National Trust urges Honolulu mayor to support new preservation option for the Waikiki Natatorium
Statement by David J. Brown, executive vice president and chief preservation officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell presented an update recently on the ongoing Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process for the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium, announcing the City’s new findings that rehabilitation and demolition are cost comparable. The following is a statement by David J. Brown, executive vice president and chief preservation officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation:
“Mayor Caldwell’s willingness to include a less-expensive and preservation-friendly alternative for the Waikiki Natatorium’s future is a big step forward. We agree with the mayor that doing nothing is not an option, and are pleased that the City considered the overwhelming amount of public input submitted by the National Trust in preparation for the EIS.
“We strongly support the rehabilitation of the Natatorium as the ‘living memorial’ to Hawaii veterans it was meant to be—one that also celebrates the islands’ swimming traditions for future generations to enjoy. As custodian of one of the most unique war memorials in the nation, representing Honolulu’s history and identity, the City is well-positioned to make a grand statement during the centennial of World War I and ensure that the sacrifices of Hawaii citizens are not forgotten.
“Moving forward, we strongly encourage Mayor Caldwell to adopt the less-expensive ‘perimeter deck’ plan as the preferred alternative, and intend to assist the City in refining this new alternative into a sustainable solution that works for everyone.”