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Hart Wood

Architectural Regionalism in Hawaii

Don Hibbard, Glenn Mason, and Karen Weitze

Publication Year: 2010

This lavishly illustrated book traces the life and work of Hart Wood (1880–1957), from his beginnings in architectural offices in Denver and San Francisco to his arrival in Hawaii in 1919 as a partner of C. W. Dickey and eventual solo career in the Islands. An outspoken leader in the development of a Hawaiian style of architecture, Wood incorporated local building traditions and materials in many of his projects and was the first in Hawaii to blend Eastern and Western architectural forms in a conscious manner. Enchanted by Hawaii’s vivid beauty and its benevolent climate, exotic flora, and cosmopolitan culture, Wood sought to capture the aura of the Islands in his architectural designs.

Hart Wood’s magnificent and graceful buildings remain critical to Hawaii’s architectural legacy more than fifty years after his death: the First Church of Christ Scientist on Punahou Street, the First Chinese Church on King Street, the S & G Gump Building on Kalakaua Avenue, the Honolulu Board of Water Supply Administration Building on Beretania Street, and the Alexander & Baldwin Building on Bishop Street, as well as numerous Wood residences throughout the city.

200 illus.

Published by: University of Hawai'i Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. ix

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pp. xi-xii

First and foremost we extend a debt of gratitude to Charles R. Sutton, Vladimir Ossipoff, and Robert Fox, the trustees of the Hart Wood Foundation, who so many years ago pointed us down the trail which has led to this book. Much belated thanks to Diane...

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pp. xiii-xvi

Although today he is overshadowed by former partner Charles W. Dickey, Hart Wood is one of the giants of Hawaii’s regionalist design movement and arguably its most creative advocate. The first architect in Hawaii known to meld Asian and Western forms, some of his best...

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1. Influences of Youth

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pp. 1-9

Born in Philadelphia on December 26, 1880, Hart Wood was the son of Thomas Hart Benton Wood, the nephew of Louis M. H. Wood, and the grandson of Samuel Wood. The Woods were all active artisans in the building trades of the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.1 By 1850, Samuel...

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2. Wood's Early Career

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pp. 10-37

By 1897 or 1898, Hart Wood had formally entered the architectural profession, inaugurating his career through Marean & Norton and Frank E. Edbrooke & Company. The Edbrooke firm was responsible for much of Denver’s late-nineteenth-century appearance, with the Brown Palace...

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3. Wood and Simpson: Wood Opens His Own Firm

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pp. 38-57

In July 1915, Architect and Engineer of California announced that Hart Wood and Horace G. Simpson had formed a partnership: Wood and Simpson.1 Wood’s reasons for leaving Hobart are shadowy. The business climate was steadily deteriorating, and the Portland Post Office...

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4. Hawaii: The Stage is Set

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pp. 58-64

The pairing of Hart Wood (fig. 31) with Charles William Dickey (fig. 32) was to prove fortuitous for Wood. Dickey was able to provide Wood with the clients he had been unable to attract during the hard times of World War I. In turn, Dickey found in Wood a man of compatible architectural...

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5. Early Work in Hawaii

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pp. 65-97

The basic designs of at least three major projects were completed before Wood made Honolulu a permanent base. The Greek Theater project, as its name implies, is pure Classical Revival architecture. However, the early schemes for the Bishop & Company Bank...

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6. Wood Leads the Hawaiian Regional Architecture Movement

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pp. 98-187

During the years 1924–1926, Wood continued to combine a variety of design elements in an effort to formulate the guiding principles for a regional architecture appropriate to Hawaii. The directions he had explored in the Albert Wilcox Memorial...

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7. The Depression Years and World War II

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pp. 188-228

The crash of the stock market in October 1929 did not have an immediate effect upon Hawaii, but by 1931 the depression was being felt in the Islands. By mid-1932, Wood informed his friend Jesse Stanton of Gladding, McBean, “I have managed to keep my office...

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8. Reopening His Office

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pp. 229-242

Following the war, Wood was almost immediately busy upon reopening his office. Original drawings, dated June 19, 1944, exist for a small residence for J. Walsh on Terrace Drive in Manoa. In addition, during the first month of 1946, plans for two residential renovations were...

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9. The Crepuscular Years, the End of a Career

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pp. 243-246

Following the completion of the Lihue United Church, age began to catch up to Hart Wood. By June 1952, when he was admitted to Maunalani Hospital, he “couldn’t hold a pencil,” nor could he take care of himself. Probably suffering from Parkinson’s disease, this talented...


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pp. 247-270


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pp. 271-276

About the Authors

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pp. 277

E-ISBN-13: 9780824860523
Print-ISBN-13: 9780824832360

Publication Year: 2010

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Regionalism in architecture -- Hawaii.
  • Wood, Hart, 1880-1957 -- Criticism and interpretation.
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