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Historic Preservation at Kalaupapa National Historical Park

August 27, 2012

Kalaupapa National Historical Park is responsible for the preservation and maintenance of over two hundred historic buildings and more than twelve hundred historic grave markers.  The staff works through ongoing programs involving roofing, painting, carpentry, masonry, shop work, and cemetery marker preservation.  Specialized materials and skills are required to perform this work in compliance with the Secretary of the Department of the Interior’s Standards for Treatment of Historic Buildings.  Numerous Federal and State laws apply when working in historic cemeteries.  Preservation of the tangible historic elements of Kalaupapa provides a means to better convey the intangible elements, stories, to the Park visitors.




Paschoal Hall was constructed in 1916 to provide the residents of Kalaupapa Settlement with a social gathering place, where music and movies and other entertainment helped to ease their sense of separation and illness.  Over time, the great hall fell prey to weather and time, until the National Park Service initiated a long term program of rehabilitation.  The final phase of the program was rehabilitation of the interior of the building.  This project involved removal of thousands of acoustical tiles which were falling from the walls and ceiling, exposing the asbestos bearing mastic used long ago to adhere them. The two hundred twenty five circa theater seats were removed, refurbished, and reinstalled.  NPS craftspeople performed extensive repairs, replacing original components only as necessary and always with matching materials.  An accessible restroom was added, the entire interior was repainted in period colors. Events will once again be held in this historic landmark in the heart of the settlement, beginning with this year’s Night of Aloha, one of Kalaupapa’s biggest community events.

By: Richard Miller

One Comment leave one →
  1. Elizabeth permalink
    May 23, 2013 11:38 pm

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