YEAR: 2010 LOCATION: HONOLULU, HI
‘Kaimana Hila’ is the historical restoration of a family home and carriage house built by the current owner’s grandparents in 1926. The goal of this project was to restore the original home in a way that celebrates its past while embracing modern day living.
©2010 Photos by David Franzen
The original construction cost was $11,000 which at the time was considered quite an expensive house, and was actually publicized in the local paper for its lavish budget. While thumbing through a magazine, Mrs. Haynes fell in love with a featured European cottage design expressing gothic proportions with well crafted detailing and commissioned her neighbor who was an architect to draw up this featured house. As history has proven, this neighbor architect was one of Hawaii’s most influential architects, C.W. Dickey. After a quick study of the dwelling, one realizes that Dickey was most likely given strict parameters by the owner as there are very few visual clues that would lead one to the conclusion that C.W. Dickey was the architect. Although not stylistically what one would expect from Dickey, the house is actually quite sophisticated with regard to architectural proportion and detailing. The hand drawings have an exceptional quality that is definitely the product of talented hands and clarity of mind.
If it had not been for very strong sentimental desires of the owner to restore ‘Kaimana-Hila’, this unrestored dwelling was one termite short of complete disrepair. A thorough visual inventory of the skin, structure and foundation revealed incredible damage from both termite infestation and Hawaii’s very damaging salty, humid climate. At this point of discovery, lengthy heartfelt discussions between the owner, architect and master builder commenced questioning if this structure was salvageable and at what cost. Knowing that a complete re-build would require a height variance with no guarantees of success, coupled with the owner’s strong family history in Hawaii, the owner decided that a historic preservation project was the desired path. And so the journey began.