During our visits to Honolulu we have always enjoyed discovering the bounty of unusual cool mid-century architectural elements that they have there. Concrete seemed to be a popular medium of expression in the 60’s and we applaud it.
So on one of our O’ahu excursions we drove past the Hawaiian Holiday Apartments at 1420 Wilder Ave. in lower Makiki and went “Whoa!” – and then had to figure out what we saw. We knew it was a cool concrete facade to a downright bleak apartment building, but that was all we knew.
After some poking around we discovered that the facade for the Hawaiian Holiday Apartments was created by an artist named Hon-Chew Hee around 1962. It’s a three-story tall piece that was created in sections with the help of some assistants in his back yard, then arranged into place like a big puzzle. It’s really cool and we are very glad it is still around.
(There is an excellent book entitled “Sculpture in the Sun” by Georgia and Warren Radford from 1978 that documents this piece and other outdoor sculptures in Honolulu. We scored our copy at Jelly’s.)