Ala Moana Pump Station

Project Type:
Historic Preservation
Service Provided:
1,350 SQ. FT.
2017 Historic Hawaii Foundation Preservation Honor Award

Designed by renowned architect Oliver G. Traphagen and built in 1900, the Kakaako Pumping Station was Honolulu’s first waste disposal facility, needed to address the serious sanitation problems of the rapidly growing city. Constructed of locally quarried bluestone and concrete, the Industrial Romanesque style building features large arched windows, a mission tile roof, and a landmark 76-foot tall exhaust stack. Listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, the pumping station is located on an acre of land between Kewalo Basin and Downtown Honolulu, at Ala Moana Boulevard and Keawe Street.

Today the historic building is being repurposed into a community resource center for seniors. Working with the Hawaii Community Development Authority and the Hawaii Architectural Foundation, Ferraro Choi provided pro bono design services to prepare bridging documents, used to solicit Design-Build bids to renovate and refurbish the iconic structure. The new community center will cater to the senior population with intergenerational programs that bring in Hawaii’s youth to help older adults through workshops and services.

Project challenges included a modest budget, the preservation of the steel doors and windows, and providing air conditioning to large open spaces designed for natural ventilation.