Pictured above: 52 Halaulani Place (MLS 225448) is a plantation era home on the Hawaii Register of Historic Places.
“The Hawai‘i Register of Historic Places is Hawai‘i’s official list of districts, sites, structures, buildings, and objects that are significant at either the national, state, or local level in the areas of history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, and/or cultural heritage. On this list, vastly different types of resources are represented from culturally significant Native Hawaiian sites to an outrigger canoe, residential properties, plantation-era communities, and the only palace in the United States. These sites together represent the broad range of historic resources important to the history of Hawai‘i.”
Source: Historic Hawaii Foundation
In August 2009, after a lengthy and detailed application process, the Hawaii Historic Places Review Board informed the owners of 52 Halaulani Place that the property had been placed on the Hawaii Register of Historic Places and that a recommendation had been made to the State Preservation office that it be nominated for the National Register of Historic Places.
As part of the process of application to the National Register of Historic Places, detailed accounts of the history of South Hilo’s Halaulani Place subdivision have been gathered from a variety of sources. In addition to the application documents, the owners also have a treasure trove of photos and copies of primary documents that offer a rich source of information about the early history of this Big Island community.
52 Halaulani Place was painstakingly restored and upgraded in 1995-96.
An excerpt of the documentation submitted during the Hawaii Historic Places review process follows. This portion of the application describes the background of the Halaulani Place subdivision, giving readers a look back into “old” Hilo. To review the complete document, please contact me.
“Halaulani Place is located in Hilo on the island of Hawaii. It is a small subdivision that is geographically set apart from surrounding neighborhoods by its physical boundaries. To the east a thirty-foot cliff drops to the Hawaii Belt Road, which originally was a railroad right of way for the Hawaii Consolidated Railway, Ltd; to the west, the area is bounded by Mamalahoa Highway and Wainaku Drive, which originally was the primary automotive route into Hilo from the Hamakua Coast. However, more importantly, it is bounded on both the north and south by the Kalalau and Pukihae streams, respectively. These strong geographic boundaries provide the area with an almost island-like quality.
At the time of the Mahele, these lands were awarded to Princess Victoria Kamamalu through Land Commission Award 7713. Victoria Kamamalu was the granddaughter of Kamehameha I through her mother, Kinau. Her father was Mataio Kekuanaoa, who descended from a lower ranking line of Hilo alii. Through various bequeaths the property eventually became part of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Estate.
In the early twentieth century, the Bishop Estate’s trustees contemplated developing this knoll between the two streams as a residential subdivision, going so far as to prepare blueprints and maps for the new tract. A number of people came forward to express interest in purchasing a parcel in the new subdivision; however, for reasons unknown, on July 1, 1918, the Bishop Estate trustees instead sold the property in its entirety to the Security Trust Company of Hilo, which undertook the residential development. At that time the Bishop Estate trustees were: W.O. Smith, E.F. Bishop, A.F. Judd, William Williamson and R.H. Trent….”