Fifth in a series
The elegant structural design of its twin towers combined with a park-like setting make Liliuokalani Gardens a stand-out among Waikiki condominium residences. Completed in 1984 on a 2.75-acre site fronting Ala Wai Boulevard, the award-winning project was developed by Hasegawa Komuten for the landowner, Liliuokalani Trust.
The Waikiki home of Queen Liliuokalani and her husband John Dominis was situated on the site from the late 1800s to the early 1900s, then surrounded by duck ponds and taro patches with fisheries along the sandy beachfront. Historical records and artifacts found on the grounds indicate that the couple entertained there.
The property today is lushly landscaped and includes numerous varieties of flowering plants and trees, one a 120 year old banyan, and a meandering stream and koi pond. Seventy percent of the property, which includes the 25 story King and Queen Towers and a six story parking structure, has been left in open space. Located in the interior park and courtyard are picnic and lounge areas, a pavilion with kitchen facilities that residents can reserve for private
functions, a 30 by 60 foot swimming pool, and spa. Two tennis courts with wind barriers are located on top of the parking structure which has 390 parking spaces, 12 available for guests, and secured bicycle and surfboard storage.
Architects Hawaii incorporated both historical elements and motifs from the surrounding natural environment into the overall design and structural detailing. The black metal fencing around the perimeter of the property, reminiscent of the wrought iron fencing at Iolani Palace, contrasts with the distinctive white arches over the walkways.
Maintenance of the common areas and facilities is meticulous. According to John Suster, Liliuokalani Gardens resident manager since 1986, two full-time gardeners maintain the grounds which won the complex a beautification award from The Outdoor Circle in 1998. He noted that Architects Hawaii has been recognized with an award from the Waikiki Improvement Association.
In the tower lobbies, which showcase the work of prominent artists and craftsmen, koa trim and planters contrast with polished stainless steel ceilings. The porcelain tile floors are mosaics representing flowing water and sandy shoreline designed by Emiko Mizutani, who also created the swimming pool’s tile mosaic and a water feature in the King Tower lobby. Decorating the walls are murals and paintings by artist Bill Braden, who designed a unique water fountain that replicates a Koolau waterfall. The seating areas in the lobbies overlook the gardens and circular drive…also a special design with its cobblestone-like paving.
The architects have pointed out that the unique design of the two towers, which expand outward at the 18th floor, had a dual purpose – to contribute to the open space and create two bedroom units at a more marketable building level. Together the towers comprise 204 one bedroom/one bath units, 40 two bedroom/two bath units, 138 studios, and 16 penthouses.
A tri-level two bedroom, two and a half bath penthouse apartment with an open rooftop deck on the third level is currently available in the King Tower at $650,000 fee simple. Listing agent is Elizabeth Worrall Daily of Mary Worrall Associates Sotheby’s International Realty. The apartment features high ceilings and hardwood, ceramic tile, and marble flooring and overlooks the Ala Wai Golf Course, Koolau mountains, Kapiolani Park, Diamond Head, and the ocean. Worrall Daily points out that not all the attractions of Liliuokalani Gardens are within the complex. “This is a very well located property,” she said. “Within walking distance are the beach, Kapiolani Park, the Honolulu Zoo, the Waikiki Library, and the golf course. The Ala Wai Boulevard is a great place for jogging or just long walks. Numerous options for shopping and dining are close by on Kalakaua and Kapahulu Avenues.”
Liliuokalani Gardens occupies an entire block between the Ala Wai, Wai Nani Way, Paoakalani Avenue, and Pualani Way. The main vehicular entrance is on Wai Nani Way.