H. Alexander Walker Residence
H. Alexander Walker Residence
|Location||2616 Pali Highway, Honolulu, Hawaii|
|Area||6 acres (2.4 ha)|
|Architectural style||Classical Revival|
|NRHP Reference #||73000665|
|Added to NRHP||April 24, 1973|
The house was built in 1903 by George Rodiek of Hackfield and Company, a naturalised German immigrant. Originally the estate comprised a two-story home with a series of gardens featuring ferns, rocks and orchards, sometimes called the oldest formal Japanese garden in Honolulu.
Rodiek served as German consul as well as president of the Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association. In 1917, he was accused of involvement in the Hindu German Conspiracy to foment revolution in India. Though subsequently given a presidential pardon, he sold the house to Alan Wilcox in 1918 and moved with his family to San Francisco, never to return. In the 1930s the house was purchased by Mr. & Mrs. H. Alexander Walker. Mr. Walker was president of American Factors, the successor firm to Hackfeld and Company, and Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association. Mr. Walker, whose father J.S. Walker was a member of King Kalakaua's cabinet, dubbed the gracious estate "Mamalu", meaning "Shady Lawns." The Walkers turned the estate into world famous orchid gardens.
On April 24, 1973, at the request of Una Walker, H. Alexander Walker's widow, the house was added as site 73000665 to the National Register of Historic Places listings in Oahu and listed as a "valuable historic property" by Hawaii Historic Places. Una Walker maintained the estate by making the grounds available for weddings and visitors and as a movie and television set. It appeared in many Hawaii 5-0 and Magnum PI shows. Una's grandson, former Hawaii Attorney General Michael A. Lilly and his wife Cindy Walter were the last members of the Walker family to live on the estate. In 1989, two years after Una's death, the house and its 5.86-acre (23,700 m2) grounds were sold by the Walker heirs to Masao Nangaku of Minami Group (USA) Inc. for $8.5 million. His intention was to restore the original house to be used as a corporate retreat. He renovated the house and received a Preservation Honor Award from the Historic Hawaii Foundation, as well as a Grand Award in the Building Industry of America's Renaissance competition.
After Nangaku experienced financial problems, Richard Fried and partners took the property over and, in 1998, asked for planning permission to build a chapel to facilitate weddings on the site. When this was refused, the estate was sold to Holy-eye the same day for $5 million. In 2005, Holy-Eye listed the estate for sale, asking $12.9 million.
In June 2006, real-estate developer TR Partners attempted to purchase the estate and planned to demolish the building. Initial plans to subdivide and build 20 new homes were rejected. The house and grounds are still being maintained in their original condition.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.
- Andrew Gomes (June 29, 2006). "Developer targeting esteemed Walker Estate". Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved June 27, 2010.
- "Walker Estate". Mason Architects. Retrieved June 27, 2010.
- Dorothy Riconda; Robert M. Fox (September 18, 1972). "H. Alexander Walker Residence nomination form" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places. U.S. National Park Service. Retrieved June 27, 2010.
- "Walker Estate: Nu’uanu, Oahu". Most Endangered Historic Sites in Hawaii. Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation. 2006. Retrieved June 27, 2010.
- Nina Wu. "The former Walker Estate may soon become history: Developers plan to raze the historic estate to build homes". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved June 27, 2010.