Mid-century modern buildings
Located northeast of downtown Honolulu, the residential area of Makiki (not to be confused with Makiki Heights) surrounding the Makiki District Park was mostly built up during the late 1950s through the 1970s and is a treasure trove of mid-century tropical modernist low-rise, mid-rise and even high-rise residential buildings by some of Honolulu’s foremost architects.
Modernists could easily spend hours strolling around this densely populated neighborhood so to start you off we’ve included some of our favorite residential buildings within the vicinity of Makiki Street & Wilder Avenue (just a sampling, really) and we’ll continue to add more to the See Honolulu page when we can.
Corresponding photos are above… click on addresses below for Google map locations… and as always, please be respectful of homeowners privacy.
Maile Terrace Apartments (1327 Makiki Street) – Designed by Frank Haines in 1970, this 3-story walk-up features lovely natural stonework and an expansive lanai “railing” fashioned from breeze blocks.
Bel Aire Apartments (1543 Makiki Street) – This 6-story (including covered parking) mid-rise by Robert Matsushita is unique for its concrete accents including nice patterned block walls and lanai balustrades, circa 1964.
Panahou Terrace (1630 Makiki Street) – A beautiful black lava rock end wall is the feature element in this 1958 Miyamasu & Mori 2-story walk up apartment complex, the epitome of tropical modernism.
Hawaiian Holiday (1420 Wilder Avenue) – This 3-story walk-up designed and built by local hardware company City Mill boasts a beautiful pre-cast concrete mural by renowned Hawaiian artist Hon Chew Hee, circa 1962, a real beauty.
1335 Wilder Avenue (1335 Wilder Avenue) – Walter Wong designed this 3-story walk-up in 1965 which features a courtyard garden protected from outside view by beautiful wooden screens.
Wilder Tower (1325 Wilder Avenue) – Architect Jo Paul Rognstad brings a more minimalist look to this 1969 23-story residential tower. Its simplicity of stripped down concrete resembles a giant piano keyboard.
The Makikian (1190 Wilder Street) – Here’s a gorgeous 2-story walk-up from 1956 by architect Edwin Bauer. As the oldest building in this group it’s worth noting the many natural wood elements incorporated into it’s tropical modernist design.
Puna Kiki Apartments (1510 Dominis Street) – Comprised mostly of concrete blocks (some decorative), this simple 3-story building also features an overhanging flat roof and is representative of many other Makiki residential buildings from this period. By George Izata, 1961.
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