Project maps historic UH Manoa campus

Tropical plant collection is one of world's most diverse

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Gregg Takayama, (808) 382-3212
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Posted: May 31, 2007

HONOLULU - Historic architecture and landscaping of the 300-acre Mānoa campus and adjacent East-West Center will be mapped, photographed, and archived for the first time under a grant received by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

The $100,000 project funded by the Getty Foundation, the philanthropic division of the J. Paul Getty Trust, will include detailed research and physical examination of approximately 50 historic buildings and a careful survey and inventory of the campus‘ unique botanic collection of specimen trees and shrubs.

"As we celebrate the Centennial of our Mānoa campus, it‘s vitally important that we document and preserve the many cultural and landscape gems included here," said Interim Chancellor Denise Konan.

The Mānoa campus features one of the world‘s most diverse tropical plant collections, with more than 800 plant species — including 8 registered "exceptional" trees. Other important features include:

  • An ornamental palm garden forming the edge for the Andrews Amphitheater and the nearby Krauss Hall Courtyard pond garden are excellent examples of early to mid-20th century garden design by Richard Tongg, considered to be the first Chinese-American landscape architect;

  • The Japanese Garden created in 1963 by Japanese landscape architect Kenzo Ogata is considered to be among the 25 most significant Japanese gardens in America;

  • The Hawaiian Studies Native Gardens including the Kanewai garden, illustrates the traditional method of planting taro in a terraced water garden or loʻi.

The one-year project will create a permanent reference for future modifications to the existing master-plan and result in more informed decision-making among campus planners and architects. The project will also include the preparation of National Register nomination forms for all significant landscape features and as yet non-listed buildings on the two campuses.

Many of the campus plantings were by Dr. Joseph Rock (1884-1962), the first Botany faculty member, who envisioned the campus as a living botanical laboratory. In addition to plants from all the major Hawaiian islands, he introduced plant specimens from Australia, Ceylon, Cuba, Central and South America, Java, Mauritius, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The project will be coordinated by William Chapman, Director of the UH Graduate Certificate Program in Historic Preservation and Spencer Leineweber, Director of the Heritage Center in the UH School of Architecture.

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.Additional information is available on the Getty Web site at