HONOLULU (KHON2) – We all make use of our island roadways, but when was the last time you paid attention to their given names?
Did you know you could learn more about Hawaiʻi and our history if you did?
Check out more news from around Hawaii
Our weekly “Aloha Authentic” segment highlights various streets across the pae ʻāina so we can dig into those names, and in turn, learn something new.
This week, we bring the attention to ʻIolani Palace.
In the ahupuaʻa of Honolulu, which lies in the moku of Kona here on Oʻahu, stands a street that leads directly to ʻIolani Palace.
We are talking about Mililani Street.
Named after the Hawaiian aliʻi stateman John ʻĪʻī, Mililani Street leads directly to the front steps of ʻIolani Palace.
The palace which stands today is actually its second version, replacing a single-story structure that once stood in its place.
In 1845, King Kamehameha III acquired a building relocated the seat of the Hawaiian Kingdom from Lāhainā, Maui to Honolulu.
The building was named Hale Aliʻi, or House of Chiefs, and was primarily used as government offices and to host official events.
It was King Kamehameha V who renamed the building toʻIolani Palace in honor of his brother, King Kamehameha IV.
Due to its despair, it was King David Kalākaua who tore down the palace and commissioned a new one modeled after the grand palaces he came across while travelling through Europe.
Designed in a style known as “American Florentine,” the new palace was completed in 1882, becoming the official residence of Kalākaua and then his successor, Queen Liliʻuokalani.
After the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, ʻIolani Palace became the Executive Building of the government until it moved to the newly constructed Hawaiʻi State Capitol in 1969.
Fun fact, ʻIolani Palace was the first in Hawaii to be outfitted with electric lights even before the White House.
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Did you know? Now you do!