HONOLULU (KHON2) – Stretching from the ahupuaʻa of Honolulu to the ahupuaʻa of Waikīkī, which both lie within the moku of Kona here on Oʻahu, stands a roadway given with the name that could mean “path to the ocean.”
We are talking about Ala Moana Boulevard.
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By the turn of the 20th century, much of Waikīkī’s taro patches were converted into fishponds and duck farms.
In 1912, Walter Dillingham purchased the land of what is now Ala Moana Beach Park, much of which was coral reef.
The original shoreline once roughly followed the roadway Beach Road, what we now call Ala Moana Boulevard.
By 1930, over 400,000 cubic yards of dredging from the Ala Wai Canal and Kewalo Basin filled in the future park.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Waikīkī entrance portals to the new park named Moana Park in 1934.
Less than a decade before this beach was created along the then-newly built shoreline as it was mostly reef prior, the name Moana Park was changed to Ala Moana Park in 1947.
Ala meaning “road or pathway” and moana referring to the dark blue ocean.
Hence, Ala Moana meaning “Ocean Road.”
A channel was dredged parallel to the new shoreline allowing boats to traverse from the Ala Wai Canal to Kewalo Basin.
By 1955, a mile of sand was brought in from the Waiʻanae coast to create the new Ala Moana Beach.
In 1961, plans were made to create hotels on the Waikīkī end of the park, leading developer Henry Kaiser to build a peninsula.
What was meant to be a tourism mecca, Magic Island was devoted to recreation due to public opposition in 1970.
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Today, Ala Moana Park retains its original design of 1931 and continues to be “the people’s park.”
Did you know? Now you do!