11 Most Endangered Historic Places
Year Listed: 2009
Location: Lāna‘i City , Hawaii
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One of Hawai'i's eight main islands, Lāna'i, known as the "Pineapple Isle," has tropical beaches, breathtaking natural beauty, lavish resorts and one attraction none of the other islands can claim: an intact plantation town. Located between Moloka'i and Maui, Lāna'i is the smallest of the main Hawaiian Islands, with 2,500 year-round residents living in and near Lāna'i City, the center of the island. The island rose to prominence with the arrival of James Drummond Dole, whose pineapple empire once stretched over 20,000 acres and employed thousands of workers. In the 1920s, Dole, who owned the entire island, created a thriving company town, complete with hundreds of plantation-style homes, a laundromat, jail, courthouse and police station, all centered around a tree-lined park named in his honor.
The least visited of the main Hawaiian Islands, Lāna‘i has remained secluded, and the company town of Lāna‘i City looks very much as it did in its 1920s heyday. There are no traffic lights, no malls, no public transportation and less than 30 miles of paved road on the 141 square mile island.