Celebrating 175th anniversary of Washington Place

Posted on Feb 25, 2022 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main

As a little girl, First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige remembers passing the big white house on Beretania Street, wondering what was inside. “To have the opportunity to actually live on the property is just amazing,” she said. “Now, with COVID-19 case counts coming down, we have a chance to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Washington Place with the people of Hawai‘i. We want to help the community learn more about its storied history and the people who have lived here, especially Queen Lili‘uokalani.”

A series of events is planned to mark the occasion, starting with a proclamation signing March 31 by Governor Ige and a simultaneous statewide hula performance of “E Lili‘u E,” showcasing fourth graders from around the state. Then on April 2 the Royal Hawaiian Band will perform on the Washington Place lawn. That day the public can attend a free open house to tour the home and view a special exhibit honoring the queen. The exhibit was curated by historian DeSoto Brown from the Bishop Museum and designed by Drew Broderick from Kap‘iolani Community College’s Koa Galleries.

Events will honor historic Washington Place.

Events will honor historic Washington Place. (Photo provided by: Hawai‘i State Archives).

Queen Liliu‘okalani in the Washington Place garden.

Queen Liliu‘okalani in the Washington Place garden.

“Washington Place was where the queen had memorable and difficult experiences, yet she was able to forgive,” said Mrs. Ige. “The sense of calm in the home is what I feel the most. I do believe people leave their spirit, their mana, behind. The queen spent 55 years of her life there and left a legacy of strength, dignity and courage.” The First Lady encourages everyone to visit the current website at https://washingtonplace.hawaii.gov/ to take virtual tours of the home and learn about its history. Mrs. Ige also led the refurbishment of the second floor with exhibits for people to learn more about past leaders of Hawai‘i.

The theme of the 175th anniversary is “E Ola Mau I Ke Kumu: A Strong Foundation to Grow and Thrive.” Look for more announcements of anniversary events in the media this month.

Read more in the March Capitol Connection newsletter.

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