Renewal of the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace

project type

Preservation, Rehabilitation

year completed

2010 & 2018

Our Lady of Peace, the Catholic Church’s first Sandwich Island mission, has been in continual use since its construction 1843. It is home to two American Roman Catholic saints: Damien de Veuster, who was ordained in the Cathedral in 1864, and Marianne Cope – both revered for their work at Kalaupapa.

The original vernacular-style structure with its exposed coral-block walls quarried from Honolulu harbor was transformed throughout the nineteenth-century with Neo-Classical and Gothic-Revival elements.  The Victorian-era vaulted ceiling and interior date to the 1870’s and the current Mediterranean Mission-style of the church dates to 1929.   

Since 2010, Mason and our team - including RDG Planning and Design and Brother William Woeger of Omaha - have planned a complete renewal of the Cathedral. While the structure has seen many alterations in the past, there has not been a major project to address its comprehensive needs for decades. The project will address much-needed repairs and restore the Cathedral to enhance the present liturgy by recreating 19th century-inspired sacred furnishings and finishes.

The Cathedral Renewal Project will restore and preserve an Internationally-recognized historic treasure and honor the 19th-century time period of Saints Damien and Marianne. Provide a period-appropriate liturgical environment, including traditional realignment of pews to face the high altar. The work will acknowledge Hawaiian culture and the evolving multi-cultural community in its artistic details and design elements. Strengthen and enhance the Church’s role in the downtown community.

Project rendering

Project Details

  • Reconstruct the “Westminster-style” crypts for Bishop Maigret (1804-82) and Bishop Scanlan (1906-97) and provide additional Burial Chapels at the makai side chapel
  • Restore the 1870s French and 1920s Oidtmann Studio stained glass windows
  • Install period-appropriate lighting, recreated from archival photographs
  • Renovate the historic Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ
  • Provide a period-appropriate liturgical environment, including traditional realignment of pews to face the high altar
  • Reinforce the bell tower and repair the historic tower clock, which is older than the Church itself
  • Construct a new Reliquary Chapel to house the relic of Saint Damien and remains of Saint Marianne, as well as a new marble baptismal font and matching marble sacramental altar
  • Install chilled-water air conditioning system for improved climate control and new audio/video system


  • Documentation of Existing Conditions
  • Master Planning
  • Building Design and Engineering
  • Construction Documents

  • Permitting
  • Contractor Review and Selection Consultation
  • Bidding Administration
  • Construction Contract Administration
  • Record Drawings

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