WAIMEA, Hawaii – The 160-year-old Spencer House in the heart of Waimea town began a new chapter in its long history on Sunday, November 3rd.r
The Friends of Waimea’s Historic Spencer House and Waimea Preservation Association invited the public to join them for a traditional Hawaiian blessing at the building.
Located next to the McDonalds in the Waimea Center, the Spencer House is beset on all sides by development. Yet, somehow this historically significant architectural icon has survived through the years. It was built in the 1840’s. Since then it has served as the residence of an important island family, a hotel, possibly a courthouse, a general store and popular commercial center with a small memorable restaurant. But in recent years it has sat empty. Now, the community has pulled together in a grassroots effort, and has managed to lease the home for a year to develop a sustainable plan to preserve it for community use
Paul Johnston was the lead in the effort to bring the building back to life.
On Sunday afternoon, Kahu Danny Kaniela Akaka and his wife Anna blessed the building. Then, a chance for the public to peek inside, and enjoy a ukulele jam while walking through the 20-plus rooms.
Much of the restoration has already been accomplished. The interior was recently re-painted, courtesy of 50 volunteers from Hilton Grand Vacations Club, with paint donated by Sherwin Williams.
And an added bonus – the return of some priceless Spencer ohana artifacts.
The ultimate use of the place is still up in the air… some ideas include a public meeting place, an open office, a welcome center, and high-tech business incubator.
Right now, what the Friends of Waimea’s Historic Spencer House need most are furnishings, lighting fixtures and holiday decorations. You can contact Paul Johnston on Facebook for more information.