Saturday, May 15, 2010

Time Capsule: 1860

1860: At the northwest corner of Michigan and Kalamazoo Avenues stands one of the most unusual pieces of architecture to be seen anywhere in the United States and it's celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.

The Honolulu House was built in 1860 as a private residence for Judge Abner Pratt (1801-63) upon his return from the Sandwich Islands where he served as United States Minister (or ambassador) to Hawaii (1857-1859). The house is said to resemble the 'Iolani Palace, built in 1844 as the official residence of the monarch during the reigns of Kamehameha IV, Kamehameha V, Lunalilo, and the first part of Kalākaua's reign.

The Honolulu House, as it became known, was occupied by several residents until 1951 when Harold Brooks acquired the property to protect it from being replaced by a gas station. In 1962, the Marshall Historical Society successfully raised funds needed to purchase the structure, restoring the interior walls and ceiling paintings to the splendor of the 1880s. The building is listed on the Historical American Buildings Survey and the National Register of Historic Places.

Lewis stumbled upon a similar Hawaii-themed house in Brad Strickland's 2006 adventure, The House Where Nobody Lived.

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