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Honolulu Celebrates Ali’iōlani Hale After Over 150 Years

You are currently viewing Honolulu Celebrates Ali’iōlani Hale After Over 150 Years
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Downtown Honolulu has lots of tall buildings, but some are special because they hold history inside. One such building is the Judiciary Building, also called Ali’iōlani Hale. It turned 150 years old this month! To celebrate, there’s an event this Saturday. But this building isn’t just old; it’s filled with 150 years of stories. Ahukini Fuertes, who knows a lot about Hawaiian language and culture, is here to tell us more.

You might walk past Ali’iōlani Hale every day without realizing its importance. It sits just across from ‘Iolani Palace, with a big statue of King Kamehameha the Great out front. But what makes this building special? Fuertes explains.

“In 1874, when Ali’iōlani Hale opened, it was the main government building for the Kingdom of Hawai’i. It had the legislative hall, where we’re sitting now. It was also where the Supreme Court of Hawai’i met. Today, it’s where the Hawai’i State Judiciary works. What’s really cool is that it’s been the home of the Supreme Court since it began.”

Another neat fact: Ali’iōlani Hale used to be one of the tallest buildings in Honolulu! But now, it’s a symbol of history. To learn more about its past and celebrate its 150th anniversary, Keahe Davis, the Education Director, is here.

For the event this weekend, Davis says it’ll be a blast. They’re teaming up with Hawaiian Mission Houses to bring history to life. Visitors can chat with actors playing important people from Ali’iōlani Hale’s past, like Emma Nakuina, who ran the museum here, and William C. Parke, who was a marshal long ago.

Looking ahead, what does Davis hope for Ali’iōlani Hale in the next 150 years?

“We want to keep sharing our history with Hawai’i’s people,” Davis says. “Besides the event on Saturday, we’re open every weekday for anyone to visit. You can check out our exhibits and even bring your school group for a tour. We also have programs for teachers to learn more about our island’s past.”

Ali’iōlani Hale isn’t just a building; it’s a treasure trove of stories waiting to be discovered. And as it turns 150, its doors remain open for generations to come, eager to learn and celebrate the rich history of Hawai’i.

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