Turning Back The Clock For The Ohia Wing

The National Park Service constructed this building in 1932 as the Park Headquarters and Administration Building for the new Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. With tiered lava rock foundations, wood siding, and corrugated metal roof, it is one of the Park’s earliest and best examples of the Rustic style, in which the NPS used indigenous building materials to evoke the natural surroundings. When a new Administration Building was built in 1949, this building was altered to become the Ohia Wing of the Volcano House. Mason Architects’ Historic Structure Report recommends that the Ohia Wing be restored to its original appearance in 1932-1949 and suggests required changes.

The report includes historical background information, observations and analysis about the construction history and the condition of the building, and recommendations for its restoration from a historical architect and structural, mechanical, and electrical engineers.

The team recommended:

  • Configuring the interior to approximate the original floor plan
  • Adding handicapped accessible restrooms on each of two floors
  • Removal of an exterior wooden staircase
  • Restoration of window pattern
  • Repair of roof and building envelope
  • Retrofitting to better resist seismic forces
  • Rebuilding interior stair to meet safety standards
  • Installing handicapped accessible ramp

One of the most significant changes would be to restore the cased opening between the lobby and the ranger’s office and to reinstall the counter along the length of the ranger’s wall.

A Historic Structures Report was also prepared for the Ohia Wing Garage.

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Photos: MAI and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park photo collection.

West elevation.