Hickam Community Center Regains Its Original Form

Building 442, originally the Non-Commissioned Officers' Open Mess, was built in 1941 at the end of Mills Boulevard, a radial leading to the NCO housing area at Hickam Air force Base. Over the years, the building's cross-shaped form was obscured by later additions, including a large warehouse-like ballroom. Its two lanai were permanently enclosed. When the Base Historic Preservation Officer discovered that, beneath its accretions, the building's original form was still intact, the Air Force included it in the renovation and privatization of military housing by Hickam Communities, LLC, and Mason Architects restored it to its original form for use as a Community Center.

The building was designed by Jozef B.A. Van Oort of the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps, in accord with Hickam Field's 1935 Master Plan for a spacious semi-circle of residential areas.

Its architecture is a blend of:

  • Art Deco: large fluted columns at the entry lanai;
  • Art Moderne: wide-radius corners; and
  • Hawaiian-Tropical style: Hip roof, wide roof overhangs, large wood-framed doors and windows, screened lanai, acid-stained concrete floors, and concrete grillwork in a floriated pattern.

In Mason Architects's restoration:

  • The two lanai were reopened;
  • The previously removed glass doors and windows were replicated and installed;
  • Ceilings that had been lowered were exposed;
  • Faux wood panelling was removed from the walls;
  • Acid-stained concrete floors were repaired and extended
  • Colors found in large, all-but-destroyed murals painted on the walls determined the new color scheme

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  • Historic Preservation Honor Award from Historic Hawai‘i Foundation, 2011
  • Historical, Grand Award from Building Industry Association Hawaii, 2011
  • Silver Award, Building Design + Construction Reconstruction Awards, 2011

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Photos: MAI

The Community Center is at the end of Mills Boulevard, a major radial , and is cross-shaped in form.