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Until 1960, the Central Fire Station served as the Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) headquaters.

In 1960, the HFD moved its headquarters to the third floor of the Pawaa Police Station.

In 1991, the HFD moved into a 15,000-square foot office at the Airport Industrial Complex on Koapaka Street and paid approximately $36,000 per month ($432,000 annually) for rent.  Conservatively, the HFD paid over $5,000,000 in rent over the past 15 years.  The office on Koapaka Street did not provide enough usable space for the HFD's needs; its location was not central to other City administrative functions; and its location did not provide ease of egress for HFD vehicles.

In January 2000, the HFD received approval from former Mayor Jeremy Harris to proceed with the planning and construction of the new HFD headquarter's complex.

The new headquarters complex is located on the makai Ewa corner of South and Queens Streets.  The total land area is 69,833 square feet or 1.6 acres.  The complex includes a 31,750-square foot hadquarters building, the HFD museum, the Kakaako Fire Station (which houses Engine 9 and Tower 9), and a 75-stall parking lot.

The three-story structure is set back from South and Queen Streets per development standards of the Kakaako Community Development Mauka Area Plan.  The structure is steel-framed and was erected on a poured-in-place concrete foundation and topped with a hipped standing seam metal roof similar in appearance to the historic neighboring Kakaako Fire Station.  It houses the Office of the Fire Chief and its four administrative sections.  It also includes an auditorium, four conference rooms, an executive conference room, a physical fitness room, and a Department Operations Center.  The new HFD headquarters will serve as a technology test bed for other City and County of Honolulu Protocol telephony, smart card secure access, and free space optical (FSO) communications.


The new HFD Headquarters nearing completion on March 16, 2006


An artist's rendering of the completed HFD Headquarters

  • Architect: Urban Works, Inc.
  • Contractor: Okada Trucking, Ltd.
  • Project Manager: City and County of Honolulu, Department of Design and Construction
  • Estimated Cost: $15.5 million
  • Official name: Hale Kinai Ahi, which means "fire house" in Hawaiian.  The wording comes directly from the original 1851 ordinance printed in Hawaiian, which established the HFD.

The historic Kakaako Fire Station was occupied on October 1, 1929, by Engine Company Number 9.  In 1930, a hook and ladder building was constructed.  It housed a ladder truck for 20 years and was then converted to serve as a kitchen until the new Kakaako Fire Station was built in 1973.  In 1931, the maintenance shop building was added.  The ladder building and maintenance shop were not part of the new project.

Renovation and restoration work for the historic Kakako Fire Station complies with the Secretary of the Interior Standard for the Treatment of Historic Properties.  In 1979, the Kakako Fire Station was nominated to the Hawaii and National Registers of Historic Places for its architectural and social/humanitarian significance.  The station was placed on the Hawaii Register of Historic Places in July 1980 and on the National Register in December 1980.

After ceasing its protective function in 1973, the historic Kakaako Fire Station continued to be used for other activities.  The building housed the Honolulu Ballet in the mid-to-late-1970s.  More recently,  the ground floor has been used for general storage.  The main building measures 55 x 58 feet (3,190 square feet) and is 36' high.  The 16-foot square hose tower at the rear of the main building is approximately 60' high.

The existing Kakaako Fire Station was built in 1973 to replace the historic Kakaako Fire Station as an operational fire station.  The two-story, 24' high, and 6,648-square foot station is constructed of poured-in-place concrete.  A hose tower at the rear of the station is approximately 37' high.  Thirty fire fighters on three different platoons occupy the station, which houses Engine 9 and Tower 9.

 

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, October 02, 2013