Friends Bring Kalaniana‘ole Hall Back to Life

Kalaniana‘ole Hall was built in 1937 on a one-acre beach tract at Kalama‘ula, Molokai, the first homestead land to be developed under the Hawaiian Homestead Act of 1921, which was initiated by Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana‘ole during his tenure as a delegate to the U.S. Congress. Mason Architects helped the Friends of Kalaniana‘ole Hall and other volunteer groups to restore it.

The hall was the center for the activities of the Ahahui Kalaniana‘ole, a club formed to provide coffins and funeral services for the dead as well as comfort for the grieving families in their Hawaiian community.

Despite the solemnity of its storage room for coffins, the 60' x 40' plantation-style wooden hall was used for parties, weddings, song and hula contests, and weekend movies as well as funerals.

Over the years, the hall's condition had deteriorated; its collapsing roof, broken windows, and damaged walls and ceilings posed safety problems.

The Friends pledged to restore it through grants from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Molokai Enterprise Community, as well as help from Lokahi Pacific, USDA Rural

Development, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, and Halau O Kawananakoa Helu Elima, and the work of volunteers.

Mason Architects planned the renovation and guided the repairs to the historic building, listed on the Hawai‘i Register of Historic Places.

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The hall has been restored through the efforts of the Friends of Kalaniana‘ole Hall and many other organizations and volunteers.