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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                      May 23, 2006

Release M-52-06



               Mayor Mufi Hannemann and John Nau, chairman of the White House Advisory Council on Historical Preservation, today announced that Chinatown has been designated as a Preserve America Community Neighborhood.

               The announcement came at a reception hosted by the Historic Hawai‘i Foundation at the Iolani Palace Barracks to honor Nau’s visit to Honolulu.

               “This designation will help us protect and promote Chinatown’s historic resources and make Chinatown eligible for federal historic preservation funds,” said Hannemann. “This will help our efforts to develop Chinatown as a culture and arts center while ensuring we maintain its rich historic legacy for future generations.”

               Nau is visiting Honolulu and Waimea on the Big Island to discuss historic preservation and burials issues with Native Hawaiians.

               “Chinatown is the first place in Hawaii to receive a Preserve America designation of any kind,” said Nau. “And it’s only the seventh neighborhood in the nation to be designated a Preserve America Community Neighborhood.”    

               Preserve America is a White House initiative that was developed with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the Department of Interior, Department of Commerce and other federal agencies. The program initially focused on designating Preserve America Communities. To recognize historic neighborhoods in large cities, the Preserve America Community Neighborhood program was begun in 2005.

               The application for Chinatown’s designation as a Preserve America Community Neighborhood was submitted by the Honolulu Culture and Arts District Association with support from Mayor Hannemann, his Office of Economic Development and the Historic Hawai ‘i Foundation and endorsements by the Downtown Neighborhood Board and City Councilman Rod Tam.

               “This is a great day for Chinatown,” said Tam, whose district includes Chinatown.

               Nau said the application has been approved by the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation and the Department of Interior.

               The designation comes a month before the Mayor’s Chinatown Summit, which will be held at the Hawai‘i Theatre Center. Sponsored by the City Office of Economic Development and Enterprise Honolulu, the summit  will bring together the City, residents, businesses and organizations to assess Chinatown’s economic potential and map a strategy for its revitalization.

               The summit, scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 22, is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register call the Hawai ‘i Theatre box office at 528-0506 by June 17.






            Alenka Remec, Small Business Advocate, Office of Economic Development, 527-6221

            Michael Pili Pang, Executive Director, Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts, 523-4674

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

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