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Statewide Historic Preservation Plan

For the State of Hawaii


graphic: Hawaii State Seal



November 2001




The Hawaii Statewide Historic Preservation Plan has been updated over the course of the federal fiscal years 2000 and 2001. The updating of the plan involved coordination with staff within the Hawaii State Historic Preservation Division, and consultation with a number of agencies and organizations, as well as public meetings.



The Hawaii State Historic Preservation Plan has been developed to provide a vision for historic preservation within the Island chain, and to outline a future direction for the State Historic Preservation Division and its myriad preservation partners. Hopefully, it will serve as a guide for effective decision making on a general level, for coordinating historic preservation activities within Hawaii, and for communicating statewide historic preservation goals, policies and objectives. The plan addresses historic preservation of a broad level and as such does not become immersed in place-specific or decision-making specific levels of activity. Such a level of detail is typically found in other documents, such as historic context publications, research designs and project related preservation plans.



Hawaii is blessed with a wide diversity of historic properties which well reflect the cosmopolitan character of its population. A large number of sites remain which relate to the approximately 1700 year occupation of the Islands by the native Hawaiians. Sites range in character from agricultural fields and temporary habitations, to residential complexes, fishponds and heiau. Other site types include trails, petroglyphs, and burials. In addition, traditional cultural landscapes, such as the extensive wetland agriculture fields of Hanalei on Kauai and Keanae on Maui, and the sacred summit region of Mauna Kea, have received attention in more recent years. The on-going cultural use of many of these historic properties is a recognized component when addressing site specific preservation plans developed as part of the land use and/or development review process. Archaeological inventory survey reports place newly identified sites within an ahupua'a context, which assists in making significance evaluations and in developing appropriate historic preservation strategies.

In addition to the many reminders of the host culture's heritage, a large number of properties remain which reflect the history of the past two hundred plus years. These include buildings, structures, objects and historic districts which are associated with various periods and activities. Major threads which have contributed to the fabric of Hawaii's more recent history include Congregational missionary and other religious impetuses, such major commercial endeavors as whaling and maritime in general, sugar and pineapple cultivation, and the American military presence in Hawaii. A multi-ethnic society, in part the result of the importation of agricultural workers from Asia and elsewhere, further weaves itself into the tale that is Hawaii today. With the decline of the plantation economy, more attention needs to be provided to the now disappearing vestiges of that way of life, and all its multi-cultural manifestations. Another major challenge involves the preservation of religious buildings some of which are faced with dwindling congregations and means of support, while others are threatened by the need to meet requirements greater than the existing buildings can accommodate. The need to retain the historic character of small towns and residential neighborhoods is also recognized.

Utilizing the previous plan as a baseline, SHPO staff examined other state plans, considered Hawaii's current situation, and compiled a draft plan. Since the publication of the plan approved in 1995, several new factors have come to the fore. The two most critical factors centered upon the reduced fiscal capabilities of the State of Hawaii to support historic preservation efforts, and the increased involvement of the native Hawaiian community within the historic preservation process, especially in the realm of consultation during the section 106 review process. The former has led to a reduced presence of the State Historic Preservation Office within the community, especially on the neighbor islands where face to face contact is dependent upon air transportation. The latter has resulted in increased governmental agency contact with and awareness of the Hawaiian community. The interface between these two entities is still in the process of definition and clarification with a need for further refinement of the process. Also, the increased emphasis on consultation with native Hawaiian organizations within the federal law has led to a corresponding cognizance of native Hawaiian concerns at all levels of government and the private sector, and a greater involvement on the part of native Hawaiians in the protection and on-going use of their cultural sites.

The emerging ascendancy of the world wide web as an increasingly commonplace presence within Hawaii households was another factor taken into consideration when contemplating the future functioning of historic preservation activities in the Islands. Also the fact that the products of the post-World War II construction boom and the Cold War are now becoming fifty years of age, was factored into the plan, as was an increasing concern for the effects of Federal Highways' policies and recommended standards on the character of historic bridges and roads.



The draft plan was reviewed within the State Historic Preservation Division on an on-going basis with special emphasis placed on issues which needed to be addressed, as well as wording of the objectives. In addition, the Hawaii Historic Places Review Board was given a presentation on the plan and a copy of the draft plan for comment. Coordination with other government agencies, including the Kauai County Planning Department, the Hawaii County Planning Department, the Maui County Planning Department, the State Department of Transportation, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and the Office of State Planning transpired. Private sector organizations such as the Tri-Isle Main Street Association, Historic Hawaii Foundation, Hui o Makena, the Kauai Museum, and the Kona Historical Society were also apprised of the plan, as were a number of private sector planners and consultants. In addition, the Plan was posted on the Hawaii State Historic Preservation Office's website and a notice was published in the newspaper informing the public of a series of public meetings on the plan as well as its presence on the website. Public meetings in Wailuku, Maui; Lihue, Kauai; Honolulu, Oahu; and both Hilo and Kona on Hawaii were held during the month of August 2001. Numerous comments and recommendations were received as a result of all these efforts, and the plan was so amended, resulting in the present iteration.



The plan is based on a five year time frame, with objectives indicating whether the activity is an on going one, or one that will be implemented in the near (one year), mid (two to three years), or distant (five years) future. Many of the one year projects are currently being initated. A number of the more distant plan proposals will require an infusion of resources not currently available for historic preservation in Hawaii. It is anticipated that this plan will be updated in a five year cycle.



The following goals, objectives, and actions are intended to provide a vision and future direction to historic preservation efforts throughout the state. The successful implementation of these goals, objectives and actions will rely heavily not only upon the activities of the State Historic Preservation Division, but also the cooperation and participation of other governmental agencies, and the private sector. Although a number of the actions relate directly to responsibilities of the State Historic Preservation Division and County agencies, the initiative of private sector organizations and individuals is also recognized as a critical factor when striving to protect Hawaii's significant historic properties. Preservation partners hopefully will utilize these goals, objectives and actions to guide their planning and decision-making activities.


* Promote Effective Land Use Planning that Incorporates Historic Preservation Concerns.

Objective A: Provide timely historic preservation reviews which shall be integrated into the land use regulatory system.

Actions and Time Frame:

A.1. Maintain sufficient staff at the State and County levels to investigate and review development proposals in a timely manner. (on going)

A.2. Adopt historic preservation division rules and regulations. (1 year)

A.3. Develop standards for ethnographic work and incorporate into state rules and regulations (3 years)

A.4. Continue at the State and County levels to computerize, maintain and expand the inventory of historic places. This will include the development of an inventory of traditional cultural places, and completing the computerization of the archaeological, architectural and burial sites inventories. (ongoing)

A.5. Enhance the SHPD website to include inventory information (2 years)

A.6. Enhance the SHPD website to include the status of historic preservation reviews. (1 year)

A.7. Expand history and culture branch operations by placing staff on Kauai, Maui and Hawaii, as well as Oahu. (5 years)

A.8. Provide government agencies with adequate hardware and software to access computerized inventory and website. (2 years)

A.9. Expand archaeology branch operations by placing staff in Kona, as well as Hilo. (5 years)

A.10. Review existing statutes and ordinances for means to better protect historic properties. (on-going)

A. 11. Hold annual workshops and/or meetings with agencies and consultants involved in the historic preservation process to address current issues, concerns and training. (on-going)


Objective B: Identify and respond to the discovery of burial sites in a timely, sensitive manner, which takes into consideration cultural concerns, and, when deemed necessary, promotes timely reburial.

Actions and Time Frame:

B.1. Maintain and increase staff to support the Island Burial Councils and to respond to the inadvertent discovery of human skeletal remains. (on going)

B.2. Produce educational materials to inform the public of the sensitivity of burials and the need to notify the department if human remains are discovered. (on-going)

B.3. Develop and computerize an area specific list of families to be contacted should burials arise on lands to which the families are connected. (3 years)

B.4. Investigate mechanisms, including pilot projects, to address the proper treatment of human remains, which include NAGPRA repatriation.

B.5. Clarify and better define the role of cultural monitors. (1 year)


Objective C: Promote cooperation and understanding between participants in the historic preservation review process, including governmental staff, private and public sector planners, private and public sector development proposers, consultants, preservation partners, native Hawaiian practitioners, and concerned citizens.

Actions and Time Frame:

C.1. Have governmental staff meet to discuss specific projects with concerned parties. (on going)

C.2. Support workshops and conferences related to historic preservation, including Historic Hawaii Foundation's Annual Preservation Conference. (on going)

C.3. Establish working relationships with Hawaiian organizations based on affiliations to areas of potential impact, and continue to facilitate consultation between project proposers and native Hawaiian organizations and knowledgeable individuals. (on going)

C.4. Improve coordination between government agencies, preservation advocacy groups, Hawaiian organizations, and knowledgeable individuals involved in the multiplicity of aspects of historic preservation.


* Promote Sensitive Historic Preservation, Community Revitalization and Economic Revitalization.

Objective D: Support the perpetuation and preservation of native Hawaiian cultural places and historic properties.

Actions and Time Frame:

D.1. Encourage community and private organizations to care for and manage historic properties. (on going)

D.2. Acquire, develop and maintain historic preserves, easements and land trusts. (on going)

D.3. Explore ways to ease private property owners' liability concerns when providing access to historic properties. (on-going)

D.4. Restore Hawaiian fishponds, taro loi, dry land taro fields, and other sites. (on-going)

D.5. Provide recognition to locations where major historic events occurred. (on-going)

D.6. Develop an inventory of known traditional cultural places, including religious sites, as well as historic and cultural landscapes, in order to raise awareness and promote protection. (on-going)

D.7. Track and monitor the implementation of approved preservation plans. (on-going)

D.8. Encourage and support Federal, State, and County agencies, and private sector owners to maintain and preserve native Hawaiian cultural places and historic properties under their management. (on going)


Objective E: Support the continued use and preservation of Hawaii's historic buildings and structures.

Actions and Time Frame:

E.1. Encourage and support the use of historic preservation tax incentives through the dissemination of information and timely review of tax act applications. (on going)

E.2. Encourage and support Federal, State, and County agencies, and private sector owners to maintain and preserve historic buildings and structures under their administration. (on going)

E.3. Support Hawaii Main Street towns, and pursue the reestablishment of the Hawaii Main Street program. (5 years)

E.4. Encourage and support the establishment of heritage corridors. (on going)

E.5. Encourage the adoption of more flexible transportation standards for historic bridges, roadway elements, and roads that includes context design. (2 years)

E.6. Investigate innovative and cost effective ways to address lead paint abatement. (3 years)


Objective F: Encourage respectful utilization of historic and cultural resources as a means to achieve compatibility with sustainable tourism and economic revitalization.

Actions and Time Frame:

F.1. Promote and encourage the identification and preservation of historic properties that can be accessed by residents and visitors alike. (on going)

F.2. Develop and disseminate materials to inform visitors of historic properties in Hawaii. (5 years)

F.3. Encourage the appropriation of historic preservation grants for stabilization, rehabilitation and restoration projects. (5 years)

F.4. Develop internet information on historic properties open to the public for visitation. (3 years)

F.5. Support the development of economic models and feasibility studies for historic properties. (5 years)


* Increase Recognition and Improve Management of Hawaii's Historic Resources.

Objective G: Recognize significant historic properties through placement in the Hawaii and National Registers of Historic Places.

Actions and Time Frame:

G.1. Follow Hawaii and National Register Action Priorities enumerated in Appendix A to determine which sites to nominate to the Hawaii and National Registers of Historic Places. (on going)

G.2. Encourage the preparation of multiple property nominations for the Hawaii and National Registers of Historic Places. (on going)

G.3. Expand the nomination of historic property types beyond historic buildings for the Hawaii and National Registers of Historic Places. (5 years)


Objective H: Expand local government participation in historic preservation activities.

Actions and Time Frame:

H.1. Promote the adoption of local preservation ordinances and support the administration of existing ordinances. (on going)

H.2. Encourage basing property tax appraisals on actual use for historic properties rather than highest and best use. (3 years)

H.3. Encourage counties to adopt the Uniform Code for Building Conservation, the Rehabilitation Code and Small Town Codes. (5 years)

H.4. Encourage counties to consider property tax incentives for owners of archaeological sites. (5 years)

H.5. Develop incentives for more flexible use of historic properties. (5 years)

H.6. Encourage zoning ordinances which retain the character of historic small towns. (5 years)

H.7. Encourage Hawaii County and the City & County of Honolulu to participate in the CLG program. (5 years)


Objective I: Expand the funding base for historic preservation.

Actions and Time Frame:

I.1. Increase state and county governmental funds for historic preservation as well as the federal historic preservation annual grant funds. (on going)

I.2. Pass and implement rules and regulations which will allow the State to assess fees for various aspects of its work. (2 years)

I.3. Identify funding sources to support historic preservation efforts. (on going)

I.4. Apply for appropriate grants and other outside sources of revenues. (on going)

I.5. Provide HTA funds to support historic preservation efforts. (5 years)

I.6. Develop a "Keep Hawaii Hawaii" C.I.P. program to provide historic preservation grants to the private sector. (3 years)

I.7. Expand the historic preservation constituency through improved communication, increased emphasis on community involvement, and positive interaction. (3 years)


Objective J: Provide effective enforcement of existing historic preservation laws.

Actions and Time Frame

J.1. Train burial council members and other members of the historic preservation community to be volunteer DOCARE officers. (3 years)

J.2. Provide training sessions for those responsible for enforcing historic preservation laws. (on going)


* Increase Public Knowledge of Hawaii's Historic Properties and the Benefits of Historic Preservation.

Objective K: Maintain and expand the statewide inventory of historic properties and develop improved access and comprehension of historic property inventory information.

Actions and Time Frame:

K.1. Encourage the development of surveys to identify historic properties dating from the recent past. (5 years)

K.2. Continue to develop historic property contexts through archaeological regional overview studies and architectural and historical overview studies. (5 years)

K.3. Encourge coordination between various agencies and institutions to develop increased historic preservation information in school curricula. (5 years)

K.4. Develop interpretive materials from inventory data to place on the internet. (2 years)

K.5. Produce materials, such as the annual calendar and other publications which provide information on historic places. (on going)


Objective L: Promote historic preservation awareness and increase interaction with groups that impact historic preservation resources such as architects, realtors, planners, lawyers, contractors, visitor industry, cultural organizations, building industry, and the police.

Actions and Time Frame:

L.1. Develop historic preservation related videos for classroom and public television use. (on going)

L.2. Make presentations on historic preservation related topics at education workshops and conferences, and respond to teacher requests for information support. (on going)

L.3. Make classroom presentations on historic preservation related topics and participate in career days at the schools. (on going)

L.4. Develop Hawaii based, historic preservation related curriculum materials for placement on the internet. (5 years)

L.5. Develop mechanisms to celebrate Hawaii's heritage. (on going)

L.6. Produce public service announcements that provide a telephone point of contact for historic preservation concerns. (5 years)

L.7. Develop publications and pamphlets to educate communities on their history. (5 years)

L.8. Encourage local public television programming, which might include site visits or panel discussions, that relate to historic preservation. (3 years)

L.9. Publish a magazine on Hawaii's historic properties. (3 years)

L.10. Publish articles on topics of common interest in appropriate trade and professional publications. (on going)

L.11. Include knowledge of historic preservation in any tour operators education and certificate program. (on going)

L.12. Participate in appropriate professional workshops and conferences. (on going)


Hawaii & National Register Action Priorities

 In addition, the State Historic Preservation staff will assist in the registration of privately-owned properties whenever the owners or interested parties request such assistance, and either:


Birnbaum, Charles, Protecting Cultural Landscapes: Planning, Treatment, and Management of Historic Landscapes, (Washington D.C.: Department of Interior, 1995).

Colorado Preservation 2000, (Denver: Colorado Historical Society, 1996).

CRM, "Preservation Plannning," vol 23, no. 7, 2000.

Derry, Anne, Jandel, H. Ward, Schull, Carol, and Thorman, Jan, Guidelines for Local Surveys: A Basis for Preservation Planning (Washington D.C.: Department of Interior, 1985).

Flexibility in Highway Design, (Washington D. C.: Department of Transportation, 1997).

Gowans, Alan and Penkiunas, Diana, Fruitful Fields, American Missionary Churches in Hawaii, (Honolulu: State Historic Preservation Office, 1993).

Hawaii State Plan: Historic Preservation Functional Plan, (Honolulu: Department of Land & Natural Resources, 1991).

Historic Preservation in Hawaii, (Honolulu: Department of Land & Natural Resources, 1976).

Lawson, Barry R., Ryan, Ellen P., and Hutchison, Rebecca Bartlett, Reaching Out, Reaching In, A Guide to Creating Effective Public Participation for State Historic Preservation Programs, (Washington D.C.: Department of the Interior, 1993).

Oregon Historic Preservation Plan, 1996, (Salem: Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, 1995).

Parker, Patricia, and King, Thomas, Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Traditional Cultural Properties (Washington D.C.: Department of Interior, 1992).

Preservation Shore to Shore: An Action Agenda for Michigan, (Lansing: State Historic Preservation Office, 1996).

Preserve Alabama: A Plan for Action, (Montgomery: Alabama Historical Commission, 1998).

"Section 106 Regulations Users Guide: Native Hawaiian Organizations and the Section 106 Review Process", (Washington D.C.: Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, 2000)

White, Bradford J., and Roddewig, Richard J., Preparing a Historic Preservation Plan, (Chicago: American Planning Association, 1994).


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