Preserving Hawaii’s Unique Heritage

By Kiersten Faulkner, executive director, Historic Hawaii Foundation

Historic Hawaii Foundation organized in 1974 to preserve and protect historic places that tell Hawaii’s story. For 40 years, it has helped people save places that matter.


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Kiersten Faulkner

The programs and mission encompass the fullness of Hawaii’s history, including sites that are monumental and iconic, like Iolani Palace or Puukohola Heiau, and places of everyday life that create a sense of place for a community — houses, neighborhoods, commercial buildings, downtowns, bridges, religious buildings, schools and cultural landscapes.

Historic preservation is a key ingredient in stabilizing older communities and bringing citizens together. Historic buildings provide a sense of stability and are a tangible link to the past for everyone to experience.

Preservation does not mean locking away or preventing use of heritage resources; rather, it encourages the sustainable and appropriate use of these assets. Preservation is about deciding what is important, figuring out how to protect it and passing along an appreciation for what was saved to the next generation.

Historic Hawaii Foundation focuses its efforts in four key areas: protection, education, advocacy and assistance. Through Preservation Resource Center, we are involved in some 500 individual interactions annually to assist homeowners, managers of historic sites, developers, community groups and government agencies to understand and apply best practices for preservation. Workshops, seminars, tours and expert lectures connect people to places, and we provide expert information and advocacy in the legislative process.

Preservation is a long-term commitment. Sustaining the effort is the result of a committed membership and financial support from both individuals and businesses, and from a signature annual fundraising event. Program-specific support is provided by generous sponsors and grantmaking foundations.

To help preserve Hawaii’s historic places, you can:

• Become a member of Historic Hawaii Foundation at

• Visit, shop, learn, play, worship or live in historic properties and let the owners know that you appreciate their preservation efforts.

• Attend a workshop or tour with Historic Hawaii Foundation.

• Sign up for HHF Action Alerts at

• Write, call or email your elected officials in support of preservation actions.

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