Ford Island Interpretive Trail

project type

Preservation – Interpretive Media

year completed


Ford Island, also known as Mokuʻumeʻume, is an islet located in the center of the Pearl Harbor National Historic Landmark  The moored ships and parked aircraft on and around the island were the primary focus of the December 7, 1941 attack. 

MASON researched and designed 30 interpretive panels that have been placed along a newly-completed paved walking and running trail that encircles the island. The interpretive panels are paired at 15 nodes along the historic trail and were created to illustrate the cultural and historical importance of Ford Island, including descriptions of its use prior to Western contact.

Panels along the Ewa side of the island consists of information about the area’s geology, Hawaiian history, and historic Army use. Panels on the Waikiki side are dedicated to the island’s Navy history, defense development, and role in World War II.

The purpose of the project was to portray the rich history of the island from the pre-contact period through its use by the military, to educate and communicate an appreciation for both Hawaiian and military history and the importance of protecting cultural resources and providing an amenity for the island residents, employees and visitors.

Photo Credit for the Individual Panel Images: Historic Hawaii Foundation

Project Details

  • Panels are each 2’ x 3’ and mounted on stands based on National Park Service standards.
  • Panels were designed in 2013 but installation was delayed when the Navy decided to construct an accessible path connecting all of them.
  • Panels mark historic buildings and vistas and point out remnants of the December 7 attack, including strafing marks on concrete.


Historic Hawaii Foundation

Historic Preservation Award for Interpretive Media, 2020


  • Designed 30 interpretive panels


© 2019 MASON
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