Washington Place

project type

Rehabilitation, Preservation, Adaptive Use

year completed


From a Governor's Mansion to a Museum.

A National Historic Landmark, Washington Place served as the home of Queen Liliuokalani from 1862 until her death in 1917 and then became the residence of Hawaii’s territorial and state governors from 1922 to 2002. Notable for its original 1846 Greek-Revival design, Washington Place is also the repository for artifacts and historic furnishings of the Queen. In order to preserve the historic site while increasing its interpretive value, MASON was responsible for seven projects over the course of nearly 20 years, the first being the preparation of a Historic Structure Report.

Following the Historic Structure Report, MASON directed six subsequent projects including the restoration of the Queen’s Bedroom; rehabilitation of the exterior, including reroofing and repairs to the 1952 lanai; strengthening the second floor areas used as exhibit space; restoring gate pillars and historic lamps and lamp posts and; most recently, the preparation of a Master Plan for the entire site. In this plan, MASON established guidelines for the preservation of Washington Place, formulated the plan to guide its future use, and offered an in-depth historical analysis of the building’s structure, all of which provided essential information to the proposed project.

The house served as the Governor’s Mansion from 1922-2002.

Project Details

  • When restoring the Queen’s Bedroom, wall and ceiling papers were recreated, a boarded-up door was exposed, an antique light fixture was installed, and the room was furnished as it appeared in old photographs.
  • The architectural conservation plan analyzed the building’s layout, structure, materials, paint history, mortar composition, and lighting; addressed code and accessibility issues; and recommended detailed preservation measures. This work was conducted with architectural conservator Ken Hays.
  • Strengthening of the second floor was done without affecting the first floor ceilings or the finished appearance of the second floor. The work made space for interpretive exhibits that shared new and educational stories of Washington Place.


Historic Hawaii Foundation

  • Historic Preservation Honor Awards, 2004
  • Historic Preservation Honor Awards, 2015
  • Historic Preservation Honor Awards, 2018


  • Historic Structure Reports (HSR) and Existing Condition Surveys
  • Project Programming and Space Planning
  • Master Planning
  • Construction Documents and Administration
Top: Queen Liliuokalani in the garden, c. 1890s. Bottom Left: Restored Queen's Bedroom; Bottom Right: Reconstruction gate pillars and restored lamps

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