Restoration Of The Palace

Following the overthrow of the monarchy, Iolani Palace became the government headquarters for the Provisional Government. Following the overthrow, many of the palace’s original furnishings were sold at public auction and personal belongings were returned to the royal family. In the decades that followed, it was also served as the government capitol building for the Republic, Territory, and eventually, State of Hawaii.

dining-roomGovernment offices vacated the Palace in 1969 and moved to the current State Capitol building. After nearly 80 years as a government building, the once regal palace was in need renovations to restore it back to its once regal glory.

In preparation for restoration, the Junior League of Honolulu conducted an extensive historical research project. Researchers uncovered clues about construction, furnishings, and palace lifestyle in nineteenth-century newspapers, photographs and manuscripts found in various archives and libraries.

staircaseThe Friends of Iolani Palace, founded by Mrs. Liliuokalani Kawananakoa Morris, grandniece of Queen Kapiolani. Today, The Friends leads the efforts to provide caring stewardship of the Hawaiian landmark and national treasure.

Conservation treatment and painstaking reproduction of original fabrics and finishes has resulted in the restoration of Palace rooms to their monarchy era appearance. 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 Palace artifacts remain in storage because of a lack of available conservation funds for repair and restoration. Through this unique program, any interested individual or organization may sponsor the restoration of a specific object in the Palace collection.


Contact The Curator To Learn More About Sponsorship

Honolulu Star Bulletin: Palace Moves to Restore Kalakaua's Table

Honolulu Star Bulletin: Royal Desk Gleams Again in Iolani Palace