History of Ala Moana Park
Information about the history of Ala Moana Park
in Honolulu from the early 1900's to the present day.
Kathleen Walling Fry
Ala Moana Park - Historic Timeline
Walter Dillingham of Hawaiian Dredging bought
50 acres of swampy Honolulu land for $25,000 in 1912
because he needed a place to dump the dirt and coral
from his dredging projects.
A channel was dredged through a coral reef in order to connect
the Ala Wai Boat Harbor and the Kewalo Basin so boats could
travel between the two. When Ala Moana became a very popular
swimming beach, the channel was closed to boat traffic.
The City and County of Honolulu started cleaning up
the Ala Moana area in 1931. They planned to use funds
provided by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New
Deal Project to create a city park in the Ala Moana area.
Originally the park was suppose to include a pier,
Chinese, Hawaiian, and Japanese cultural areas,
and a large outdoor amphitheater.
President Roosevelt himself dedicated the new 76 acre
park in 1934 as "Moana Park".
The name of the park was changed from Moana Park
to Ala Moana Park in 1947
Walter Dillingham's son Lowell Dillingham
announced his plan to build a large shopping complex
across the street from Ala Moana Park.
The west end of the channel in front of the park was physically
closed in 1955 by a landfill project that was part of the
Kewalo Basin State Park project.
Sand was brought in from the west coast of Oahu to create a beach
area in Ala Moana Park.
Ala Moana Shopping Center opened across the street
from Ala Moana Park in 1959 with 87 stores filling
680,000 square feet on two levels. Today
Ala Moana Center is more the 2 million square feet in size.
The east end of of the channel in front
of Ala Moana Park was closed in the early 1960's and a landfill
project added a 30 acre peninsula to Ala Moana
Beach Park. That peninsula was called "Magic Island"
and it was suppose to be the home
of a new resort area that would have included two
additional "islands".that project never got off the
around and eventually the area became a public park.
The name of Magic Island was officially
changed to Aina Moana Park in 1972, which means "land from the sea",
but many locals still call it Magic Island.
In March of 2006 the City and County of Honolulu
issued a temporary order to close Ala Moana Park
from 10:00 pm to 4:00 am every day. The purpose
of the closure was to discourage people from
camping (or living) inside the park. The nightly
closure became permanent in July of 2006. The only
exception is on the 3rd of July, when the city allows
residents to arrive during the night to reserve a spot
4th of July Independence Day picnics and fireworks.
Ala Moana Park
Ala Moana Beach Park
Ala Moana Beach
Magic Island in Ala Moana Park
Ala Moana Shopping Center
Ala Moana Hotel
Marker 18 on the Waikiki Historic Trail
Oahu Island - Main Menu
Islands of Hawaii
Hawaii for Visitors
Elsewhere on the Web
City of Honolulu Introduction to Ala Moana Park
Nightly Closure of Ala Moana Park is Permanent