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Mokuaikaua Church named one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places


Mokuaikaua Church in Kailua Village has been named to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2014 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

Mokuaikaua Church is Hawaii’s first Christian Church. Completed in 1837 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, Mokuaikaua Church represents the new, western-influenced architecture of early 19th century Hawaii, according to the trust. The stone and mortar building is believed to be built out of stones taken from a nearby heiau with mortar made from burned coral. Construction beams are made from ohia wood joined with ohia pins.

A Hawaiian landmark for nearly 200 years, Mokuaikaua Church now needs immediate attention to repair earthquake damage, as well as dysfunctional and faulty electrical wiring, termite damage, and dry-rot damage to beams in the steeple and wooden window frames, according to the trust.

“As the first Christian church in Hawaii, Mokuaikaua has withstood the ravages of island life nearly 200 years” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Today, however, it needs critical improvements to carry its history forward into a new century.”

The trust’s annual list highlights examples of the nation’s architectural, cultural and natural heritage that are at risk of destruction or irreparable damage, according to the orgnaization. More than 250 sites have been on the list during its 27-year history, and in that time, only a handful of listed sites have been lost.

Members of the public are invited to learn more about the 2014 America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places and hundreds of other endangered sites by clicking here.

Subscribers get the full story by West Hawaii Today reporter Erin Miller by clicking here.