Pali Highway Modernism

Mid-century buildings

The Pali Highway, also known as Hawaii Route 61, connects communities like Kailua  and Kaneohe  from the windward side of Oahu to downtown Honolulu. It’s a quick 20-30 minute drive through the Nu’uanu Pali tunnels (built in the 1950s) in either direction.

On the way you’ll see a handful of pretty nice modernist buildings in the lush Nuuanu neighborhood  including churches, synagogues and foreign consulates. We’ve listed our favorites with corresponding photos above… click on addresses below for Google Map locations.

The Taipei Economic & Cultural Offices (2746 Pali Hwy,) – Across the highway from St. Stephen Catholic Church sits the former Chinese Consulate building designed by Howard and Robert Wong (Wong & Wong Associates) in 1962. Unique concave concrete castings merge Western and Eastern cultures and is not to be missed!

St. Stephen Catholic Church (2747 Pali Hwy.) – Recipient of the AIA Honolulu  Design Award in 1969, St. Stephen Catholic Church was designed by architects Lee, Tagawa and Robertson and use simple geometric shapes cast in concrete to great effect. A real original.

Temple Emmanu-El (2550 Pali Hwy.) – Designed by Ed Sullam and built by T. Takahashi, this modernist style synagogue opened in 1960 and is Hawaii’s largest Jewish congregation. Its Jack Lane side boasts a classic mid-century low-lying post & beam look.

Hawaii Zuisenkyo True Health Center (3510 Nuuanu Pali Drive) – Home to the Church of World Messianity, MOA, also known as “Toho No Hikari” this 1968 Robert Katsuyoshi designed structure displays all the trappings of the New Formalist  style and is located just off the Pali Highway heading Windward before the Nu’uanu Pali tunnels.

Nuuanu Congregational Church (2651 Pali Hwy.) – Designed by Hideo Kobayashi and Thomas Nishida, this 1965 building seems to change when viewed from different angles and features a distinctive roof. Some have called its unique style Modern Expressionist.

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Tagged In Architecture,Building,chinese consulate,Honolulu,MCM,Mid Century Modern,nuuanu congregational church,Pali Highway Churches,See,st. stephen catholic churhc,taipei economic cultural offices and temple emmanu-el

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