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Six Historic Houses Relocated To Hawaii Dairy
Since the 1940s, a neighborhood seven miles northwest of Honolulu has been home to generations of military families. In June and July, six historic houses from Red Hill were trucked to Wahiawa about 20 miles away to be rehabilitated and adaptively reused in planned agricultural and dairy project in West O‘ahu.
The homes were relocated through an agreement formulated by the U.S. Navy; Forest City Military Communities, the Navy's private housing partner; Historic Hawaii Foundation; the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The houses were moved to an 85-acre goat dairy, creamery and artisan cheese-making facility in Wahiawa. They will be used for storage as well as employee housing.
Workers from Bello’s Millwork and Kikiaola Construction cut the structures in half and moved them at night.
In all, six single family homes and five carport structures were moved, said Rich Montoya, construction project manager at Forest City Military Communities, which donated the houses to the dairy. The donation is part of Forest City's agreement with the Department of the Navy to renovate or replace military housing, as mandated by Congress in 1996. Another two duplex buildings were demolished.
The houses are “old but serviceable,” Montoya says, and won't require major renovation. By July 29, all of the buildings had been moved without incident to the 85-acre goat dairy, creamery and artisan cheese-making facility in Wahiawa. They will be used for storage as well as employee housing.
The next stage in the project includes completing site preparations and utility work. The contractor will then position the homes in a permanent configuration that mirrors their locations at Red Hill.
The structures, which range from 900 square feet to 1,300 square feet, could not be renovated as military housing because they “just don't meet the size standards for today’s housing,” says Will Boudra, vice president for development at Forest City Military Communities. “We're happy it’s working out. We are pleased that they're moving out according to their schedule.”
After Forest City clears the nearly six-acre site, it will return the land to the Department of the Navy. The Navy has no plans for the site at this time.
Although moving historic structures from their original site is rarely a preservationist’s first choice, this project represents a successful compromise, says Kiersten Faulkner, executive director of the Historic Hawai‘i Foundation, which, along with the National Trust, was a partner in the Section 106 process to find a way to protect the historic, federally owned structures. “The preservation partners of course wanted to see [the neighborhood] remain in place and rehabilitated. I wouldn't recommend this solution for every historic building, but it was the right solution for these buildings,” she says. “The Section 106 process can find some out-of-the-box thinking and creative solutions.”
Margaret Foster, Preservation Magazine, contributed to this article.
Photos by Chuck Iwertz, Forest City Project Field Manager
Two sections of home staged at the Wahiawa site. The home is awaiting determination of final positioning at the site before it is reconnected.
Home and associated carport staged at the Wahiawa site. Photo shows home which has been cut into two sections for moving purposes. Home is awaiting determination of final positioning at the site before it is reconnected.
Half section of home delivered to Wahiawa site. Photo shows steel beams under the home which were used to lift and support the half section during transportation.
Two sections of home staged at the Wahiawa site. Home is awaiting determination of final positioning at the site before it is reconnected.
Home leaving Red Hill site after midnight and heading to new Wahiawa location