Princess Kaiulani's Childhood Home - Ainahau Torn Down in 1955

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Ainahau Was Torn Down in 1955
Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii

Princess Kaiulani's childhood home was built on ten acres of Waikiki land that was deeded to herr when she was born. Her home and estate were known as "Ainahau". Her father left Ainahau to the City of Honolulu when he died with a request to turn it into a public park. His request was never honored.

Ainahau Estate Torn Down
Photo Credit: Hawaii State Archives

The ten acre Ainahau Estate in Waikiki was built on ten acres land that was given to Hawaiian Princess Kaiulani when she was born, by her godmother Princess Ruth Keelikolani. Princess Kaiulani's father, Archibald Scott Cleghorn, built a two story home on that property for the tiny princess and her mother Princess Miriam Likelike. The estate was named "Ainahau" and it became a center of social activity in Honolulu.

Princess Likelike died in 1887 at the age of 36 and Princess Kaiulani died in 1899 at the age of 23. When her father Archibald Cleghorn died in 1910 he left the Ainahau Estate to the city of Honolulu and he asked them to turn the Ainahau gardens and grounds into a public park.

The city of Honolulu never fulfilled Cleghorn's request to turn the estate into a park. At the time of Cleghorn's death, Walter Dillingham and city officials were planning to dredge the Ala Wai Canal and drain the Waikiki area, and they knew that would dramatically increase the value of land in the Waikiki area. Honolulu sold Ainahau to investors.

Dilllingham's Hawaiian Dredging Company began working on the Ala Wai Canal in 1921 and it was completed in 1928. The canal dried up the streams and lily ponds on the Ainahau estate and in 1955 Princess Kaiulani's two-story Ainahau home was torn down to make room for hotels, apartment buildings, and office buidings.

Today the Princess Kaiulani Hotel sits at the former driveway entrance to the Ainahau Estate. You can see, in the above picture, that Princess Kaiulani's Ainahau house was located across the street from Waikiki's historic Moana Hotel, which opened for the first time in 1901.

The Princess Kaiulani Hotel offers a tour of the former Ainahau Estate several days a week, but since the estate no longer exists, it is really more of a tour of exhihits related to Ainahau and Pricess Kaiulani.

See also:
- More About Princess Kaiulani's Ainahau Estate
- Hawaii's First Banyan Was Planted at Ainahau
- Waikiki Historic Trail Marker #8: Ainahau
- Photo of Princess Victoria Kaiulani
- Photo of Princess Miriam Likelike

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Elsewhere on the Web
Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame: Princess Likelike
Biography of Her Husband Archibald Cleghorn
Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen

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