Maui News

200-Year-Old Window and Door Damaged During Break-In at Huliheʻe Palace

June 18, 2021, 4:00 PM HST
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Huliheʻe Palace Damaged in Vandalism. Photo: June 4, 2021. Images courtesy: DLNR

The state is pursuing emergency repairs following a break-in last month that resulted in damages to a historic door and window at Hulihe‘e Palace on Hawaiʻi Island.

Officials with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources say the incident occurred on June 1 when a 27-year-old Kailua-Kona woman, allegedly broke into the historic palace by shattering a lānai window.

State officials say the intruder triggered alarms which notified staff of the break-in.

Before they were able to locate the suspect, the woman allegedly wandered around, making her way upstairs to the makai lānai. Staff reported she unsuccessfully attempted to leave by repeatedly kicking a door made of koa, breaking off panels in the process.  

The woman was then spotted by an on-site caretaker and exited the palace’s back door. A Hawai’i Police Department officer apprehended the suspect after she jumped over a seawall and swam to the other side of Kailua Bay.  

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DLNR Division of State Parks Archeologist, Tracy Tam Sing inspected the damages three days later saying, “It is very sad to see.”

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The door and glass date back to the 1800’s, when King David Kalākaua renovated the palace. “Old glass is very hard to find, so repairs will have to use new aged glass instead,” he said.  After the inspection, Tam Sing worked with the DLNR State Historic Preservation Division to receive concurrence on emergency repairs. “We’re very thankful to SHPD for its timely review in order to do the repairs as soon as possible.” 

DPS staff contacted Glenn Mason of Mason Architecture & Historic Consulting to order aged glass to replace the shattered window panel. They anticipate hiring a qualified carpenter to do the work, next week. “An essential qualification in repairing these historic features is experience in working with old or historic homes in order to complete a ‘same for same’ or ‘like for like’ restoration,” Tam Sing said. 

The cost of the damage hasn’t been determined yet. Repair funds will come from DSP or through the insurance of Daughters of Hawai‘i, the non-profit operating and managing Hulihe‘e Palace. 

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