On Thursday, October 12, 2017, Palama Settlement started to demolish its Tenant Building. One of the original nine buildings constructed in 1925 that formed the new eight-acre campus on Vineyard Street, the Tenant Building was a two story wooden structure on the corner of Palama Street and Vineyard Boulevard. For 90 years the building enabled Palama Settlement to serve the Kalihi-Palama community with services such as the Strong-Carter Dental Clinic and Palama Settlement Community Services program, which assisted individuals and families with an emergency food pantry and referral services for housing, medical, clothes, household items, school supplies, and financial assistance.
Due to building foundation-structural issues, the building was shored a number of times to ensure the structure remained sound. Over recent years, foundation issues continued and after the building was shored recently, a structural engineer could no longer guarantee how long the building would remain safe. Palama Settlement addressed the safety issue by vacating the Tenant Building three years ago. While Palama Settlement preferred to keep the building, it was decided that costs to rehab the aging building would far exceed the cost to rebuild.
Over the years as Palama has evolved, its facility needs also changed. The original gymnasium was replaced by The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Gymnasium due to the widening of Vineyard Street in 1960. The iconic Rath Building on Vineyard Boulevard was also relocated on campus in 1983 to its current location in order to build the Higashino dining/meeting/administration complex. Today, the Rath Building and the Corbett House are two remaining buildings from the original campus complex. Moving forward, Palama Settlement will continually adjust to the ever-changing community and its needs. We look forward to redeveloping our campus to be relevant and purposeful to our mission as we prepare for the next hundred years. Mahalo.