11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium

Year Listed: 1995
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Threat: Deterioration, Demolition

Waikiki
Closed since 1979, the pool at the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium may be demolished.

Credit: Jon Radke
 

Significance

Carved out of the Pacific Ocean in the shadow of the famed Diamond Head, the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium was built in 1927 as a "living memorial" to Hawai’i's World War I veterans. The Beaux Arts landmark features a 100-meter saltwater pool that was used for recreation and competitions, and hosted swimming stars such as Duke Kahanamoku, Buster Crabbe, Johnny Weissmuller, and Ann Curtis. The Natatorium was instrumental in training a generation of Hawai'ian swimmers who achieved prominence and recognition as Olympic gold medalists. Deterioration forced the pool's closure in 1980.