in

What Honolulu, Hawaii looked like in the 1960s Through these Fascinating Vintage Photos

Honolulu experienced boom times after Hawaiian statehood in 1959 and the viability of commercial air travel to the island. Tourism started to dominate the city’s economy, followed by defense expenditures and agricultural exports. Today, Honolulu is known for its world-famous Waikiki Beach, luxury shopping, and proximity to Pearl Harbor. The airplane age made Honolulu a popular tourist destination. Most visitors to Oahu arrive at Honolulu International Airport nowadays. The airport was named after Commander John Rodgers in 1932. In 1925, he became the first person to fly from the mainland to Hawaii. Getting to Hawaii and traveling to the other islands by cruise ship is possible, but most inter-island travel is handled by airlines.

Historically, the 1960s were a significant decade for Honolulu and Hawaii. The decade was shaped by volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, political change, and environmental activism. Here are some fascinating vintage photos of Honolulu in the 1960s.

Also, check what Honolulu looked like in the 1940s and 1950s.

#1 Honolulu’s 1959 Ala Moana Shopping Center seen from above the intersection of Kapiolani Blvd and Piikoi Street, 1960

#2 Ale Ale Kai Kewalo Honolulu, 1962

Ale Ale Kai Kewalo Honolulu, 1962

Barkentine California at left and Henry J. Kaiser's big pink catamaran Ale Ale Kai V at right. The Ale Ale Kai was used for Pearl Harbor cruises.

#3 Kewalo Basin, Honolulu, in front of the old Fisherman’s Wharf Restaurant out of the frame to the left, 1968

#6 Ala Moana Honolulu Birdseye, 1964

Ala Moana Honolulu Birdseye, 1964

Detailed view of Honolulu from an airplane over the Ala Moana area. The smoke is coming from the Hawaiian Electric power station at right of Honolulu Harbor.

#7 Looking east to Diamond Head over Honolulu. Vintage slide marked, 1961

#8 Looking Diamond Head over Honolulu from the old lookout at Punchbowl Crater, 1961.

#9 Overlooking Honolulu south to the harbor and west out to the Ewa plain, 1961

#11 Downtown Honolulu and the harbor area viewed from Punchbowl Crater, 1967

#13 Birdseye view from Halekoa Drive on Waialaie Nui Ridge (then known as Waialae Uplands), 1965

#14 View is from Halekoa Drive on Waialaie Nui Ridge (then known as Waialae Uplands) looking Diamond Head, 1965

#15 Birdseye view from Halekoa Drive on Waialaie Nui Ridge (then known as Waialae Uplands) looking Waikiki, 1965

#18 Looking towards Punchbowl Crater and Honolulu Harbor, 1962

#19 Looking makai along Wilhelmina Rise above the Honolulu neighborhood of Kaimuki, 1968

#20 Birdseye view looking mauka towards Manoa Valley from the McCully Street bridge over the Ala Wai Canal that connects Waikiki with the rest of Honolulu, 1960

#22 Honolulu’s University Avenue near the intersection with South King Street in Moiliili, 1968

#23 On Pali Highway at Vineyard, built 1963 and still there today looking much the same, 1960s

#24 Hawaii Hall UH Manoa, 1961

Hawaii Hall UH Manoa, 1961

Looking across the Quad towards the west side of the University of Hawaii’s imposing Hawaii Hall, built 1912.

#25 The University of Hawaii’s 1949 administration building viewed from Dole Street near University Avenue, 1961

#26 UH Hawaii Hall McCarthy Road, 1961

UH Hawaii Hall McCarthy Road, 1961

The building at the end of the street appears to be the 1912 Hawaii Hall at the University of Hawaii’s Manoa Campus, Honolulu, with the 1934 Varney Circle fountain in front of it.

#27 Exterior view of Mary Dillingham Frear Hall, the oldest women’s dormitory at the University of Hawaii’s Manoa Valley campus, 1961

#28 Webster and Snyder Halls (built 1962) at the University of Hawaii’s Manoa Campus in Honolulu, 1963

Webster and Snyder Halls (built 1962) at the University of Hawaii's Manoa Campus in Honolulu, 1963

The view is looking mauka (inland, more or less north here) into Manoa Valley. The structure in the lower right quadrant is the 1934 Varney Circle Fountain.

#29 Looking mauka along East-West Road at the University of Hawaii’s Manoa Campus in Honolulu, 1967

#30 Looking more or less south over the University of Hawaii’s Manoa Valley Campus towards Honolulu and Waikiki with Diamond Head Crater in the distance, 1960s

#31 Pawaina Street in upper Manoa Valley, Honolulu, with Pinao Street on the left, 1968

#32 Oahu Avenue in upper Manoa Valley, Honolulu, 1968

#33 Kapiolani Palms Honolulu, 1960

Kapiolani Palms Honolulu, 1960

Kapiolani Palms Apartments on Kapiolani Blvd. in Honolulu’s Mōʻiliʻili neighborhood. Built 1960 and actually looks a bit better in a streetview from 2011.

#34 La Pietra School Hawaii, 1968

La Pietra School Hawaii, 1968

The old Dillingham Estate on Diamond Head (mahalo to Richard Kelley for identifying the location) opened as La Pietra School for Girls in 1964.

#36 Looking ewa along the Ala Wai Canal between Waikiki on the left and the Kapahulu neighborhood in Honolulu, 1960

#37 Ala Wai Yacht Harbor on south shore Oahu viewed from the Ilikai Hotel deck, 1965

#40 The waterfront at Ala Wai Yacht Harbor on Oahu’s south shore, 1967

#41 Makai (seaward) view of Ala Wai Yacht Harbor at the mouth of the Ala Wai Canal which divides Waikiki from the rest of Honolulu, 1968

#42 Ala Wai Harbor Birdseye, 1961

Ala Wai Harbor Birdseye, 1961

Looking west towards Ala Wai Harbor and Honolulu from an upper floor at the 1957 Ocean Tower at the Hawaiian Village Hotel.

#44 Wooden “sampan” tuna boats docked at Fisherman’s Wharf on Kewalo Basin in Honolulu, 1960

#46 Kewalo Aku Boats Honolulu, 1960

Kewalo Aku Boats Honolulu, 1960

Looking ewa at some of the sampans moored at Kewalo Basin on south shore Oahu.

#47 Still Life Kewalo, 1960

Still Life Kewalo, 1960

Tranquil morning scene at Kewalo Basin on Oahu's south shore. The old Fisherman’s Wharf restaurant can be seen in the distance with its second story added by this time.

#51 Kewalo Basin Peninsula, 1963

Kewalo Basin Peninsula, 1963

Looking makai (seaward) at Honolulu's Kewalo Basin. Kewalo’s 1955 manmade peninsula is the strip of land across the center of the slide. It is now Kewalo Basin Park.

#53 Industrialist Henry J. Kaiser’s big pink catamaran Ale Ale Kai V moored in Kewalo Basin on south shore Oahu, 1968

#54 Ale Ale Kai Cat Kewalo, 1968

Ale Ale Kai Cat Kewalo, 1968

Industrialist Henry J. Kaiser's big pink catamaran Ale Ale Kai V at Kewalo Basin on south shore Oahu. Used for Waikiki and Pearl Harbor sightseeing cruises. Built late 1957, demolished early 2018.

#55 Sunset Dinner Sail Kewalo, 1962

Sunset Dinner Sail Kewalo, 1962

Henry J. Kaiser’s big pink catamaran Ale Ale Kai V at Kewalo Basin on south shore Oahu, embarking passengers for the dinner cruise out to Waikiki and back.

#56 Looking mauka (inland) from a tourist boat docked at Kewalo Basin on Oahu’s south shore, 1964

#60 Looking inland from a boat leaving Kewalo Basin on Oahu’s south shore, 1960

#61 Mauka (inland) view from a cruise boat leaving Kewalo Basin on Oahu’s south shore probably headed for Pearl Harbor or possibly Waikiki, 1968

#68 Slightly shifted birdseye view of Waikiki and Diamond Head apparently from the 23-story 1961 Ala Moana Towe, 1962

#69 Birdseye view of the Ala Moana area of Honolulu and Waikiki looking Diamond Head from the LaRonde revolving restaurant atop the 23-story 1961 Ala Moana Tower, 1962

#70 Ala Wai Harbor Panorama, 1962

Ala Wai Harbor Panorama, 1962

Birdseye view of Ala Moana Blvd and Ala Wai Harbor apparently from the 23-story 1960 Ala Moana Tower. The old go-kart track can be seen in the parking lot.

#71 Detailed panoramic view of Honolulu and Waikiki looking Diamond Head from La Ronde revolving restaurant atop the 23-floor Ala Moana Building at Ala Moana Shopping Center, 1965

#73 La Ronde Ala Moana Birdseye, 1967

La Ronde Ala Moana Birdseye, 1967

Diamond Head view from La Ronde Revolving Restaurant atop the 23 floor office tower at the 1959 Ala Moana Shopping Center.

#74 Honolulu from La Ronde, 1967

Honolulu from La Ronde, 1967

Birdseye view from the La Ronde revolving restaurant atop the Ala Moana Center office building looking ewa along Kapiolani Blvd

#78 Rainbow Rollerland Birdseye, 1967

Rainbow Rollerland Birdseye, 1967

Detailed Honolulu city view from the La Ronde revolving restaurant at Ala Moana Center looking mauka up Keeaumoku Street.

#80 La Ronde Mauka Honolulu, 1962

La Ronde Mauka Honolulu, 1962

Lots of detail in this sharp photo looking north from the 1961 La Ronde revolving restaurant atop the 23 story Ala Moana Tower. Keeaumoku Street is just visible in the lower left corner.

#81 La Ronde Panorama Honolulu, 1967

La Ronde Panorama Honolulu, 1967

View is looking Diamond Head (more or less east) from the 1961 La Ronde revolving restaurant atop the 23 floor office tower at the 1959 Ala Moana Shopping Center.

#82 La Ronde Honolulu Birdseye, 1967

La Ronde Honolulu Birdseye, 1967

Beautifully clear mauka (inland) view from La Ronde revolving restaurant atop the 23 floor 1962 Ala Moana Building. We're looking towards Round Top in the distance (center) and Manoa Valley (right).

#83 Ala Moana Shopping Center seen from Ala Moana Blvd just Ewa (west) of the Ala Wai Bridge, 1967

#84 Ala Moana Mall Level Stores, 1960

Ala Moana Mall Level Stores, 1960

Early days at Honolulu’s 1959 Ala Moana Shopping Center. View is looking mauka (inland) in the Diamond Head (east) end of the upper level.

#85 Early days at Honolulu’s 1959 Ala Moana Shopping Center, 1960

#87 Ala Moana Upper Level, 1961

Ala Moana Upper Level, 1961

Inside courtyard on the mall level at Ala Moana Shopping Center, looking ewa towards the Sears end.

#88 Honolulu’s 1959 Ala Moana Shopping Center looking Diamond Head (more or less east) along the interior of the upper level, 1963

#90 Tutu’s Gifts on the street level of the 1959 Ala Moana Shopping Center, 1963.

Tutu’s Gifts on the street level of the 1959 Ala Moana Shopping Center, 1963.

This shop was located in the Diamond Head lanai across from House of Music and Mai Fai Jewels. “Tutu” is informal Hawaiian for granny or grandpa.

#91 Ala Moana Fountain of Gods, 1960s

Ala Moana Fountain of Gods, 1960s

Mall Level (second floor) next to the escalators at Honolulu's 1959 Ala Moana Shopping Center. The view here is looking mauka (inland) at the “Fountain of the Gods” (1959) by noted Hawaii sculptor Bumpei Akaji (1921-2002). This fountain was apparently demolished during construction of the third level expansion 1990.

#94 The ocean-facing storefronts along the upper level at Ala Moana Center, 1967

#95 Upper level makai side at Ala Mona Center looking Diamond Head, 1966

#96 Kind of unusual to see a photo of the parking garage at Ala Moana Center, 1966

#97 Ala Moana Center Drive-by, 1960

Ala Moana Center Drive-by, 1960

The Ewa (west) end of the 1959 Ala Moana Shopping Center looking mauka (inland) from a moving car on Ala Moana Blvd.

#98 Honolulu International Center, 1965

Honolulu International Center, 1965

The saucer-like arena at Honolulu International Center on Ward Avenue between King Street and Kapiolani Blvd, 1965

#101 Merchant Street at Bishop, 1966.

Merchant Street at Bishop, 1966.

Looking east along Merchant Street in downtown Honolulu towards the Bishop Street intersection.

#102 Hob Nob Bishop St Makai, 1966.

Hob Nob Bishop St Makai, 1966.

The 1955 Hob Nob restaurant In the 1903 Alexander Young Hotel at the corner of Bishop and Hotel Streets in downtown Honolulu.

#103 Fort Street at King Makai, 1960.

Fort Street at King Makai, 1960.

View is looking south along Fort Street toward Honolulu Harbor from the corner of South King Street. Fort Street would become a pedestrian mall 1968.

#105 Looking mauka along Fort Street in downtwon Honolulu from just above the Hotel Street intersection, 1961

#106 Princess Theater Honolulu, 1961

Princess Theater Honolulu, 1961

Rescan of the previous slide at 9600 dpi, the maximum I can get out of my Canon 8800F. The slide is marked Jul 1961 and the movie had an all star cast.

#107 Looking mauka (inland) along Fort Street from Beretania Street towards the 1922 Princess Theater in downtown Honolulu, 1960

#109 Union Mall Kress Honolulu, 1966.

Union Mall Kress Honolulu, 1966.

Union Street at Hotel Street with the old Kress store visible on the left (red awning). Kress went all the way through to Fort St. where it also had a storefront. The 1903 Portland Building is on the right.

#110 Masonic Temple on Alakea, 1966.

Masonic Temple on Alakea, 1966.

The 1893 Masonic Temple at Alakea Street (left) and South Hotel Street (right) in downtown Honolulu, around the end of its time based on the Ken Brady Demolition Specialist sign on the building.

#111 Manila Cafe Chinatown, 1966

Manila Cafe Chinatown, 1966

Looking northwest along North Beretania Street (foreground) at the intersection with Maunakea Street. The building on the left is still there today with the same Chinese characters.

#113 Auld Lane Kapalama Mauka 1961.

Auld Lane Kapalama Mauka 1961.

Looking inland along Auld Lane in the Kalihi-Palama district of Honolulu. Vintage white cardboard mount “Kodachrome Transparency Processed By Kodak” slide produced between 1959 and 1962 and date stamped Sep 61.

#114 Courthouse Kamehameha, 1963.

Courthouse Kamehameha, 1963.

King Kamehameha Statue in front of the 1874 Hawaii Judiciary Building in downtown Honolulu, across South King Street from Iolani Palace.

#115 Merchant Street Honolulu, 1960.

Merchant Street Honolulu, 1960.

Looking more or less west along Downtown Honolulu's Merchant Street from the corner of Mililani Street. This is across South King Street from Iolani Palace, out of frame at far right.

#116 King St at Richards Honolulu, 1969.

King St at Richards Honolulu, 1969.

Northwest view along Honolulu’s South King Street from the corner of Richards Street with the imposing HECO Building on the far left.

#121 Waialae Avenue Kaimuki Ewa, 1963.

Waialae Avenue Kaimuki Ewa, 1963.

Shaky and rather underexposed view from a car facing west along Waialae Avenue from the corner of Center Street in Honolulu’s Kaimuki district.

#122 Harding Ave at 21st Kaimuki, 1960.

Harding Ave at 21st Kaimuki, 1960.

Waialae Golf Course is visible next to the ocean near where the Kahala Hilton would be built 1964.

#125 Portlock Road at Lawai, 1968.

Portlock Road at Lawai, 1968.

Looking north along Portlock Road towards Lawai Street with the Koolau Mountains in the background. The Portlock neighborhood is on the western slopes of Koko Head in east Honolulu.

#126 Koko Crater from Portlock, 1960s.

Koko Crater from Portlock, 1960s.

1200 foot Koko Crater seen from the eastside Honolulu neighborhood of Portlock, south of Hawaii Kai on the Maunalua Bay side of Koko Head.

#127 Koko Crater from Portlock, 1960s.

Koko Crater from Portlock, 1960s.

1200 foot Koko Crater seen from the eastside Honolulu neighborhood of Portlock, south of Hawaii Kai on the Maunalua Bay side of Koko Head.

#128 Slightly shaky airplane view over south shore Oahu looking inland at the east Honolulu neighborhoods of Waialae, Kahala, and Kaimuki, 1961

#129 Nice detailed airplane view of the east Honolulu neighborhood of Waialae Kahala, 1967.

#130 Ahua Approach, Honolulu, 1960..

Ahua Approach, Honolulu, 1960..

A little shaky but still interesting view of the south approach to Honolulu Airport on the Ahua Point runway.

#131 Looking across lower Manoa towards Waikiki and Diamond Head, 1962.

#132 New Capitol Bldg Honolulu 1966

New Capitol Bldg Honolulu 1966

Punchbowl view of the new capitol building under construction in downtown Honolulu. Vintage ”Technicolor” slide marked 1966.

#133 Kewalo Basin Old Piers, 1966

Kewalo Basin Old Piers, 1966

Punchbowl view of the 1964 Honolulu International Center on Ward Avenue Between King and Kapiolani in the mauka section of the Kakaako District. Renamed the Blaisdell Center 1984 in honor of 1955-1969 Honolulu Mayor Neal S. Blaisdell. Kewalo Basin can be seen in the distance on the right.

#136 Aku Boats at Kewalo Basin, 1963

Aku Boats at Kewalo Basin, 1963

Deep sea tuna sampans moored at Honolulu’s Kewalo Basin seen from a vantage point slightly to the right of the previous shot.

#139 Honolulu Harbor Mauka, 1960.

Honolulu Harbor Mauka, 1960.

Looking inland across Honolulu Harbor from the observation deck of the 10-story 1926 Aloha Tower.

#140 Looking towards the harbor along Bishop Street at the intersection with South King Street in downtown Honolulu, 1966.

#141 Bishop St at Merchant Mauka, 1966.

Bishop St at Merchant Mauka, 1966.

Looking inland along Bishop Street towards the Merchant Street intersection in downtown Honolulu.

#143 Merchant & Richards Honolulu, 1969.

Merchant & Richards Honolulu, 1969.

Moving makai (seaward) on Richards Street from the previous photo, this view is looking more or less northwest along Merchant Street which is the next street down from South King Street.

Avatar of Aung Budhh

Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *