Story by Karen Iwamoto on 05/12/2017SCHOFIELD BARRACKS Several preservation projects undertaken by U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii and its partners will be recognized at the Historic Hawaii Foundation's 43rd annual Preservation Awards ceremony, May 19, at the YWCA Laniakea in downtown Honolulu.
The rehabilitation of Building 690 on Schofield Barracks was recognized in the Preservation Award category, the roof replacement and installation of photovoltaic panels on Building 104 on Wheeler Army Airfield was recognized in the Preservation Commendation category, and the interpretive display panels on Wheeler Army Airfield were recognized in the Interpretive Media category.
"Collectively preserving these communities (makes them) more livable and connects those of us today with the past," said Kiersten Faulkner, executive director of Historic Hawaii Foundation. "The Army in particular is good about preserving its historic buildings. They want to continue their traditions and ensure that their Soldiers understand the significance of their history. Being able to live and work in places where history actually took place makes it real. Soldiers are living in the same buildings where history unfolded, and they can see the bullet holes. That adds empathy, education and inspiration."
Ken Hays, architectural historian with the Environmental Division of USAG-HI's Directorate of Public Works, said it was an honor to have the projects selected as standouts in the history and preservation fields by the Historic Hawaii Foundation.
"It demonstrates that the garrison is a good steward of its resources, is energy conscious and is interpreting its history for its community," he said. "It shows that our historic resources can be a part of the Army's resources when we adaptively reuse them."
He said the three projects highlight different approaches to fulfilling the Army's mission of providing a high quality of life to its Soldiers, family members and DOD civilians.
The renovation of Building 690 on Schofield Barracks demonstrates that existing structures can still serve the Army. Updates to the building include outfitting it with air-conditioning units and interior elevators, while maintaining its architectural features.
The Moreton Bay fig tree that had been planted next to the building when it was built in 1929 also remains in place. Its roots had grown into the foundation of the building, but a professional arborist was called in to help cut back the roots and build a root barrier to prevent future damage to the building's structure.
"A few people wanted to cut it down at first," Hays said. "But now that it's finished, I think it's changed people's minds. Trees matter, too. In historic preservation, landscape features come into play."
Adding solar panels to Wheeler Army Airfield's Building 104 during the roof repair allowed the Army to boost its renewable energy efforts without disturbing the historic features of the building.
"The parapets hide the panels, so you can't even tell they're there," Hays said.
The interpretive panels make Wheeler's history more accessible to the Army community.
"Many people know that (Wheeler) was attacked by the Japanese on Dec. 7, 1941, but not many know about other, lesser-known aspects. (For example,) Amelia Earhart stored her planes (in one of the hangars) during one of her flights as did Sir Kingsford Smith," Hays said. "Amazing things have happened (on Wheeler); it has a remarkable aviation history."
The Historic Hawaii Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1974. Its mission is to ensure the preservation of diverse cultural and historic places in Hawaii.
Schofield Barracks Building 690 is a three-story concrete building constructed in 1929 as a medical staff barracks facility to support the nearby health clinic.
Its rehabilitation made it possible for the 88-year-old historic building to continue serving the Army community, while preserving it as a part of the history of Schofield Barracks.
The roof replacement and photovoltaic panels installation at Building 104 on Wheeler Army Airfield optimized the building's energy supply while protecting the building's character-defining features and retaining its historic integrity.
Wheeler Army Airfield's four interpretive display panels depict the Dec. 7, 1941, attack; the Garden City plan of Ebenezer Howard; the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture; and its aviation history. It provides a way to make the airfield's history more accessible to the Army community.