Friday, March 20, 2015
The debate on the site of City Hall waged in Honolulu … The first Honolulu Hale was on Merchant Street (it’s now a park-like lot on the Diamond Head side of the Kamehameha V Post Office Building.) With growing community and business needs, the postal authorities were using part of Honolulu Hale. A partition divided the ʻEwa or North side, which was used by the Post Office, while the Waikīkī or South side was used by the Whitney stationery business and also the editorial office of the Pacific Commercial Advertiser.
As postal operations grew, in 1871, the Kamehameha V Post Office at the corner of Merchant and Bethel Streets was constructed and the Post Office folks moved out of Honolulu Hale. In 1900, the old Post Office became a unit of the US Postal System. Honolulu Hale on Merchant Street was fitted with a marine lookout and a tall semaphore, making its signals accessible to a larger segment of the population.
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