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Natatorium No More..

South Coast NSW
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Natatorium No More..

staradvertiser.com/news/…205454161.html

"Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Mayor Kirk Caldwell today announced a partnership to develop a public memorial beach at the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium.

Under the plan, the state will hand over development of the site back to the city, which intends to tear down the pool, relocate the archway and create a new beach where the crumbling pool and stadium now stand."

They don't seem to have a demolition time frame yet, so hopefully we get to say our goodbyes..

If you want to know more about the Natatorium - http://natatorium.org

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Waikiki
Waikiki
Oahu, HI
Dallas
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1. Re: Natatorium No More..

They need to make sure that there is a nice memorial for those who it was originally intended.

Saint Cloud...
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2. Re: Natatorium No More..

I walked by it many times & looked through the areas where you can see the pool. It is really in bad shape & the best thing they can do is turn it into a beach. And with the archway still there (either moved or left in the same place) it can still be named something similar like Natatorium Memorial Beach, or Memorial Beach.

I did look at the blog that advocates for preservation and restoration. I do see their point, but in my opinion, not the best option.

On a side note:

There is an annual Memorial Service at the Natatorium. In the past it has been on the Sunday a week before Memorial Day weekend.

I hope they keep up that tradition.

Corona del Mar, CA
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3. Re: Natatorium No More..

It is in really bad shape because it was allowed to get that way, then they use the bad shape as an excuse to get rid of it. Rather circular.

They are spend $7billion on a light rail that will never pay for itself, but couldn't find $8 million for a restoration when it would have mattered.

Anything so neglected would get in bad shape. Would they have let Iolani Palace go to seed? Not maintained the USS Arizona Memorial?

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Iolani Palace
Iolani Palace
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Oahu, HI
USS Arizona Memorial
USS Arizona Memorial
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Saint Cloud...
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4. Re: Natatorium No More..

I spent a lot of time in Waikiki in the 70's. By then Natatorium had relatively few users.

Natatorium opened in 1927. I'm sure back then many used the Natatorium. It was probably a spectacular pool/stadium. And it was probably used by thousands and with more in the stands especially for events. It was also one of few top things to do in Honolulu.

Times change. Waikiki was developed. Roads and beaches around the island were developed. People bought & used their cars & were able to go to places around the island.

Shopping Centers were developed. Sporting venues were developed.

Schools now have pools. There are several public pools on the island. There are 100 developed beaches on Oahu now.

Do we need to spend millions of dollars for every historic building to preserve them knowing it is a loss of revenue?

Iolani Palace was neglected for years. Then there was a restoration and later Iolani Palace was opened for tours. Does the revenue from tours pay for upkeep & salaries? I don't know the answer. But probably close to breaking even is my guess.

USS Arizona Memorial is the number one visited attraction in Hawaii. The Visitors Center was sinking in some areas. And there needed to be a new Visitors center.

USS Arizona Memorial loses $$ every year. Yet it has been the number one attraction in Hawaii for years. It is one of many reasons for a visitor to choose Hawaii.

If Natatorium was restored, would it bring back locals to use the pool? They now have 100 beaches to go to.

Could it become a museum? Maybe, but not enough visitors to come close to breaking even.

I like historic buildings, sites, monuments, battlefields, etc.

I really don't know where the line is drawn whether to spend $$ to restore any historic building, house, sporting event venue, etc.

While I think there is significant purpose in restoration of Natatorium, I do not think there is enough significant value to spend the $$ based on the cost of the restoration, future costs, future visitors & future revenue.

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Waikiki
Waikiki
Oahu, HI
Honolulu
Honolulu
Oahu, HI
Oahu
Oahu
Hawaii
Iolani Palace
Iolani Palace
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USS Arizona Memorial
USS Arizona Memorial
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Hawaii
Hawaii
United States
Kaua'i, HI
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for Kauai, Poipu, Lihue
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5. Re: Natatorium No More..

Aloha from Kaua'i!

While I'm disappointed that they won't be retaining anything but the facade of the building, I understand the issues involved with it....at least that will still be there. One of my very dearest friends was a grand niece of the great Hawaiian swimmer, surfer, and all round Ambassador of Aloha, Duke Kahanamoku.....and I feel very strongly about things that are tied to him (even have the key from his home)......from Wikipedia:

"Inside the memorial is a 100 meter by 40 meter salt water swimming pool. In the opening ceremonies on August 24, 1927, the local Olympic gold medal holder Duke Kahanamoku made the first swim (it was his birthday). In the following swim meet, world record holder Johnny Weissmuller won the 100, 400 and 800 meter events, and Buster Crabbe (also local) won the 1500 meters."

Sad to see things decay and fall apart....I'd love to see historic places here (there are few enough of them still around) restored and appreciated.....but there are cost issues that are involved that are beyond my ken.

Malama Pono,

Janet

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Aloha Hawaii Tours
Aloha Hawaii Tours
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South Coast NSW
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6. Re: Natatorium No More..

I will have to do some research on this light rail, I will like to know more about that.

I think a salt water swimming pool could have been an excellent thing for Waikiki - we have a lot of them here in Australia but nowhere near as nice water and much colder! There are some people who have a fear of the sea but are ok with a salt water swimming pool, and also when the jellyfish are there, it would be a good option for people given the small swimming pools that the hotels have.

I can see the other side of it too. There is only so much money to go around.

The Natatorium has always fascinated me. I wish we would be allowed to visit it before they demolish it but I understand it is in no shape for us to do that.

It is no surprise to me that the Arizona memorial loses money - they do not charge for it and I get the reasons why. I do think there are ways they could make a bit more money without having to charge for visiting the memorial - for example the special tour they run only a few times a year might be extremely popular if they ran it once a week, I know I would pay for it if this were available during my visit (and I would pay a lot more than what they are charging too! $30 is a bargain!)

I also think they could provide secure lockers - preferably at a decent distance from the memorial and the visitors centre - maybe in the carpark - again I understand the reasons why backpacks and purses are not allowed in and why a lot of places do not allow for storage anymore but I do think people would use lockers there and pay to do so.

And me personally, I would up the rates for booking an online ticket. It is for my convenience not theirs and I am prepared to pay much more for the opportunity to be able to do this - I am sure I am not the only one who feels that way. Especially if we knew the monies raised went to the memorial and facilities provided.

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Waikiki
Waikiki
Oahu, HI
Boston, MA
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7. Re: Natatorium No More..

I wonder what impact removing the Nanotorium will have on the beach just to the south, San Souci Beach Park. I'm sure they'll try to create a groin to keep it intact, but the history of "managing" the beach is has definitely been one of trial and error.

California
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8. Re: Natatorium No More..

Thanks for posting! I wasn't aware of any of this.

Corona del Mar, CA
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9. Re: Natatorium No More..

The War Memorial Natatorium (the "War Memorial" part should not be forgotten, it isn't just a pool) is an ocean water pool, not just 'salt water' or saline, that was one of the sticking points in restoration. The powers that be were trying to a hold a 1927 ocean fed pool to regulations written for artificial in ground pools.

Many Hawaiian high schools and colleges host annual sports events that draw a lot of teams from the mainland along with their fans and parents. There are volleyball, basketball, baseball and soccer tournaments off the top of my head. It would have been very simple to the War Memorial Natatorium for premier water polo and swimming events and do it all year round as the mens and womens, boys and girls water polo seasons are separate seasons, plus you have the high school and collegiate seasons and then the club season.

It would be very simple to build premier swimming events around the War Memorial Natatorium. 100 meter pools simply do nor exist any more. FINA is big on legacy events, the history involved with the War Memorial Natatorium and all the former Olympians make it a natural.

National treasures should not be allowed to deteriorate.

Saint Cloud...
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10. Re: Natatorium No More..

scott, there simply are not enough swimming events that could be at Natatorium to warrant spending millions of $$ to renovate the Natatorium and the $$ it would need annually for upkeep.

High schools have pools now. University of Hawaii has a big pool they can use for events.

Natatorium has served it's purpose. It's time to let it go, but preserve some of it.

Baseball stadiums, football stadiums, basketball arenas, etc., have come and gone. And in most cases some of what was has been preserved.

I am a Vietnam War veteran. I have a heavy heart for every veteran of any war they were in, and especially for those who lost their lives in those wars.

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University of Hawaii at  Manoa Campus
University of Hawaii at...
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