The Merchant Street Historic District offers a nostalgic look into Honolulu’s glorious past. Once the financial and governmental centre of the city, the area has great significance and spans four square blocks that boast an array of architecture styles. Collectively, the buildings provide an architectural record as well as glimpse into the rise and emergence of Hawaii’s thriving capital.

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Merchant Street Historic District highlights

One way to explore the Merchant Street Historic District is to take a self-guided walking tour. The Historic Hawaii Foundation has downloadable maps that you can access from your mobile device while exploring the area. However, the State Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources of the State of Hawaii maintains an official list of properties designated on the Hawaii State Register of Historic Places.

Amongst the Merchant Street Historic District buildings is the Melcher Building, the earliest structure dating back to 1854. Nearby, the 1896 Bishop Estate exemplifies the Richardsonian Romanesque style, while the former Yokohama Specie Bank represents Italianate design.

Good to know when visiting Merchant Street Historic District

Other Merchant Street Historic District buildings of note include the Kamehameha V Post Office, known as the first structure constructed with precast concrete blocks. Not too far away, the Honolulu Police Station from 1931 is a departure from neighbouring buildings with its Spanish Mission Revival style.

The Merchant Street Historic District, which also happens to be on the National Register of Historic Places, is essentially a fascinating, open-air museum with its diverse design. History buffs and lovers of architecture should add the destination to their itinerary of must-see places when visiting Honolulu.

Merchant Street Historic District

Location: Honolulu, HI, 96813, USA