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? 

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Our weekly “Aloha Authentic” segment highlights various streets across the islands so we can dig into those names, and in turn, learn something new. 

For this segment, we bring attention to Hawaiʻi’s last king to take on the title of Kamehameha.

From the ahupuaʻof Kaunakakai to Hālawa, which lie on the island of Molokaʻi, stands a main roadway named after King Kamehameha V. 

We are talking about Kamehameha V Highway.

Prince Lot Kapuāiwa became the last monarch to claim the title of Kamehameha following the passing of his brother, King Kamehameh IV.

During his nine-year reign as King Kamehameha V, island visitors increased. 

This led him to believe Honolulu on Oʻahu needed to be modernized.

King Kamehameha V had commissioned the constuction of various new buildings, many of which still stand today.

The first post office in Hawaiʻi was built in 1871 and named Kamehameha V Post Office in honor of the king.

The building remains today as the Kumu Kahua Theatre and is the oldest concrete-block public building in the United States.

In the same year, once known as Hale Koa, the ʻIolani Barracks were created to house the Royal Guard. 

In 1965, it was dismantled and rebuilt brick-by-brick at its present location. 

Today, the Hawaiʻi State Capitol stands on its original grounds.

One project that the king took great interest in was the building of the “Hawaiian Hotel” which opened in 1872.

It once stood on the corner of Hotel and Richards Streets and was eventually renamed “Royal Hawaiian Hotel,” separate from the one in Waikīkī.

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Today, a new building stands in its place and is now called home by the Hawaiʻi State Arts Museum. 

Did you know?  Now you do!