Aliiolani Hale

From Sajun.org
File:Aliiolanihale2003.jpg
Ali'iolani Hale is today the home of the Hawai'i State Supreme Court and the statue of Kamehameha the Great.

Ali'iolani Hale, former seat of government of the Kingdom of Hawai'i and the Republic of Hawai'i, current home of the Hawai'i State Supreme Court and the Kamehameha Statue. In the Hawaiian language, Ali'iolani Hale means House of the Heavenly King. Ali'iolani Hale was originally designed as a royal palace for Kamehameha V. The building was not completed until after Kamehameha V died and it was dedicated by King David Kalakaua as a government office building instead.

Immediately after the completion of Ali'iolani Hale, Hawai'i's local media criticized the building's extravagant design and repeatedly recommended that the building be converted back into a palace as originally designed.

It was from Ali'iolani Hale that in 1893 the Committee of Safety, under the leadership of Lorrin A. Thurston, deposed Queen Lili'uokalani by public proclamation and the United States Marine Corps was ordered to forcibly remove the reigning queen. A 1993 resolution passed by Congress and signed by President of the United States Bill Clinton declared the use of American military force in 1893 illegal.

The building was built with four clocks in its tower, one facing each direction. For many decades now, however, the clocks have failed to keep time accurately, often being off by many hours. In addition, the four clock faces rarely keep the same time between each other. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin newspaper liked to poke fun at this, saying that the clock faces "can never seem to agree on what time it is."

Ali'iolani Hale is one of many buildings in downtown Honolulu that is designated a National Historic Landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. Within walking distance are Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace, Hawai'i State Capitol, Hawai'i State Library, Honolulu Hale, Iolani Palace, Kawaiahao Church, Territorial Building and Washington Place.