Think About It: Nah- tatorium - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

June 29, 2017

Think About It: Nah- tatorium

The City of Honolulu is apparently moving ahead with plansto reinforce a portion of the sea wall around Queen's Surf and WaikikiAquarium. Relentless pounding of the ocean causes damage to the concrete whichhasn't seen major repairs since 1987, 30-years ago. Just down the block fromthis to-be-repaired site sits the long-neglected Waikiki Natatorium, which hasnow been ignored for over 40 years. The area in front of the Natatorium isstate property, whereas the area just down the road to be fixed is cityproperty.

The long-ignored World War I memorial needs fixing,replacing, renovating, refurbishing, eliminating- whatever verb works foryou.  A January City Council resolutioncalled for the rehabilitation of the facility, after an environmental impactstatement. Yes, 40-years after calls were first heard to make a decision on thedeteriorating Waikiki façade, we are still looking at statements andassessments, followed indubitably by more discussions, committees, protests,and ultimately stasis- nothing, no action, more erosion, more dangerous re-barpopping through at an unusable and unsightly site meant to honor war veteransfrom 100-years ago.

At the opening Natatorium ceremonieson August 24, 1927, Olympic gold medalist Duke Kahanamoku took the first swim- it was his birthday. In a swim meet soonafter, world record holder Johnny Weissmuller won the 100, 400 and 800 meter events; Buster Crabbe won the 1500 meters.   A fabulous beginning!But now, an eyesore. Yes, there will be unhappy people, no matterwhat decision is made.  But it is anembarrassment that a facility built to honor and acknowledge the soldiers ofWorld War I passively deteriorates week after week while people in charge passthe buck as they can't find the bucks to make it right or make a decision.Leaders, be responsible, and address the Natatorium as it celebrates its 90thyear. Think about it… 

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