Saving part of history

WAIMEA — Some Waimea residents are calling for the preservation of a historic Westside home that was formerly a nurses quarter.

“If somebody takes care of (historic homes), they can be saved,” said James Beardmore, a former 10-year tenant of the home. “The prominent people in the community want to see places like this saved.”

The three-bedroom home at 4564 Ola Road was built in 1938 and was part of the Waimea Hospital. The hospital was built in 1927.

Before Beardmore moved, he said the house’s current owner, Easter Seals of Hawaii, marked the house for demolition.

“They shouldn’t demolish it. It’s a historic house,” he said. “It should be refurbished. Someone should repair it and it should be repaired.”

Ron Brandvold, Easter Seals of Hawaii CEO and president, said the nonprofit needs to determine if the home is salvageable.

“We would never, under any circumstances, violate a historical preservation,” Brandvold said.

If the home can be saved, Brandvold said Easter Seals may utilize it.

“We will consider what purposes are possible from the standpoint of funding,” he said. “Our mission is to provide services to people with disabilities and special needs to achieve their goals and live independent, fulfilling lives.”

Mary Daubert, Kauai County spokeswoman, said the house is listed on the county’s Historic Inventory List. She said the county has not received a proposal for demolition work for the property.

“Approval for any demolition work would have to be granted by the Planning Department along with the Kauai Historic Preservation Review Commission and the State Historic Preservation Division,” Daubert wrote in an email.

Alan Downer, State Historic Preservation Division administrator, said the home is an “example of the uniquely Hawaiian architectural style known as craftsman plantation.”

“We consider it eligible for inclusion in the Hawaii register of historic places for its association with the hospital, which was providing medical support to western Kauai,” Downer said.

Rev. Dr. Olaf Hoekmann-Percival, who resides up the road from the residence, said the home ought to be saved if it doesn’t need major repairs.

“The whole area right here on Ola Road is extremely historical because it’s the old heiau area, where all the alii used to live,” Hoekmann-Percival said. “It’s where … Tsuchiya Road used to be the main road coming through Waimea.”

Hoekmann-Percival said he often works on preserving his place of residence, a home built in 1826. He suggests replacing some walls, redoing the roof and painting the old nurses quarters.

“It would be a wonderful thing (to save the home). It’s quite unique,” he said. “It looks like a California Bungalow-style house. I don’t think it would cost that much to redo it.”

Adjacent to the home is the former Waimea Dispensary, which is home to the Easter Seals Hawaii Westside Center and KPD substation. After renovations, the building was reopened in 2012. A year later, KPD relocated its substation to the building.

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