Recognition for Kauai historical preservation

  • Photo courtesy of Historic Hawaii Foundation

    Waioli Mission House in Hanalei as it appeared in this 2006 photo.

  • Photo courtesy of Historic Hawaii Foundation

    Robert Schleck conducts museum inventory at Grove Farm in this 1972 photo.

LIHUE — Kauai Historical Society president, Robert Schleck, is being recognized for his life’s work.

Historic Hawaii Foundation is honoring exemplary achievements in historic preservation during a celebration in Honolulu on May 23.

The awards ceremony will include presentation of the 10th Annual Frank Haines Award for Lifetime Achievement to Schleck, past director of Kauai’s Wai‘oli Corporation.

Schleck has been involved in the preservation of Wai‘oli Mission House, Grove Farm and other historic sites on Kauai since 1971 when he began working for Miss Mabel Wilcox, the benefactor who directed her family home and other historic buildings be left as museums for the public upon her death.

Since that time, Schleck has helped to preserve the culture, buildings, landscape and lifestyle of numerous sites around the island, including the restoration of Wai‘oli Mission House in 1997, the ahupua‘a of Lepeuli, the plantation and immigrant stories of Grove Farm, as well as the Farm’s sugar plantation locomotive collection in Lihue.

He also helped initiate the Sugar Plantation Locomotive Interactive Learning Park. The project, which is currently underway, was awarded a Grant in Aid from the Hawaii State Legislature in 2017.

Schleck served as the project supervisor of the historic Kauai County Building restoration in Lihue, which began in 1982 and spanned 22 years. He also served as president of the Hawaii Museums Association, a board member of the Kauai Historical Society and Lihue Cemetery. He is author of the book, “The Wilcox Quilts in Hawaii.”

“Since 1974, HHF has committed itself to the preservation of places that help tell Hawaii’s unique, multifaceted and fascinating story,” states Pat Griffin, chairperson of the awards committee. “This year’s dedicated committee reviewed numerous efforts to repair and rehabilitate buildings and objects, interpret historical sites, prepare manuals for appropriate maintenance techniques, and more.”

The Preservation Honor Awards offer an opportunity to share, recognize and applaud excellence in historic preservation in the Hawaiian Islands.

Presented annually since 1975, the awards bring together architects, contractors, planners, developers, historians, archaeologists, landowners and others who contribute to preservation projects.

The Haines Award was established in 2009 and named for master architect Frank Haines. It is presented to individuals who have demonstrated sustained and outstanding achievements in the areas of preserving the significant historic and cultural places of Hawaii.

The ceremony also includes Anniversary Recognition, in celebration of the rich history of the kama‘aina companies, organizations and institutions that are an important and integral part of the singular culture of the Hawaiian Islands.

Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Service Building Rehabilitation was recognized in the Preservation Award category. Meticulous detail was given to preserve the windows, interior finishes and other character-defining features of this historic building, while updating the building’s infrastructure to current industry codes.

Architecture and preservation volunteer, John Williams, was awarded Individual Achievement for his efforts to complete preservation projects for Docomomo US-Hawaii, Historic Hawaii Foundation and American Red Cross of Hawaii through research, documentation and sharing the history, art and architecture of the islands.

Statewide recognition also went out to the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs and Hawaii Nurses Association.

The preservation awards have been presented annually since 1975. They are Hawaii’s highest recognition of projects that perpetuate, rehabilitate, restore or interpret the state’s architectural and cultural heritage.

The honorees are selected by a committee comprised of professionals in architecture, history, planning and media.

  1. RichardSpacer May 9, 2018 12:20 pm Reply

    Annoying to hear Robert Schleck say preserving the culture of Lepeuli. The County of Kauai is planning to DESTROY a part of Lepeuli Hawaiian culture, the historic ala loa trail. This is because Waioli Corporation, which Robert Schleck served as a salaried Director for years, requested the county to fence it! Repugnant.

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