Original building group
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The history of Chaminade's original buildings shows both continuity and change. The educational function of the property has remained stable, with the exception of its use as a hospital during WWII and the relatively recent addition of the Regency Park condominium located on the lower campus. For the first thirty years the campus experienced no major expansion. But since 1957 construction and modification have been on-going. During the 1960s and 1970s the campus saw the addition of a chapel and dormitories, which have been described as "non-conforming"; however, in recent building construction, renovation, and planning since the mid 1980s, we see a return in design and detail to elements of style which distinguished the original campus buildings.
All the original buildings were constructed in boulder concrete, partially reinforced. The architects, Emery and Webb, designed the buildings in the Spanish Colonial Revival (Mission) style. The cornerstone located in the Diamond Head corner of the administration building (now Freitas Hall) was laid on December 11, 1927, and classes began on the new campus on September 4th, 1928.
The initial master plan of 1926 showed, in addition to the original four major buildings, short and long term plans for seven more, but only Science Hall (now Newell Hall) became an immediate reality. The four original buildings are Bertram, Henry, Freitas, and Eiben.
Initially a school, the buildings in 1955 became St. Louis Junior College, which in turn became a four year college, Chaminade College, in 1957. It was renamed Chaminade University in 1977.
The campus rises over 100 feet from street level (and is also crossed by Palolo Stream at the entrance), and the rocky slope is called "Kalaepohaku" (Hawaiian meaning "hill of rocks" or "rocky point"). Although this creates challenges in both construction and design, the campus's height makes it clearly visible for miles and also provides a sweeping view of the Pacific from Diamond Head to the leeward coast.
Iwamoto, Linda M. The Chaminade University-St. Louis School Campus: An Architectural Overview 1927-1993. Booklet. Honolulu, HI: Chaminade University, 1993.