Design Guidelines for Camplot Cabins in Kaua‘i

The Division of State Parks commissioned Mason Architects to prepare Design Standards and Guidelines for the Historic Kōke‘e, Halemanu and Pu‘u ka Pele Camp Lots, Kōke‘e and Waimea Canyon State Parks, Kaua‘i. The guidelines assist lessees in the rehabilitation of these historic recreational residences and ensure that new structures will be constructed in a complementary style.

  • The State began to lease camp lots in the forest preserve in 1918.
  • Generations of local families spent their summers among the cool forests, meadows, and streams at the 3500-foot elevation.
  • They leased the land at $10, and later $20, per acre per year, on the condition that they improve the land by building cabins and planting trees.
  • In 2005 the Parks Division designated the camp lots as a historic district, which has been nominated for inclusion on the National Register
  • Of the 137 lots, 114 contain cabins. Of those, 72 are considered historically and architecturally significant.
  • The early cabins usually offered only shelter and sleeping space. Kitchens and outhouses were separate, and bathing was in streams.
  • The Kōke‘e rustic vernacular style is characterized by:
    • Single walls of unpainted board-and-batten siding, often with hinged flaps over windows
    • Shingled gable roofs and porch railings of ‘ohia logs and branches
    • Native rocks used in chimneys, fireplaces, and post-and-pier foundations
  • By 1925 some cabins were built in the plantation style and often contained several bedrooms, parlor, kitchen, and bathroom. This style features:
    • Hipped roofs
    • Painted tongue-and-groove vertical siding
    • Decorative attic vents
  • The standards, guidelines, and review procedures become part of lease agreement conditions from 2007 on.

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Historic Photo: Friends of the Boettcher Estate.

This plantation-style cabin in Halemanu has the ‘ohia porch railings of the earlier rustic vernacular style and a corrugated metal roof.