Located just a few miles from Waikiki, the Hawaii Capital Historic District in Downtown Honolulu consists of a collection of historic buildings that were at the center of Hawaiian life and society from the 1840s to the mid 1900s. At the heart of the district lies elegant Washington Place, most commonly known as the home of Queen Liliuokalani, the last reigning Hawaiian monarch.
Over the years, Washington Place has played many roles in the history of the Islands. It began as the home of Captain John Dominis, a prominent American sea merchant who was lost at sea. Years later, his son, John Owen Dominis married Lydia Kamakaeha Paki, the future Queen Liliuokalani. When she ascended to the throne, the family home became the primary residence for Hawaii’s new Queen.
In 1893, the political tide turned and Washington Place was transformed from a quiet home to the location where Queen Liliuokalani was arrested during the dramatic overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Following the overthrow, the Queen was imprisoned in Iolani Palace under house arrest.
After the Queen’s death, Washington Place took on yet a new life as the executive mansion for twelve territorial and state governors of Hawaii until 2002 when a new governor’s residence was built on the property.
Now, this storied home and National Historic Landmark, which perpetuates the memory of Queen Liliuokalani, welcomes guests to learn the significance of Hawaii’s history through the lives of its many residents.
For those who are interested in old Hawaii, a walk through Washington Place is like a stroll through a living history book. Private tours are available on Thursdays by reservation.