Historic Nuuanu Estate Placed On The Market
Restored Old Pali Road Estate.

Restored Old Pali Road Estate.

One of Hawaii’s architectural treasures, the former residence of Alfred and Elizabeth Marks on Old Pali Road, has been listed for sale by Mary Worrall Associates, Sotheby’s International Realty. Although it was originally designed and built for Clarence Cooke in 1928 by celebrated architect Hardie Phillip, it is commonly referred to as the “Marks Estate.”

Phillip is best known for his work on the C. Brewer Building in downtown Honolulu and the Honolulu Academy of Arts, both projects of the New York-based architectural firm headed up by Bertram Goodhue. Phillip, a principal of the firm, completed both projects on the death of Goodhue, who had been personally chosen to design the Honolulu Academy of Arts by its benefactors, the Cooke/Spalding family.

Mansion as originally built for Clarence Cooke

Mansion as originally built for Clarence Cooke

Clarence Cooke was the son of Honolulu Academy of Arts founder Anna Rice Cooke and Bank of Hawaii founder Charles Montague Cooke. His grandfather Amos Starr Cooke, who came to Hawaii from New England as a missionary, co-founded the firm of Castle & Cooke together with Samuel Northrup Castle.

In 1909, Clarence Cooke succeeded his father as president of Bank of Hawaii and became chairman in 1937. He bequeathed his home on Old Pali Road to the Honolulu Academy of Arts, which sold it in 1945 to then Territorial Land Commissioner Lester Marks and his wife Elizabeth McCandless.

New swimming pool, spa, and pool house

New swimming pool, spa, and pool house

Philip Spalding III recalls visiting the Old Pali Road estate as a child. “Our family gatherings were traditionally held at Uncle Clarence’s house. The Cookes had lots of children, and they were allowed to wander around the huge mansion and go out on the property and explore.

A stream ran through the gardens…it seemed like a magical world.” Spalding noted that, at the time, the property extended across the valley, but that acreage was lost with the construction of the Pali Highway.

Restored, furnished interior

Restored, furnished interior

The 4.74 acre estate, which is on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places, includes a 24-room Hawaii-style brick and frame mansion designed by Hardie Phillip. In addition, the property includes a carriage house, gate house, pool house, and swimming pool. The rolling expanse of grassy lawn is shaded by towering trees, many more than a century old.

Repaved rear courtyard

Repaved rear courtyard

The main house has been extensively remodeled. Improvements to the property include all new copper roofing, replacement of damaged ohia flooring and stairways with new ohia wood, new iron casement windows, a new mahogany ceiling in the den which replicates the original, new marble flooring in the kitchen and adjoining rooms, replastering of walls, retiling of lanais, new sinks and toilets in the upstairs bedrooms, and new kitchen equipment. The elevator and dumbwaiter are both new but not currently operational.

Gardens include rare plants and century-old trees.

Gardens include rare plants and century-old trees.

The swimming pool and Jacuzzi are new, as is the pagoda gazebo, made in China for the property. The pool house has been restored with new dressing rooms and restrooms. The annex to the main house has been 90 percent renovated and a new brick wall encloses the future tennis court area.

The estate is offered at $9,900,000 (fee simple).

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Sandwich Isles Realty
Kimo Smigielski, Broker-in-Charge
R, ABR, CRS, GRI, e-PRO
List Sotheby’s International Realty
Keiko Kakiyama,
RA, GRI, ABR, SRS, RSPS, SFR