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Two properties added to National Register of Historic Places

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Two well-known and popular community locations in Honokaa recently were added to the National Register of Historic Places:

Hotel Honokaa Club

The Hotel Honokaa Club, dating to about 1927, is a two story-wood frame commercial building located at 45-3480 Mamane Street in the historic plantation town of Honokaa. It is an example of “plantation” style of architecture and method of construction, with a main floor, a rear second story addition, and basement.

The hotel/club functioned as a local gathering place that provided guest accommodations for travelers and temporary sales space for the display of commercial samples and wares by traveling salesmen.

It includes a dining room and bar facility which has served numerous local social occasions from the 1920s to the present.

It began as a social gathering place for large numbers of unmarried males seeking entertainment after a long day’s work.

It became U.S. Department of the Interior hotel accommodations, resting place and headquarters for sales personnel/drummers who traveled the island peddling their wares.

Its bar operations were boosted by lack of liquor establishments in nearby Waimea town, and the alcohol needs of World War II soldiers.

Wedding receptions and high school gatherings at the Club have knit the Honokaa community together for generations.

Honokaa People’s Theatre

The Honokaa People’s Theatre also fronts Mamane Street, the main street traversing Honokaa, a town of almost 3,000 people. The classical revival building is characterized by its symmetric facade with pilasters, cornice and false front parapet.

It sits on a concrete foundation, which is raised toward the rear, and has a corrugated metal, front facing, gable roof with overhanging eaves and exposed rafter tails.

The Honokaa People’s Theatre has been a center of community life since its opening in 1930. Its ability to accommodate both live and moving picture entertainment has led to extensive use as a multipurpose facility.

Generations of audiences and performers have here experienced ethnic dances, music festivals, plays, and cultural exhibitions. The theater has been a venue for political/economic speeches and rallies.

Its size and facilities, as the largest theater on the island outside of Hilo, attract people to Honokaa.

These two properties were added to the Hawaii Register of Historic Places in May 2015. The Hawaii Historic Places Review Board at that time recommended that they be nominated for inclusion in the National Register.

Properties are eligible for inclusion in the Hawaii register because of their association with broad patterns or events, or individuals important in the history of Hawaii.

Inclusion in the National Register signifies that they also meet the requirements for national recognition. Places included in the registers are usually significant in architecture and design, or are likely to yield important information, and their features retain their qualifying integrity.

On Oct. 16, 2015, the National Park Service did add the two sites to the National Register of Historic Places.

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