“Honolulu Then and Now” by Sheila Sarhangi

Honolulu Then & Now

“Honolulu Then and Now” (2007) is a fascinating look at how Honolulu and its architecture have changed over the years. The book juxtaposes history with progress, and makes the past interesting and relevant. If more textbooks were like this, students would pay more attention to history!

Freelance writer and photographer Sheila Sarhangi places historical black-and-white photos side-by-side with contemporary photos, and includes short background information.

Remembering the way things were:

Merchant Street was a dirt-paved road in 1880; today, it is a busy commercial district.

At Punchbowl Lookout you could see trees, the old domed Civic Auditorium, and Diamond Head in the 1930s; today, the view is dominated by high-rises.

Manoa Valley was farmland in the 1980s; today, there are homes and the University of Hawaii.

Lost grandeur (places I never knew existed):

Keōua Hale was a majestic Victorian palace built by Princess Ruth on Queen Emma Street in 1878; today, it is the site of the sprawling Central Middle School.

Helumoa was a royal residence in Waikiki, surrounded by a coconut grove in 1878; today, it is the site of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, called the “Pink Palace of the Pacific.”

Kainalu House was a grand mansion with Tiffany stained-glass windows, waterfront lanais, and a salt-water pool in 1899; today, it is the uninspiring Honolulu Elks lodge.

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10 Comments on ““Honolulu Then and Now” by Sheila Sarhangi”


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