11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Mokuaikaua Church

Year Listed: 2014
Location: Kailua Village in Kona, Hawaii
Threat: Deterioration

Mokuaikaua Church

Photo by Steve Conger

Significance

Mokuaikaua Church, Hawaii’s first Christian Church, is a large stone building located in the center of Historic Kailua Village in Kona, Hawaii. Its iconic steeple stands out conspicuously among the low rise village and has become a landmark for nearly 200 years from both land and sea.

Completed in 1837 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, Mokuaikaua Church represents the new, western-influenced architecture of early 19th century Hawaii. This stone and mortar building is believed to be built out of stones taken from a nearby heiau (Hawaiian temple) with mortar made of burned coral. Construction beams are made from Hawaiian ohia wood joined with ohia pins.

The building has suffered from earthquake damage, as well as dysfunctional and faulty electrical wiring, termite damage, and dry-rot damage to beams in the steeple and wooden window frames. A Hawaiian landmark for nearly 200 years,  Mokuaikaua Church now needs immediate attention if it is to be saved.

Visit the Mokuaikaua Church's website for more information.