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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              November 5, 2005

Release No. M-93





            Mayor Hannemann today announced the reopening of Chinatown Gateway Park, a new partnership to maintain the park and plans for a memorial there to Chinese political and revolutionary pioneer Sun Yat-sen.

            In a ceremony at the sylvan park, at Hotel and Bethel streets, Hannemann said, “Twelve weeks ago, workers began removing banyan trees whose roots were threatening to crack the faux rocks in the the park’s water feature and posed a maintenance headache. Standing here now, I think we can all agree that this is a wonderful oasis amid the concrete of downtown, and we intend to keep it that way.”

            Hannemann said, “Our commitment to you is to make Chinatown a leading arts and cultural center in the world. The transformation of this park is a key step toward that.”

            The mayor announced that the three of the park’s neighbors have agreed to help the City maintain the park. They are the Hawaii Theatre, Plumbers and Fitters Union Local 675 and Indigo Restaurant. “This park is a living example of government and the private sector working together,” Hannemann said. “Our partners have not only agreed to help us maintain the beauty of the park on a regular basis, but have also pledged financial support.”

            In addition to problems posed by the now-removed trees, the park was plagued in the past by vandalism and loitering as well as design and maintenance problems. City and contractor crews addressed many of the problems in record time. The departments of Design and Construction, Parks and Recreation, and Facility Maintenance worked together to:

  • Remove the banyan trees perched on the faux rock water feature.
  • Repair and restore the faux rocks damaged by banyan tree roots.
  • Raise low spots around the edge of the pond.
  • Create planting pockets with elevated areas to prevent people from climbing on the faux rocks.
  • Plant new and appropriate planting material within the planting pockets.
  • Repair, install and conceal irrigation within the planting pockets.
  • Tested for waterproofing integrity of the pond and replaced the sand filter and installed an off-line chlorinator.
  • Plant a Hong Kong orchid tree in the middle of the pond.

      The mayor thanked and acknowledged the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Hawaii Foundation, which approached the City about a placing a privately funded tribute to the late Dr. Sun Yat-sen in the park. “He was an icon on both sides of the Taiwan Strait,” the mayor said of Sun, the “father of modern China” who attended Iolani and Punahou schools in his youth, then went on to lead a revolution against imperial rule.

      Firm details have not yet been finalized. But Hannemann said of the proposal, “I firmly believe that there is no more beautiful or appropriate setting in our city to honor the founder of modern China than this park.”

      Steven Ai, president and CEO of City Mill, said the foundation envisions Chinatown Gateway Park as a cornerstone for welcoming Chinese from everywhere to the islands.”





            Bill Brennan, 527-6928

            Mark Matsunaga, 527-5767

Monday, November 07, 2005

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