Walking Tour: Descriptions

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1) VARNEY MEMORIAL FOUNTAIN in middle of Varney Circle Who was Varney? She was Susan Ada Varney. Working at the Territorial Normal School, a previously separate institution which had joined UH in 1931, she trained teachers for Hawaii’s schools. Built in 1934, the circular fountain commemorating Ms. Varney signals an important point: UH exists thanks to the enduring individual and collaborative efforts of both women and men. Even the design of the fountain, created by art instructor Henry Rempel and graduate student Cornelia McIntyre Foley working together, reinforces this message. Stylized bas reliefs of the male Hawaiian god Ku in a fighting stance alternate with fronds that suggest some of women’s traditional agricultural work—another signal that qualities we consider feminine and masculine both contribute to building and supporting the University.

2) QUEEN LILIUOKALANI STUDENT SERVICES CENTER Queen Liliuokalani (1838-1917), Hawaii’s last reigning monarch, is the namesake for this modernistic, four-storied building. After being forced from her throne in 1896, the Queen witnessed the takeover of her kingdom into a “republic” and then, in 1898, a Territory of the U.S. She was alive for the first years of the new University of Hawaii when it came to Manoa: “Hawaii College” was constructed on lands from the royal crown that had been ceded to the territorial government. Once Hawaii achieved statehood in 1959, these ceded lands were taken permanently for UHM, underscoring our obligation and aspiration to be a Hawaiian place of learning.

Queen Liliuokalani Student Services Center today houses programs such as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Office, and the Women’s Center. In the courtyard, three sculptures commemorate the Varsity Victory Volunteers. The VVV were made up of mostly Asian volunteers, mainly students from the UH ROTC, who enlisted to serve in the Hawaii Territorial Guard after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. Because of their race, the US government questioned the loyalty of the VVV and eventually discharged them. Still, their initiative inspired large numbers of Asians to join in fighting for America during World War II.

The shade of FARRINGTON HALL and the expanding campus of the 1930s. Where the Liliuokalani Student Services Center is today, a theater stood from 1930-1962. Housing Manoa’s theatre department before it moved to Kennedy Theatre on East-West Road in 1963, Farrington showcased some of the earliest English-language productions of kabuki and noh plays—including casting women in play roles exclusively reserved in traditional Japanese and Chinese theater for men.

Farrington Hall was named for Wallace R. Farrington, who had chaired the young College’s Board of Regents (1914-1920) before becoming Hawaii’s sixth territorial governor in 1921. In 1943, as World War II brought a burgeoning military population to the islands, the theatre was taken over by the US Army, 100 soldiers were stationed there, and it became part of the Army’s Entertainment Section.

3) MILLER HALL Facing Varney Circle, across from the Liliuokalani center is a rather small, square, red-roofed building. This is the only structure still standing of what used to be a ring of buildings from the 1930s around Varney Circle. Miller Hall is named after a beloved, pioneering Food & Nutrition Professor and long-time chair of the Home Economics department (1922-1945), Carey D. Miller. As a plaque next to the entrance indicates, this building, which Miller planned specifically for Home Economics instruction, came out of the Great Depression. It was completed in 1939 with federal funds from the Public Works Administration, part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. As you walk through the doors, be sure to check out the glass display that our Apparel Product Design and Merchandising department places next to their fashion museum in room 112, directly to your right.

4) ART BUILDING Walk towards McCarthy Mall, and on the right you will notice a large building with studio windows, and an angular black stylized sculpture of an enormous crab in front. The Art Building (completed January 1976) is on the site of another important building from the 1930s campus, Old Gilmore Hall. It was built in 1935 and named for the College of Hawaii’s first president, John Gilmore. In 1973, because of its age and the history it represented, an enormous controversy erupted over tearing Gilmore down. Beatrice Krauss, a distinguished UH Manoa alumna and professor emerita of botany protested the destruction. Aided by faculty and students, she adorned the building with flowers before demolition, saying that it should go down in style. The tree that had shaded Gilmore was preserved, with the art building constructed around it. The Dead Rat Tree is the oldest tree on campus, and you will notice it as you walk up from Miller to McCarthy Mall

5) WEBSTER HALL As you approach McCarthy Mall, look towards the mountains to see a plain pale building next to the Queen Liliuokalani Student Services Center. This is Webster Hall, built in a period of rapid campus expansion. It is the site of our School of Nursing, a program with a long history of training many women for health services jobs. The nursing program has been accredited since 1933, and has offered a Bachelor’s of Science degree since 1951. Webster is on the site of a former women’s dormitory, Hale Aloha which was built in the style of a plantation house.

6) BILGER HALL Continuing on McCarthy Mall, notice the building next to the Art Building with “CHEMISTRY” etched over the entrance. In 1951, when this building was complete, President Sinclair invited one of America’s most distinguished chemists to the dedication. Linus Carl Pauling, a celebrated chemist at California Institute of Technology. This moved was heartily endorsed by Lenora Neuffer Bilger, the chairperson for the chemistry department (1943-1954), and was one of the people Bilger Hall was named. However, Pauling becoming a prominent figure in anti-nuclear testing activism, and some of the administration believed him to be communist. Though Hawaii was only a territory, the Red Scare that had erupted in the late forties and going strong in the fifties, was more than enough to convince those in charge that Pauling should not be at the dedication. Lenora Bilger, who was on friendly terms with Pauling was forced to withdraw the invitation. Pauling later went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize for his work against nuclear bomb.

Walk into Bilger Hall, and find the four murals that decorate it. All four, depicting motifs from traditional Hawaiian mythology, are in the main portion of Bilger, not in the enclosed addition, and all are accessible to the public. The four are:

AIR by Juliette May Fraser, 1953
EARTH by Sueko Kimura, 1953
FIRE by Richard Lucier, 1951
WATER by David Asherman, 1952

Happy Hunting!

7) GREAT MANOA CRACK SEED CAPER As you search Bilger for the four murals, pause in the courtyard and look out towards the Physical Science building to enjoy another mural called “The Great Manoa Crack Seed Caper.” Created by an art class taught by visiting professor Lanny Little, this piece shows off our unique local snacks nicely displayed in glass bottles ready to be eaten. Student Mele Fernandez came up with the idea, once again showing collaboration between men and women at UH resulting in positive aesthetic creativity for the university.

8) HAMILTON LIBRARY Near the end of McCarthy Mall lies Hamilton Library, which includes collections of works by our UH Manoa professors—both women and men. As you walk in the main entrance, two Shinto Lion dogs stand before the detector to greet you. These dogs were originally located at Farrington Theatre before it was demolished.

Ahead is a mural titled Makahiki Hookupa (Harvest Celebration) by distinguished Hawaii artist, Juliette May Fraser (pictured). The mural had to be made in several separate panels, so that it could be transported for display at the Hawaii pavilion at the 1938 World's Fair in New York, and then was transported back to Hawaii where it was given to the University.

Take a side trip up a few steps of the staircase next to the circulation desk and notice Male and Female by Yvonne Cheng. The figures in her piece are wearing traditional Hawaiian tapa, displayed in different styles and colors, and the entire piece is done on batik and stretched over a redwood frame.

9) HENKE HALL Outside of Hamilton, continuing in the same direction up McCarthy Mall, are three, small, one-storied buildings known together as Henke Hall. Completed in 1956 for agricultural research, Henke is now home to the School of Social Work, which was founded in 1936. By 1948, the School of Social Work had a 1-year certificate program and by 1986 celebrated its 50th anniversary. Henke has several courtyard areas with plants found nowhere else on campus, so make sure you walk through them carefully!

10) BIO MED At the place where Henke borders East West Road, as you face the back of the valley, you can glimpse a building with a top shaped like a pagoda. This is our BioMed building, home to the John Burns School of Medicine before it moved to new facilities in Kaka’ako in the early 2000s.

UH is famous for creating, Cumulina, the world's first cloned mouse that survived to adulthood, produced by Dr. Ryuzo Yanagimachi here at UH Manoa. She and her sisters accompanied Dr. Yanagimachi to New York when he announced his successful research; the picture here is of Cumulina’s second birthday party. She died in 2000 of natural causes, but her body has been preserved and is on display at the Burns School of Medicine

11) CENTER FOR KOREAN STUDIES Coming back from the BioMedical Building, you see an eye-catching, brightly colored building. The Center for Korean Studies is a replica of the Kyongbok Palace (the Korean King's throne room) in Seoul, and beside it the Hyangwonjong Pavilion, built in the Yi Dynasty era. After you enjoy the unique architecture, look around the interior of the Center. Displays on the first and second floors contain a doll wearing a Korean woman’s traditonal gown, Korean scrolls, paintings and replicas of Korean National Treasures. The Center is a reminder that Hawaii has gained cultural richness from its heritage of immigrating women and men—whose families were here even before the University was constructed. This University continues to benefit from talents and resources drawn here internationally.

12) THAI PAVILION Continuing down East-West Road, is another example of the international community extending the generosity to the University of Hawaii. Make sure you spot the stunning Thai Pavillion in front of Hale Laulima and Hale Kahawai, two student dormitories. The pavillion was a gift from King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit during a 1964 visit to the UHM campus. Such pavilions are usually found in temple courtyards in Thailand, and along routes as a place of rest. Give it a try!

13) PLUMERIA GROVE Walking back from the garden and teahouse to East-West Road, you pass a grove of plumerias accompanied by a plaque on a nearby rock. These trees were planted and dedicated by First Lady Ladybird Johnson on October 17, 1966. At the time, Lyndon B. Johnson as U.S. President was facing stiff mainland opposition to the Vietnam War. Here, however, amidst the ever-present influence of the military, opposition was less fierce and the mood mostly more amicable. Perhaps that is why Ladybird Johnson brought her beautification project to UHM.

14) JEFFERSON HALL Continuing down East-West Road, admire the East-West Center’s Jefferson Hall with its two Fu dogs from China. These Fu dogs traditionally come in pairs: one female and one male. In Okinawan folklore, such dogs are also called shisa and the male dog can be identified by his opened mouth, while the female’s mouth is closed.

15) CHASHITSU JAKUAN House of Tranquility Behind Jefferson Hall is a hidden Japanese garden you can relax in. If you hear children’s voices in the garden, they are simply the latest of many to play here, dating back to the decades when numerous small houses for faculty (usually male faculty and their wives) dotted this side of East-West Road. Today a Japanese tea house nestles in trees overlooking the garden. Chashitsu Jakuan was presented by Soshitsu Sen XVth, Grand Tea Master of Urasenke Konnichikan, one of the most illustrious and famous tea masters in all of Japan.

16) UNIVERSITY HEALTH SERVICES Near the security guard kiosk, is a short building behind a pink plumeria tree. The Health Services Center offers women’s health services such as emergency contraception, family planning, screening and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy testing, counseling and on-going studies of HPV and breast cancer prevention. Most of this is vastly different from what was available in the first UH health center in 1932.

Contraceptives, in particular, are a very important resource for students at UH, and had not been seen as acceptable form of birth control prior to and during the 1930s, use by the government until 1936. Women in that distant past who needed contraceptives and other methods of birth control had very few choices, yet were almost always subjected to shame for having a child. An unmarried pregnant student could give her child up for adoption, quickly marry, or risk an illegal abortion. These abortions were dangerous and could end in lasting complications or even death, as two abortion cases related to UH illustrate. In one, a male Asian student performed a crude and unhygienic abortion on a woman student, his girlfriend, who died as a result. In another case, a doctor performing a surreptitious abortion botched the operation. The patient, who fortunately survived, was a UH professor’s wife, a reminder that many women seeking illegal abortions in those days were married and often already had children. In these two examples, the men were put on trial and convicted. But all that was too late for the women. In 1970 however, stirred in part by cases such as these, Hawaii became the first state to decriminalize abortion.

Beyond the Health Center, continue down East-West Road, until you reach the entrance of the parking lot behind Holmes Hall, home of the College of Engineering. Walk along the back of Holmes toward the blue-tinted POST—the Pacific Ocean Sciences and Technologies building. Continue until you reach an open field between POST and a gray, four-story building, Sakamaki Hall. Pass through Sakamaki, away from Dole Street, to reach our Sustainability Courtyard. Take a look around the courtyard to find a large building with a white maze painted on the sidewalk. This is Kuykendall Hall, and you have reached the …

17) POETRY COURTYARD The Poetry Courtyard hosts book and poetry readings sponsored by the UH Manoa English department. The English department brings to campus inspiring local authors and poets—and UH Alumnae—such as Lois-Ann Yamanaka, and Nora Okja Keller. (You can find books by them in the Campus Center bookstore coming up shortly.)

Walk down the small pathway behind the Kuykendall, towards the coral colored building. Stop when you see a sidewalk coming across a grassy area on the left and extending to the parking lot on the right. When you look down that mall to the left, there are several one-story buildings with unusual roofs lining one side. This is…

18) KRAUSS HALL formerly known as the "Pineapple Research Complex" Built in 1931, its name honors Professor Frederick G. Krauss, an agricultural researcher, director of UH Manoa’s important Agricultural Extension Services, and father of the botany professor Beatrice Krauss of Old Gilmore fame (see Art Building). While you are here, make sure to walk through these two interesting sites.

John Young Museum of Art, created Feb. 24, 1999 John Young (1909-1997), a local artist and art collector, believed a great university deserved a great museum, an idea that gave birth to UH Manoa’s first campus museum. Young dedicated part of his personal collection to Honolulu UH Manoa to make this vision a reality, and he also helped convert Krauss Hall into a museum to house these treasures. His collection here includes works from the Hawaii, Polynesia, and Africa.

Krauss Courtyard Located next to the Young Museum, this courtyard was designed by Richard Tongg and Lorraine Kuck in 1948 and restored in 1996 by Betsy Sakata, a lotus and waterlily expert. It is a tranquil place, with a water garden that features reflecting pool. While enjoying the soothing sounds of rippling water, you can study the Thai Buddha sitting in front of the pool.

As you come out of Krauss the way you came in, be sure to take a look at

19) ANDREWS AMPHITHEATRE, which is directly across from Krauss, and next to the coral-colored Campus Center. Andrews held many important events for the UH community, such as commencement exercises, and the University beauty pageant. The beauty pageant started its run in 1937 and died out by the 1970s. Ka Leo O Hawaii, the student newspaper, and Ka Palapala, the university yearbook, ran the pageants. Pageant winners were selected within racial categories, and were showcased in the Ka Palapala.

Retrace your steps towards Kuykendall. Facing the Art Building, spot another building, with a roof similar to Krauss Hall, and looking very out of place in the middle of a sea of modern architecture. You have now reached…

20) BUILDING 37 Built at same time as Krauss, and part of Pine Research Complex, Building 37 was the Fruit Fly Laboratory for UH Manoa. Because insects were raised and tested in this building, this building originally had a narrow moat around it to keep out ants!

From this area, walk to the large coral-colored building …

21) CAMPUS CENTER Features some our most visible campus artwork, such as:
Peace Pole, 1995, written in 4 languages, and sitting in a small courtyard between Campus Center and the Ka Leo Building.

Hawaii Kau Kumu, Hawaii is my teacher, 1982, a mural you see at the top of the stairs; see if you can figure out that it’s in two complementary parts—before and after, on the left and right.

Hina o na Lani, 1975, Mother earth statue, which is especially significant because UH Manoa began as an agricultural school training people to work with Mother Earth. The goddess-like image also acknowledges that even here, some spirituality resides in these fertile grounds.

Charles Reed Hemingway’s Elephant Collection, Located near the indoor staircase on the second floor. Hemingway, one of the earliest regents (serving from 1910-1940), donated his collection to the University to be housed in the Student Union Building.

Leave Campus Center through the large walkway that faces the back of Manoa Valley, and then turn left towards University Avenue. Campus Center’s next door neighbor is…

22) HEMENWAY HALL The student union building since its completion in 1938, and named for the elephant-collecting Charles Hemingway mentioned above. In its early years, it housed a kitchen and lounge area, and even a place where students could hold their dances. On the second floor, Ka Palapala, the University Yearbook, and Ka Leo, the student newspaper, found offices. After World War II, when the student body grew again, a wing was added that included a barbershop (still there today), classrooms, a recreational hall, dining area, and, for the first time in the building, a women’s restroom. Where did they go before that?

Continue walking to the edge of campus, and look across University Avenue toward the College of Education Buildings known as…

23) WIST HALL AND EVERLY HALL This branch of UH Manoa History goes as far back as the 1880s. In 1888 the principal of the Normal School, Marion Scott, began offering informal classes in pedagogy at Honolulu High, today’s McKinley High School, in the center of Honolulu. What began as a Normal School for teachers became the Territorial Normal School with Hawaii’s Annexation, and remained that way until 1931. The school merged with UH that year, and became University School of Education. In 1959, it was renamed the College of Education. Its first dean was a powerful man named Benjamin Wist; today our College of Education has a New Dean, a powerful woman named Dr. Christine Sorensen.

From this area, walk back onto campus, and stand with the steep, broad flight of stairs of the Architecture Building at your back so that you look back in time into:

24) OLD QUAD Comprised of the oldest buildings on campus, the Old Quad takes us into the era when UH was just a small agricultural school, and the graduating class barely reached a hundred. Looking counterclockwise, starting with the closest of these five well-matched proud Classic Revival buildings, you see:

GEORGE HALL Completed in 1924, with a new wing in 1936, this was the College’s library. In 1956 it was named for William H. George, Dean of Arts and Sciences (1930-38).

CRAWFORD HALL Completed in 1938 and named in 1954 for David L. Crawford, a Professor Entomology 1917-27, as well as University President from 1927-41. Often finding himself at odds with the Dean of Women, the formidable Lenora Bilger, Crawford cited her as the main cause of his termination from office in 1941. We can see that the collaboration between men and women at UH has not always been smooth!

DEAN HALL Completed in 1928, it was named in 1931 for Professor Arthur L. Dean, who also served as President of the College (1914-27). As professor, he worked with a gifted graduate student, Alice Augusta Ball. This remarkable woman was the first College of Hawaii student to earn a master’s degree; her thesis examined the chemical constituents of kava root (1915). After her graduation, Alice Ball was hired as an assistant instructor in chemistry, becoming the first female African American chemist and instructor at the College of Hawaii. Between 1915 and 1916, she and President Dean co-taught chemistry classes at Manoa. Most impressively, she and Dean collaborated on groundbreaking research on a biological agent that could be used to treat (though not prevent or cure) the scourge of Hansen’s disease (“leprosy”). They accomplished the liquefaction of chaulmoogra oil and thus produced the best medication for Hansen’s disease available at the time. You may also want to visit the chaulmoogra plant in front of Bachman that was planted in her honor (see Bonus Tours).

GARTLEY HALL Completed in 1922 and named for Board of Regent Alonzo Gartley (served 1907-21), this was the site of Ball and Dean’s research.

At the far end of the Quad, a seven story building looms, quite out of place with the Old Quad. This is…

25) SAUNDERS/PORTEUS HALL Built in 1974 it was originally named for Stanley David Porteus, UH Psychology Professor. Writing in the 1920s and 30s, Porteus claimed women were inherently inferior to men and tried to prove the claim by using eugenics theories now recognized as loaded with racial and gender bias. In his theory of race differences, he cited genetics to explain intelligence and other personal characteristics. When his sexist and racist studies were re-examined in the 1980s, the public called for a name change.

The building was rededicated in honor of Marion and Allen Saunders. Professor Allan Saunder had been the Dean of Arts and Sciences and was also important figure by inspiring ideas in returning veterans of World War Two. Fun fact: he was well known for his involvement with the Aloha Shirt Strike in 1953, protesting the governor’s ban of casual wear inside the University classroom. Marion Saudners was a member of the Hawaii Board of Education and the Academy of Lifelong Learning, The Women’s Studies Program, one of the earliest such programs in the U.S., is on the top floor of Saunders Hall. In the Saunders courtyard, be sure to check out “Night Hula” by the famous artist and Manoa faculty member, Jean Charlot. The tile mural, created in 1961, depicts the men and women of pre-contact Hawaii.

Our final building is the oldest on UH Manoa’s campus…

26) HAWAII HALL Walk out of Saunders and back into the Old Quad to the building with the broad steps and columned lanai. The lava cornerstone of this the first permanent building on campus was laid at a huge ceremony on January 22, 1912. A photo of the event reminds us that those were still the days of corseted women in long dresses carrying parasols to prevent suntan.

For the first 10 years of the College at Manoa "Main Building,” as it was called then, accommodated classrooms, the library, theatre, and administrative offices. In 1922, when Gilmore was added to the campus, “Main Building” was renamed Hawaii Hall.

Hawaii Hall currently houses student advisers, two deans, two vice-chancellors, and the head administrator for the Manoa campus, the Chancellor. To start its second century, Manoa has a new chancellor, another pioneering and collaborative woman, Virginia Hinshaw.

Finally, travel up the Hawaii steps, where the graduates of yesteryear gathered to finish their time spent at the UH Manoa, and look upon the site where our campus began; a site where women were involved and collaborated with men in order to bring UH Manoa to the place it is today.