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Planner wants Lahaina historic sites restored

By Staff | Feb 9, 2012

Recognizing that Lahaina was capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the favored re-provisioning port for the Pacific whaling fleet and site of the first Christian mission to Hawaii, planner Chris Hart seeks community support for a 49-year-old historic restoration plan for Lahaina Town.

The former county planning director wants to see Lahaina Historic District 1 sites restored.

Hart will appeal to Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce members at an open meeting on Tuesday evening, Feb. 14, at Maui Tropical Plantation.

A panel of four historians will also comment on historical sites in Lahaina – which Hart calls “the cultural watershed of Hawaii” – and specific spots that should be restored.

Established in 1962 by the Maui County Council, Lahaina Historic District 1 stretches from the intersection of Shaw and Front streets to Dickenson Street and includes important sites mauka of the waterfront, such as Hale Paahao (the old prison), Hale Aloha Church, Maria Lanakila Church and the Seaman’s Hospital.

According to Hart, Maui County, Lahaina Restoration Foundation and other organizations have implemented parts of the district plan, but many Hawaiian sites still await attention.

“Besides preservation goals, restoration has the potential to increase the uniqueness and Hawaiian authenticity tourists seek in Lahaina,” the chamber noted.

“The Feb. 14th MNHCC forum will address specific sites and opportunities for Hawaiian and community support of Lahaina Historic District 1.”

This Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce general meeting and forum is open to the public. Cocktails and networking will start at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the forum at 6 p.m.

Register today, Feb. 9, by contacting Kai Pelayo at 874-2426 or e-mail kai.pelayo@grandwailea.com. For information on the event or chamber, call Katherine Smith at 268-0787.