Yes, there are tanks and other artillery in Waikiki! In 1908,the U.S. military acquired 72 acres of the Kalia Fishponds (in the pre-drained Waikiki years) which eventually became Fort DeRussy. Today, visitors and residents alike enjoy strolling through the Hawaii Army Museum to learn about the U.S. military history on Oahu.
The museum is housed in Battery Randolph, a massive reinforced concrete emplacement with roofs as much as 12 feet thick. The Battery was built around 1911 for two 14 inch guns that could fire projectiles as far as 14 miles. It was part of a coastal defense system that was to protect Honolulu Harbor from invasion. There are displays, artifacts, videos depicting events from the 19th century Hawaiian colonial days through the two world wars, the Korean ‘Conflict,’ and the Vietnam years.
I recently chatted with Pierre Moulin, renowned historian and author, and an active member of the Hawaii Army Museum Society. His books are a grand source of fascinating reading, along with the informative websites I have linked.
Fort DeRussy’s oceanfront Hale Koa Hotel and its recreation areas across the street on the mauka (mountain) side are within beautiful park settings, including a coconut grove near the Ala Moana Blvd. historical marker, which is the oldest and last of its kind in Waikiki today. The Fort accommodations are exclusively used by our military personnel and dependents for their R&R (rest and recreation).
Even if you are not in the military, Fort DeRussy and its museum is not far away from the center of Waikiki and well worth visiting. The sandy beach areas continue on from there to the Ala Wai Boat Harbor. Nearby condo-hotels are available to rent and to own! Example: For your own special lifestyle, the luxurious Trump Tower is right across the street. This photo was taken while strolling along the Fort’s winding pathway to Kalakaua Ave.
There is a good selection of available “BeachWalk” Trump Towers condominium units to purchase with views-views-views. From an upper level unit, note the long Battery building and circle drive of the museum, the beach shoreline, Hale Koa Hotel on the right, and a little of the Hilton Hawaiian Village complex as the view stretches beyond Magic Island. Don’t forget the gorgeous Hawaiian sunsets too!
Please, do not hesitate to contact me if you are considering a move here, or a 2nd home purchase for enjoying the lifestyle of Hawaii. A gallery of photos and sale information is available. Let’s “Talk Story” and discuss what you are needing or wanting.
To view additional Talk Story articles/blogs, you may visit my author profile. I look forward to hearing from you! Warm Aloha! Jeanne
Note: In Hawaii, there is often a gathering of family and friends, and in a casual way stories are told of that days happenings, or past events. We call it “Talk Story.” My continued series will be about different places around Oahu with a bit of their history, and the many opportunities for you today. I would love to hear about your personal Hawaii memories to share, perhaps during the territorial days, like I was, growing up out Koko Head way. Hawaii is a special place and so are the people. Follow me as we discover a lifestyle best suited for YOU. Whether it is a new military move, a casual beach house, a downsized retirement home, a golf course fronted resort home-away-from-home, a grand residence with superb view, or a high-rise condominium, the choices and the Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers resources are many. Let’s “talk story.”