Demolition of two historic structures to close Diamond Head State Monument

The State Parks Division today announced the closure in October and November of the Diamond Head State Monument for the demolition of two historic structures atop Diamond Head Crater, which visitors have climbed for years.

The state will rather than repair the two structures built on top of Leahi’s fire control station at the top of the crater, which division officials deem dangerous and too expensive to repair.

The fire checkpoints served as military installations “as observation posts to spot and trace the locations of potentially hostile warships and later aircraft,” the division said in a press release.

Park archaeologist Holly McEldowney found Leahi Station to be particularly complex. billed as the most elaborate and unique of its kind in the United States… “and one of the most unusual observation stations in the annals of coastal artillery”.

Judging from old photographs and other evidence, both concrete and rebar structures were built around 68 years ago, between WWII and the early 1950s, and were additions to the firefighting network completed in 1911, McEldowney surmised.

Deputy State Parks Administrator Alan Carpenter said the cost of repairing or rebuilding these structures was “prohibitive to repair or rebuild them, especially in the context of competing for other park priorities.” .

“We have not been able to discover the purpose or function of the two column and slab roof structures,” Carpenter said. “Despite the danger signs and posted warnings to avoid them, people have been climbing for years, trying to get a better view.

“We don’t want anyone to be hurt and that is the main reason why we chose to remove the structures,” he said, adding that it was easier to make the decision because they did not do part of the original building from 1911.

“So in a way, we are restoring the integrity of the original item,” Carpenter said.

Work begins Thursday and October 29, requiring the monument to be closed on those days.

It will close again from November 1 to 5.

The firefighting station will be closed from November 6 to 19, but may remain closed longer depending on the progress of the work.

Protective measures during the demonstration work will be in place to prevent damage to the summit’s other five historic features, the state said.

Both columns are considered historic properties under state historic preservation laws, so the State Historic Preservation Division has reviewed and agreed that their removal will not diminish the importance of the barracks. firefighters.

He found that the work meets historic preservation standards for significant historic buildings and structures.

“Despite this, it is unfortunate to lose a tangible reminder of Hawaii’s history and to have to balance that loss with the need for public safety in a busy park,” said the Historic Preservation Division.

The Historic Preservation Division documents and photographs structures being removed for historic preservation.

Repairs to the deteriorating concrete ceiling of the tunnel, which serves as the main entrance to Leahi’s fire control post, will also take place.

This tunnel is part of the original station and begins at the top of a 99-step staircase and stretches 62 feet to the station.

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