National Park Service awards grant for historic preservation field program

Participants focus on culturally valuable sites

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Jun 28, 2007

HONOLULU - The Historic Preservation Program at the University of Hawai‘i‘s Mānoa campus has been awarded $180,000 over a four-year period (2006-2010) by the National Park Service to hold the Historic Preservation Field School in Volcano, Hawai‘i.

The next Field School will be held July 1-28 at the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park for the second consecutive summer.

The annual Preservation Field Schools are intensive four to six-week programs that provide students with hands-on experience in working with neighborhoods, rural communities and/or buildings and landscapes worthy of documentation and analysis. Enrollment is generally limited to 18 participants.

The annual programs include actual work with the materials of a building or area, in addition to understanding its contents, environment and inhabitants. The six-credit graduate programs are co-sponsored by the Department of American Studies at UHM and the Outreach College, and focus on a different location each year.

Past participants, both students and professionals, have been from Hawai‘i, the Pacific, Asia, Europe and the U.S. Many of the students are enrolled in the Graduate Certificate Program in Historic Preservation in the Department of American Studies at UHM. Others are drawn from closely allied fields, such as Urban and Regional Planning, Architecture, History and Geography. Typically about half to two-thirds of the students come from the UH, the rest from institutions on the mainland or from overseas. Past international students have included participants from Cambodia, Micronesia, Thailand and Japan. The program also welcomes mid-career professionals who take the course to enhance existing skills or knowledge for their work back home.

The first field school was held in 1991 at the I‘ole Mission Station, a 19th-century complex of buildings of the missionary Bond family in North Kohala, Island of Hawai‘i. The 1992 field school examined Oahu's Ewa Plantation, the most complete surviving sugar plantation complex in the State. In 1993 the program was on the Island of Hawai‘i again, with Hilo and environs as the venue, including the historic downtown area and 1899 W.H. Shipman residence. The year 1994 featured Manoa Valley in Honolulu, an exceptionally well-preserved late 19th and early 20th-century residential community. The 1995 Field School on Maui focused on Vernacular Architecture.

Between 1996 and 2002 there were two field programs held annually on documentation of vernacular or historic architecture. In 1996, one was held in the commercial area of Waialae Avenue in Kaimuki on the island of Oahu and the second in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The year 1997 the program studied Kalaupapa, Moloka‘i, while the Asian Field School took place in Bangkok, Thailand. In 1998, it studied Historic Chinatown in Honolulu, while the Asian Field School took place in Bangkok, Thailand.

Recent Hawai‘i-based field schools have taken place in Kaimuki (2001) and Kapahulu (2004), both historic Honolulu neighborhoods, and in Mo‘ili‘ili, the urban neighborhood adjacent to the UH Manoa campus (2002, 2003). The Preservation Field School has cooperated with the National Park Service in a survey of historic properties at the Hansen‘s Disease Settlement at Kalaupapa (1997), and with the Hawai‘i Capital Cultural District coalition in the proposed downtown National Heritage Area of the Capital District (2005).