The first and second floors of the Palace have been meticulously restored and are open to the public for guided tours.
The first floor consists of the public reception areas -- the Grand Hall, State Dining Room, reception rooms, and the Throne Room. The second floor consists of the private suites -- the King's and Queen's suites, Music Room, and the Imprisonment Room, where Queen Lili`uokalani was held under house arrest for five months following the overthrow of her government.
The following provides a description of a sampling of the rooms that can be visited on the tours.
The Grand Hall runs the entire width of the Palace. This entry is dominated by a staircase of Hawaiian woods, which leads to family suites above. Portraits of ten Hawaiian kings and queens line the walls above niches where valuable vases and statuary from England, India, and France are displayed.
The Throne Room is off the Grand Hall. In this crimson and gold room King Kalakaua held formal audiences, diplomatic receptions, and state balls, receiving and entertaining guests from all walks of life, from royalty and diplomats to writers, entertainers, and sportsmen. The trial of Queen Lili`uokalani also occurred in this room.
Across the hall from the Throne Room is the Blue Room, which was used for informal audiences and smaller receptions. A portrait of King Louis Philippe of France that was presented to King Kamehameha III by the French government in 1848 hangs here, along with matching portraits of King Kalakaua and Queen Lili`uokalani done by noted American portraitist William Cogswell.
State Dining Room
Beyond beautifully carved sliding doors in the Blue Room is the State Dining Room. Here portraits of German, French, Russian and British rulers and leaders hang above three massive sideboards which, like many of the furnishings in the Palace, were specially made in Boston, Massachusetts by the A.H. Davenport Company.
The King's suite on the second floor includes a bedroom with a mixture of gothic-revival, Asian, and European furnishings, and an adjoining library with one of Honolulu's earliest telephones.
At the front of the building is the Gold, or Music Room, a gathering place for the royal family, who enjoyed composing, playing, and listening to music and song.
Queen Kapi`olani's suite included her bedroom and two guest rooms occupied by her sisters, Princess Kekaulike and Princess Po`omaikelani. The bedrooms at the front and rear of the Palace had additional sitting rooms in the corner towers. The Queen's bedroom was originally furnished with mahogany furniture and red curtains and upholstery.
This National Historic Landmark was completed in 1882.
- Architects: Thomas J. Baker, C.S. Wall, and Isaac Moore
- Style: Italianate
- National Register: 1966 #66000293 (1962 NHL)
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Do You Have A Palace Artifact?
Recovery and restoration of original Palace furnishings and artifacts continues. The Friends of `Iolani Palace is conducting a worldwide search for artifacts and furnishings that were once part of the royal collections. These objects were removed and sold at auctions following the overthrow of Queen Lili`uokalani and the abrogation of the Hawaiian Monarchy in 1893.
Many original Palace objects sold and dispersed at public auction have been recovered from different parts of the world – glassware found in Australia, and a table in the Governor’s mansion in Iowa, to a chair in a local thrift store. The quest to find original Palace furnishings and artifacts continues.Many original furnishings are still missing.
If you think you may have original Palace furniture or articles created for the Palace, have any information about the whereabouts of original Palace items, please contact the Curator, The Friends of `Iolani Palace
. To learn more about the original objects, you can view examples and get more information in the Palace Collections area of this website