USS Arizona Memorial Ticket – Pearl Harbor Ticket
Right across the street from the Hawaii State Capitol is an elegant-looking white house. A house that would look at home in pictures of the Antebellum South. The residence is named Washington Place, and it was the former residence of the last Queen of Hawaii. If you purchased a Pearl Harbor Tour, one of the Private Pearl Harbor Tours, an Oahu Circle Island Tour, or one of the Island-Hopping Tours from the neighbor Islands, you would get to see this historic residence as part of the Down Town Honolulu City Tour along with other historic landmarks in Hawaii’s Capitol Historic District. These places include buildings that are important to the history of Hawaii, such as Iolani Palace, Kawaiahao Church, Aliiolani Hale, the State Post Office, the Hawaii State Capitol, and St. Andrews Cathedral. Washington Place is located around 8.4 miles from Pearl Harbor, 5.9 miles from the Honolulu Airport, and 3.5 miles from Waikiki.
A merchant captain by the name of John Dominis relocated from the US East Coast to Hawaii in 1837. He acquired a parcel of land from the British counsel as part of a dispute settlement. He then proceeded to build a house in that location. Using funds generated from his voyages, he built a house. Unfortunately, in 1846 he was on a voyage to China to pick up furniture for his new home when his ship was lost at sea. His widow Mary Jones Dominis and young son Joh Owen Dominis were left with the property. To earn a living, Mary rented out rooms in the new home. One of the first people to rent out a room was an American by the name of Anthony Ten Eyck. He had been appointed by US President James K. Polk as a commissioner to the Islands. He set up a legation in the Dominis’s residence. In celebration of George Washington’s birthday, he named the residence Washington Place. The naming was approved by the King of Hawaii, Kamehameha III, and this has been its name ever since. As it was an American legation, the US flag was flown over the building. The flag remained flying over Washington Place until the Death of Mary Dominis in 1889, when Crown Princess Lydia Kamakaeha Pākī (the future Queen Liliuokalani) had the flag lowered. Liliuokalani raised the American flag over Washington Place once again in 1916 when 5 Hawaiian sailors died when a merchant ship, the SS Aztec, was sunk in WWI by a German U-Boat. Some regarded the act as being done as a symbolic act of support for the United States.
John Owen Dominis had grown up in Hawaii and went to school near the Hawaiian nobility, whom he eventually befriended. He worked as a clerk in San Francisco and Honolulu. By 1856, he was working for the Hawaiian Royalty. He became engaged to Princess Lydia, and they eventually married. This opened many opportunities for him, and he was granted many titles and positions, including a role as Royal Governor of Oahu and Commander in Chief of the Hawaiian Army.
On January 20, 1891, King David Kalakaua died while on a trip to the United States. His successor, Crown Princess Lydia, ascended to the throne as Queen Liliuokalani on January 29, 1891, and John Owen Dominis became Prince Consort. This was short-lived, however, as he passed away on August 27, 1891. Ownership of Washington Place was then passed to Queen Liliuokalani. The Queen wished to loosen the grip of foreign interests on Hawaii, and she attempted to draft a new constitution. Unfortunately, elements within her own government, as well as those who had American interests in mind, staged a coup. Aided by US Marines who were protecting American interests in Hawaii, the Monarchy was overthrown. The Queen was arrested in Washington Place after a standoff between the rebels and her loyalist forces. Eventually, She was forced to abdicate the throne and become a private citizen. She lived in Washington Place until her death in 1917. After her death, the property was purchased from her estate and was remodeled to be the mansion for the Territorial Governor of Hawaii. The property continued to be used as the Governor’s residence until 2002. In 2007, the residence was registered as a historic landmark. While Washington Place still serves as the official Governor’s mansion, a new residence for Hawaii’s governors was constructed behind Washington Place.
Washington place was designed by Isaac Hart in the Greek Revival style as found in many antebellum homes along the gulf coast of the United States. The foundation of the house, the lower walls, and the columns are made of coral stone. The upper part of the house is constructed of wood. The layout adheres to what is called a Georgian floor plan leaning more towards its Southern influence. Washington place is unique in that it is the only Governor’s residence in the United States that was also the residence of Royalty. Washington Place is managed by the Hawaii Department of Accounting and General Services, and tours are conducted only on specific days by reservation.