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Hawaii Travel --> Islands --> Oahu --> Attractions --> Historic Honolulu --> Aliiolani Hale

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The Historic Aliiolani Hale
Hawaii State Judiciary Building

The Aliiolani Hale is one of the most photographed buildings in Hawaii because it sits behind the golden King Kamehameha statue. The building is located in the historic capitol district of downtown Honolulu, across the street from the Iolani Palace.

Aliiolani Hale
Aliiolani Hale Decorated for the Winter Holidays
Copyright © Kathleen Walling Fry

The Aliiolani Hale was originally intended to be a royal palace for King Kamehameha V but instead it was used to house the government offices of the Hawaiian Kingdom. King Kamehameha V himself laid the first cornerstone for the building in early 1872, but he died on his birthday later that year, before the building was completed. The building was dedicated in 1874 by King David Kalakaua. The Aliiolani Hale was designed by Australian Thomas Rowe. It was completely renovated in 1911 and a new wing was added in the 1940's.

From 1874 through 1893 - when the Hawaiian Monarchy was overthrown - the building housed most of the government offices, legislature, and courts of the Kingdom of Hawaii. The building was used by the Government of the Republic of Hawaii for a few years, and beginning in 1900 it housed the offices of the United States Territory of Hawaii. Today it is the home of the Hawaii State Supreme Court, the Hawaii State Judiciary Administrative Offices, the Judiciary History Center, and Hawaii's largest law library.

Honolulu's Aliiolani Hale was added to the United States National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

Visit the Judiciary History Center
The Hawaii State Judiciary History Center inside the Aliiolani Hale features multimedia presentations and exhibits, including a restored courtroom and historic items. Open Monday through Friday from approximately 8:00 amA to 4:00 pm. Admission is free. Call 808-539-4999 for more information and to confirm exhibit opening and closing times.

Time Capsule Buried Under the Aliiolani Hale
On February 19, 1872 a time capsule was buried during the ceremony at which King Kamehameha V laid the cornerstone of the Aliiolani Hale. The time capsule included photos of the Hawaiian royal family, Hawaiian postage stamps, the constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Hawaiian coins, local newspapers, a calendar, and books, including a Hawaiian language dictionary. The capsule was located using radar in 2005, but it was left undisturbed because digging it up would damage the historic building under which it was buried.
  • 2005 Dec 10: Radar to Search for Royal Time Capsule
  • 2005 Dec 11: Radar Quickly Pinpoints Kamehameha Time Capsule
  • 2005 Dec 11: Long Lost Time Capsule Found in Hawaii

    Book About the Aliiolani Hale
    Aliiolani Hale Book
  • Book Title: Aliiolani Hale, A Sentinel in Time
  • Author: Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl
  • Publisher : Friends of the Judiciary
  • Date Published: May 2000
  • Number of Pages: 120
  • Binding: Paperback
  • ISBN: 0961923415
  • The full title of the book is "Aliiolani Hale, A Sentinel in Time: A History of the Events in the Life of Hawaii's Historic Judiciary Building". It was written by well-known playwright Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl. The book describes and explains events in the history of the Aliiolani Hale and it includes full page photographs and floor plans. It can be ordered at your favorite bookstore by referencing the ISBN number and it can be ordered online at Native Books Hawaii.

    Location of the Aliiolani Hale
    The Aliiolani Hale is located at 417 South King Street in downtown Honolulu, between Miililani Street and Punchbowl Street.

    Attractions Walking Distance from the Aliiolani Hale
  • King Kamehameha Statue
  • Iolani Palace
  • Kawaiahao Church
  • Mission Houses Museum
  • Hawaii State Capitol
  • Honolulu Hale
  • Queen Liliuokalani Statue
  • Father Damien Statue
  • Hawaii's September 11 Memorial
  • Korean and Vietnam War Memorial

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