Call to Action…! The Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial needs your voice!!!

WCP, the City’s consultant is convening focus groups to collect input on the historic preservation impacts of various options for War Memorial Natatorium.

The historic and cultural importance of the Natatorium’s history to swimmers, beach boys, veterans, Honor Roll descendants and Hawaiians is enormous. Omission of you and/or your organization in the list of invitees is in error because of the valuable comments that you, as a historian, swimmer, veteran or past user of the Natatorium can contribute. I have spoken with Celia at WCP and she is encouraging interested people that were NOT have been on the original invitation list to indicate their interest (by Thursday) and participate in the process.

I would like to strongly encourage the WWI Centennial Task Force, Oahu Veterans Council, DAV, NAUS, Kau Tom Post, Hawaii and Kamehameha Swim Clubs, Waikiki Beachboys, and Hawaii Swimming Hall of Fame, Olympians and National Champion swimmers like Sonny Tanabe, Bill Woolsey, Ron Han and others to immediately contact Celia at WCP (NO LATER THAN THURSDAY) to express your interest in participating in the discussion to be held later this month and in July.

The Natatorium needs your voice!!! PLEASE send an email TODAY to Celia Shen at WCP and copy Robert Kroning and Mark Yonamine at the City’s Department of Design and Construction and Alan Downer, at the State Historic Preservation Division to request that you or your organization be included in the meetings. Their email addresses are:,,, All you need to say is:

“I/my organization is an interested party (per 13-275 HAR) in the 6E review of the War Memorial Natatorium. As a (swimmer, beach boy, historian, veteran, descendant, native Hawaiian, etc.), I am concerned with the adverse effect of the City’s proposal to demolish the historic War Memorial Natatorium. I/we request inclusion in the meetings to collect comment for the 6E review.”

In your email Celia asks if you would please indicate which of the following meeting times you might prefer and how many people (up to 3) you might be bringing).

June 27, 2-4:30pm
June 28, 2-4:30pm
June 29, 9-11:30am or 2-4:30pm
June 30, 2:4:30pm
July 1, 9-11:30am

If you are unable to attend any of these meetings in person, please contact Celia ( and she will provide a means for you to contribute in writing. Her phone number is 380-3851 in case you want to speak with her personally.

The further educational info below on the 6E may be useful to you. Feel free to share with others who you feel have a stake in this historic site. Please feel free to also call me on my cell with any questions. 808-384-4070. Mahalo! Donna

Hawai’i Revised Statutes contains the state law related to historic properties. HRS 6E-8 is the section relevant to the Natatorium (Review of effect of proposed state projects). It states that prior to any state (or its political subdivisions, which are the counties) agency commences any project which may affect a historic property, the agency shall advise Department of Land and Natural Resources, DLNR through the State Historic Preservation Division, SHPD and allow the department the opportunity for review of the project on historic properties. The project shall not be commenced until DLNR shall have given its written concurrence.

The rules state that the purpose of the chapter is “to promote the use and conservation of historic properties for the education, inspiration, pleasure and enrichment of the citizens of Hawai’i….The review process is designed to … develop and execute plans to handle impacts to the significant historic properties in the public interest. The process supports the policy of chapter 6E HRS to preserve, restore, and maintain historic properties for future generations.”

Participants in the process include “interested persons are those organizations and individuals that are concerned with the effect of a project on historic properties. Provisions in these rules enable interested parties to participate in the process.” (13-275-1 (c)(2)).

If you know of any additional organizations or individuals who have an interest in participate in this process, they should write a letter to the City and its agents (WCP), with copy to SHPD, asking to be recognized as an “interested person” per 13-275 HAR. They should explain their “concern with the effect of the project on historic properties.”

You or your organization will be part of a focus group meeting with like organizations e.g., veterans groups, historic preservationists, architects, etc. Each organization is allowed to bring 3 representatives. We encourage you to have your talking points available in written form for formal submission to the facilitators.

Here are some additional resources from Historic Hawaii Foundation for grassroots organizations and advocates to help you become more effective as they participate in these processes.

Preservation Terms and Vocabulary:

Adverse Effects to Historic Properties:

Treatment of Historic Properties:

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