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aerial school shot

Aerial photography by Dannyel Jimenez (’20).

The original school for Laupāhoehoe was  founded in 1883 at the site of a small Hawaiian fishing village on Laupāhoehoe Point. After the deadly 1946 tsunami, the school was relocated, and opened its doors at its present site in 1952. The current school building was designed by Alfred Preis, who later designed the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor.


From the very beginning, the school served as a central focal point for the community. Indeed, in Hawaiian Modern: the Architecture of Vladimir Ossipoff,* essayist Dean Sakamoto writes: “As this was a school in a small town, the architects also designed it to function as a community facility.”


And here’s another interesting note. In the same book, Spencer Leineweber writes:

“The school was the first public project in Hawai`i to use large-aggregate concrete as a building material. Preis had made a conversion mistake between centimeters and inches in a project specification. Instead of the correct diameter he got aggregate more than ten times the size anticipated. Laupāhoehoe School incorporated this large-aggregate concrete as a distinctive design feature, but the choice was not purely an aesthetic one. The rounded boulders were readily available along the ocean shoreline below the site, and replaced nearly 75 percent of the aggregate materials that would have been imported. … The large aggregate concrete would become a trademark for other buildings by both Preis and Ossipoff.”


*Honolulu Museum of Art in association with Yale University Press, New Haven and London

Copyright 2015 by Yale University

School aerial pic
PC: Paula Dickey, from a helicopter!