani Park, the Waikiki Zoo, the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium and the Waikiki Aquarium.
1896: After the the overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy, trustees of the Kapiolani Park Association deeded the major portion of the park to the Republic. Parcels were then carved out as a fee simple land, including a parcel to Kapiolani Park Trustee, W.G. Irwin.
1914: World War I Begins
1919: World War I ends with the signing of the treaty of Versailles
1919: The Territorial Legislature under Governor McCarthy appropriates $200,000 to purchase 6.4 acres of the W.G. Irwin land makai (seaward) of the Kapiolani Park boundary through Act 191 (P. 257 - S.L. 1919) specifying that the land should be designated as the "Memorial Park."
May 17, 1920: Governor C.J. McCarthy’s Executive Order No. 73 set aside the 6.4 acre site for park purposes, “The same to be cared for managed and controlled by the city and county of Honolulu, until the Legislature shall otherwise provide.”
THE WAIKIKI WAR MEMORIAL NATATORIUM
More About the
Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium
1921 : The Hawai‘i Chapter of the American Legion forwards a request to the Hawai‘i Territorial Legislature to build a memorial to the men and women who served in World War I.
1921: Act 15 (P.21- S.L. 1921) appropriated $250,000.00 “to provide a memorial to the men and women of Hawai‘i who served during the Great War”. A bond issue authorized in the amount to be payable by the three counties and the City. This act also authorized the Governor to appoint a “Territorial War Memorial Commission of three members to conduct an architectural competition for the design of the memorial. The plans shall include a swimming course at least 100 meters in length.” $10,000 was appropriated from the general fund for the expenses, including the awarding of prizes by the commission. Mr. Lewis P. Hobart, Architect, won the design competition.
1923: Act 14 (P. 11 – S.L. 1923) amended Section 4 Act 15 to allow counties to raise tax rate to repay bonds.
1925: Act 111 (P. 129- S.L. 1925) amended Act 15 directing that the Natatorium to be built within appropriation.
August 24, 1927: Natatorium officially opens on the birthday of Duke Kahanamoku, who dives in as the inaugural swimmer to a roaring of applause from the large audience.
Historic Hawai‘i Foundation
680 Iwilei Road, Suite #690, Honolulu, HI 96817
Phone: 808-523-2900 Fax: 808-523-0800
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