County of Honolulu
Nestled on the
corner of Punahou Street and Wilder Avenue is a little .7 acre gem
of a garden called Punahou Square Park. Once the property of
Missionaries, the site was acquired by the City and County of
Honolulu in the 1960’s. The park has not experienced many changes
in the 30 years of its existence. Prior to its revitalization in
the year 2002, the site was only recognizable by the butt shingled
wood roof corner bus stop shelter, a straight beaten dusty dirt
path used by pedestrians as a shortcut from Wilder Avenue to
Punahou Street, and nearly dead grass.
The intent of
the project was to preserve and enhance the existing passive park
character while providing an ADA accessible pedestrian pathway
incorporating low berms to add interest and relief from the flat
plane of the existing park, provide Hawaiian Victorian Style
benches, trash receptacles and bollards, provide a new irrigation
system, protect existing exceptional trees, plant new grass, and
incorporate interesting plant material and native plants for the
neighborhood to enjoy.
Park is home to several significant exceptional trees, including a
grand Banyan Tree, which serves as a focal point for the park.
The Golden Shower Tree was planted in honor of Betty Crocker’s
husband, Theodore Crocker and the Rainbow Shower Tree was planted
in honor of Betty Crocker’s grandmother. Other trees include an
Opiuma Tree, a False Wiliwili Tree, Kolomona Trees, Be-Still
Trees, a Surinam Cherry Tree, a Royal Poinciana Tree and a
Plumeria Tree. Three Queen’s White Shower Trees have been newly
planted to enhance the pedestrian experience and to provide shade
along the new pathway. There are plans to have a dedication of
the trees in honor of Betty Crocker.
are now able to stroll through the park under the shade of the
trees and watch the shadow play of the leaves on the pathway. The
pathway meanders through low grass covered berms. The berms aid
in separating pedestrians from the busy traffic while softening
the noise of the vehicles. The berms also provide alternative
informal sitting areas. The meandering pathway surface is made up
of a special scoring pattern, heavy rock salt finish and colored
concrete to enhance the richness of the park’s experience.
of the 3 concrete bench pads were carefully placed so as not to
disrupt the existing Banyan Tree roots while providing 3 quiet
spaces for contemplation and observation with perfect views of the
park and bus arrival under the shade of the grand Banyan Tree
neighboring First Church of Christ Scientist’s umbrella shaped
Monkeypod Tree and Mahogany Tree lends a nice backdrop to the park
and seems to expand the park-like character along Punahou Street.
shrubs such as the broad, green leaves of ‘Ape and Green Ti were
planted to frame the view of the historic First Church of Christ
Scientist and at the same time to screen the parking lot and
ground covers were carefully selected and used to define the
park’s boundaries as well as to screen the adjacent Church
driveway, parking lot, and the ewa apartments. New plantings of
Native shrubs such as the Native White Hibiscus, Red ‘Ilima,
‘Akia, ‘Ulei and fragrant and accent flowering shrubs such as Red
and Pink Gingers, Gardenias and Yellow Hibiscus were planted for
the many school children and neighbors that meander through the
park. This is a pleasant way to appreciate our beautiful Hawaiian
flowers and foliage.
Park has had a very positive effect for the public. Seeing the
neighborhood embrace the park has been the biggest evidence of the
park’s success. From the sweeping of the pathway by a neighbor,
to the strolling through the park by visitors from India, to the
sitting under the shade of a Banyan Tree while waiting for the
bus, to the lovers embracing, shows some of the many joyful
happenings that occur at Punahou Square Park.
Park was recognized by the American Society of Landscape
Architects for an Award of Merit in 2003.
Park was also recognized by Scenic Hawaii for a Betty Crocker
Landscape Award of Excellence in 2004.
Name: Punahou Square Park
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii, on the
and Wilder Avenue
Client: City and County of
Mr. Michael Creagh,
Architect: Dana Anne Yee, Landscape Architect, LLC.
Engineer: Kevin T. Mendes, Civil Engineer
Contractor: Naturescape Landscaping,
Taka Ishii and
Contractor: Site Engineering, Noel, Naka, Ted and
Hal Lum Photography and Dana Anne Yee,