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Buildings of Hawaii (Buildings of the United States) Hardcover – July 18, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


As primary source material, Hibbard's tour de force is definitive and will serve Hawaii well for many decades to cme as we all struggle to learn from―and protect―our common legacy.

(Curt Sanburn Honolulu Weekly)

About the Author

Don J. Hibbard administered the Hawaii state historic preservation office from 1981 to 2002, and now works as a heritage specialist. He has written or coauthored several books on Hawaii’s architecture, including The View from Diamond Head: Royal Residence to Urban Resort, Designing Paradise: The Allure of the Hawaiian Resort, and Hart Wood: Architectural Regionalism in Hawaii.


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Product Details

  • Series: Buildings of the United States
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: University of Virginia Press; 1st edition (July 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813930944
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813930947
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,880,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Part of the Buildings of the United States series, this entry maintains the high standards of previous volumes. These books just seem to get better with time.

Here, we're treated to a wonderful, eclectic mix of indigenous and imported styles, with a critical mass of Victorian and early Modern sites. The author does a beautiful job illustrating for the reader how classical styles eventually gave way to Hawaii's distinctive regional modern style, specifically as practiced by Dewey.

There are about 400 well-chosen sites included, framed by outstanding, concise essays that provide a remarkably complete history of the state. Sites from the seven major inhabited islands are included, and chapters are arranged by island. Biographies of important local architects are embedded within the text.

There are about 250 small monochrome photographs that give the reader a good idea of how the buildings look from positions of easy public access. The photographs are really quite good, and more would have been a nice addition.

The real surprise in the book is the subject matter itself. If you have an image of Hawaii as a forest of modern high-rise condominiums and resort hotels, this book will be a pleasant surprise to you. There are many beautiful historic buildings, as New England missionaries and sugar plantation owners left their mark. The entire ensemble of buildings reminds me very much of architecture in Australia, or even Singapore, perhaps with fewer Victorian examples. This book allows the reader to appreciate the uniqueness of the building stock.

The books in this series are expensive because they require an extraordinary amount of research and are sold to a narrowly defined clientele.

I would recommend this book to architectural historians and serious cultural tourists, but most definitely to local historians who have a broader interest in how buildings tell the story of cultural pluralism.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is yet one more excellent volume in the Buildings of America series. This volume is up to the high standards set in the other volumes of the series and provides a superb overview of the architecture of Hawaii. This is probably more thorough than other volumes in light of the relatively small volume of buildings in Hawaii.
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