• Final EIS for the WWMC - Notice of Availability

    November 12, 2019

    On the eve of Veteran’s Day 2019, the City and County of Honolulu published a Final Environmental Impact Statement which proposes to renew the Natatorium and restore public access to the site. The extensive record reflects a year’s worth of the City’s thorough consideration of public input, demonstrates in detailed responses to each comment received. Support letters were wide-ranging; from students from Waikiki Elementary School’s 5th grade to Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

    The National Trust is deeply grateful to all of our supporters who made comments favorable to preservation. And we are thrilled that the City has found that the preservation option (known as the “Perimeter Deck” alternative) remains the best – and most cost efficient way – to honor the legacy of Veterans and an internationally-recognized historic resource. We look forward to working hand in hand with the City as it refines its rehabilitation plan and reopens this long-imperiled site.

  • Voice your support for a preservation solution for the Natatorium

    December 3, 2018

    Good news! The City & County of Honolulu has released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that favors rehabilitating the Waikīkī War Memorial Natatorium, rather than tearing it down. This is an exciting milestone for all who love the Beaux-Arts memorial and want to restore it as an iconic swim venue.

    But we can’t rest yet.

    The city is accepting public input on the EIS through December 24. It is vital that they hear from advocates like you, to urge their continued support for the “perimeter deck” option. This plan is less expensive than demolition, is environmentally sustainable, and carries a broad base of local support while preserving the memorial’s original intent: honoring Hawaiʻi’s sacrifice in war and celebrating its proud swimming heritage.

    Please join Historic Hawaii Foundation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation in voicing your support for a preservation outcome for this long-neglected icon.

  • 30th Annual Memorial Day Observance at the Natatorium

    May 28, 2018

    On Sunday, May 27, 2018 the Friends of the Natatorium hosted their 30th annual Memorial Day event to honor residents of Hawai'i who have lost their lives in service to the nation. In this 100th year since the end of the first World War, the Hawaii World War One Centennial Task Force joined them as co-sponsors.

    The moving and often personal ceremony featured speakers including Vietnam veteran, Bronze Star awardee, and Gold Star Father Allen Kale‘iolani Hoe; young dancers from the Hula Halau Olana; music from the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, Band and local bagpipers; veterans motorcycle groups; a local Boy Scout troop; and more.

    A short video of the event is available via KITV news.

  • New Cost Estimates for Natatorium Are a Promising Development for Preservation

    December 12, 2017

    On December 11, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell held a press conference to update the public about the ongoing process of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Waikīkī Natatorium War Memorial. Remarkably, he announced that the cost of retaining the landmark would be roughly equal to the cost to demolish it and replace it with a beach.

    Demolition has been the city’s preferred option due to the high costs of a full restoration option, but citizen advocacy has been instrumental in convincing the city to study a less expensive preservation-friendly option. The mayor announced the EIS, due out in the summer of 2018, will include an alternative that rehabilitates the Natatorium stadium structure and decking, but re-engineers the swim basin to allow ocean water to flow freely.

    According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, both this alternative and full demolition would cost between $20 million and $30 million. One of the reasons for the high demolition cost would be the need for the city to rebuild lifeguard facilities that are currently housed in the Natatorium stadium structure.

    Identifying a preservation option that comes at a cost similar to that of re-creating the beach is a big step forward and will help counter the assumption that saving the Natatorium is too expensive.

    Read the full article here: Mayor weighs alternatives in Natatorium dilemma.

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