Nearby Waterfront Plaza, HPU’s Newest Location, Is a Historic Pumping Station

Kakaako pumping station

Visible from Waterfront Plaza on Ala Moana Blvd. is the historic Kaka‘ako Pumping Station. This impressive building with an approximately 80-foot tower was completed almost 120 years ago in 1900. It was designed by the noted architect Oliver G. Traphagen, who was responsible for a number of well-known buildings in Hawai‘i including the Moana Hotel in Waikīkī and the Old Archives building on the grounds of ‘Iolani Palace. The pumping station was constructed as part of Honolulu’s sewage system and pumped waste into the ocean. Various additions were made later, but the entire complex had ceased to function as a pumping station by the 1950s. The building currently houses a senior citizen center. Write-up and photo by Associate Professor of History Douglas Askman, Ph.D.