The westernmost of the East Oahu ridgeline neighborhoods, St. Louis Heights takes its name from the school that occupies approximately 52 acres at the base of the ridge together with Chaminade University. Also located on the campus are the Marianist Center of Hawaii, the new Clarence T. C. Ching Learning and Technology Center, and the Mamiya Theatre. A new parking structure is in progress.
Not only is the neighborhood named for the school and its patron saint, King Louis IX of France, but its streets are named for priests, administrators, and educators associated with the school and other Catholic institutions over the years, primarily from the late 1800s to early 1900s.
Originally called mauna pohaku, Hawaiiian for “rock mountain,” St. Louis Heights is one of several Oahu neighborhoods with streets named for Catholic clergy. However, St. Louis does have the highest concentration of such streets.
As reported in an article published in the Hawaii Catholic Herald in June 2007, “When subdividers Paul Low and James Hara named the area after the nearby St. Louis College (today St. Louis School) 80 years ago, they decided to name the streets alphabetically after biblical figures or historic Hawaii Catholics.”
Among the examples included are: Alencastre Place and Street, named after Bishop Stephen Alencastre, the last missionary bishop for Hawaii, who immigrated from Portugal; Alphonse Place, named for Marianist Brother Alphonse, a teacher at St. Louis College; Bertram Street, named for Marianist Brother Bertram Bellinghausen, who taught at St. Louis College for 22 years starting in 1883 when the school was located on College Walk in Downtown Honolulu, and many more.
Adjacent to the campus is the Regency Park, a 7.44 acre condominium complex consisting of two residential towers with a total of 272 units, a parking structure, fitness center, recreation/meeting room, swimming pool, and tennis court. Managed by Hawaiiana Management, the Regency Park was developed in 1981 and includes both fee simple and leasehold units.
Single family residential development climbs up the hillside from the bottom of St. Louis
Drive to an elevation of more than 1,000 feet. For the most part, the neighborhood is densely developed with older, moderately priced homes, many now being remodeled or replaced with new architect designed homes. Current listings range from under $500,000 to more than $1,200,000.
East Oahu Realty Realtor Pat Reilly, who has listed a 30 year old home at the corner of Herman Street and St. Louis Drive at $1,100,000, noted that a feature homes in the neighborhood have in common, whether old or new, low or high end, is the view. “St. Louis Heights offers great views in all directions…the property I’ve listed overlooks a neighborhood park and, at night, a twinkling panorama of city lights extending from Waikiki to downtown. The house was built by a contractor as his own home and takes advantage not only of views but also natural ventilation with windows or decks on all sides. The split level design with access to most rooms from the wraparound deck make the home ideal for multigenerational living. Since parking can be a problem in the neighborhood, he situated the house on the lot in order to provide an extra three spaces in addition to the two car garage. The lower level opens out to a huge, level back yard. The bus stops a block away and takes you right down the hill to schools, shops, and restaurants in about 10 minutes.”
At the end of Ruth Street is 50 acre Waiahila Ridge State Recreation Area, a park with picnic facilities in a grove of towering Norfolk Pines. The park overlooks forested ridges, Palolo Valley to the east and Manoa Valley to the west. It is also the starting point of the 2.4 mile Waiahila Ridge trail which leads to additional scenic lookouts.