To unearth the wealth of stories behind Waikiki’s only true destination resort and to celebrate its 55thanniversary, Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort recently unveiled its new History Wall.
A project several years in the making, the History Wall features over a century of snapshots, stories and insights on 80 feet of vibrant displays in the Tapa Tower. The project pays homage to the legacy of the many figures who have made Hawaii, Waikiki and Hilton Hawaiian Village what it is today. From a distance, visitors get a macro view of the amazing transformations of Hawai’i and the Hilton Hawaiian Village. A closer more detailed observation reveals interesting facts, details about notable figures who have graced the property and highlights the many narratives which comprise the grand story of Henry J. Kaiser’s Hawaiian Village.
Guests can get a window into the past through a collection of historic images and rich content drawn from oral histories, archives and other sources of insight. Viewers may begin at the roots of Kālia, the area where the Hilton Hawaiian Village is located, and its history as a fishing village. The History Wall also recognizes the birthplace of Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, who would grow up to become an Olympic Gold Medalist and Hawaii’s most iconic waterman. Visitors can discover the lasting impact of Henry J. Kaiser, the innovator whose dream was to build a Hawaiian Village hotel. Kaiser had his hands in nearly every aspect of the project and the History Wall will reveal how much of his influence can still be seen today at the resort. In addition, visitors discover the many celebrities and dignitaries like Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and John F. Kennedy who frequented the hotel, and the resort’s very own stars like Alfred Apaka, who earned a reputation as “Hawai’i’s Golden Voice.” A dual-sided timeline spans each panel, revealing pivotal moments in the history of the property and Hawai’i and how they coincided with historical landmarks worldwide.
The unveiling of the new History Wall replaces a smaller-scale version that once stood in the Tapa Tower. The project has expanded from seven panels to 16 museum-quality acrylic panels. The entire project took more than two years of scouring archives in Hawaii, throughout the U.S. and the world to acquire the content and images necessary. Hilton’s own regional director of marketing in Hawaii, Lora Gallagher, oversaw the project, including research, copywriting and creative direction. She led a team of contractors in Hawaii and the mainland through its conceptual design and construction.
“It is astounding to see the years of research come to life in this beautiful work of art,” said Lora Gallagher. “We hope that History Wall visitors will learn something new about the unique history of our property as well as gain an enriched appreciation for the many people who have made Hawai’i such a special destination.”
The dedication on March 29 featured a traditional Hawaiian blessing, reception at the Tapa Bar and appearances by some of the luminaries featured on the wall. Also in the works to complement the wall are an audio tour and historical book.
For more information or to make a reservation, please contact the hotel at 808-949-4321 or visit hawaiianvillage.hilton.com.