IMR: Places: First Hawaiian Center

[ First Hawaiian Center ]  
First Hawaiian Center
999 Bishop Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

Completed in 1996, the First Hawaiian Center is the tallest building in the state, towering 438 feet over bordering streets, Bishop, South King, Alakea and Merchant. It's shaped like a wedge, and has a striking dark-glass angled "point" on its East end.

Modest by global standards (the now lost World Trade Center in New York City was three times taller), it's still an imposing element of Honolulu's skyline. The developer had to lobby the city to raise its building height limit from 350 to 400 feet. It then got an exemption for the center's additional 37 feet.

(Unrelated trivia: the ten-story Aloha Tower, reaching 184 feet, was the tallest structure in 1926.)

Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, it has 418,000 square feet of office space on 27 floors, and cost about $175 million to build. Housing the downtown gallery of The Contemporary Museum, it is also home to many notable art pieces, from murals to sculptures.

© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 28 June 2001 · Last Modified: 8 October 2001