The Aloha Tower was built in 1926 soon after the swamplands (now Waikiki) were drained and the Moana Hotel opened. Word of mouth spread throughout the world and a lot of people wanted to visit Hawaii. The only way to get to Hawaii was by boat. The steamships would dock in Honolulu at the welcoming Tower. The day when the ships would arrive the Kamaaina (locals) called it “boat day”. Boat Day became a big celebration. The royal Hawaiian Band played, hula dancers welcomed visitors with swaying hips. Thousands of colorful streamers and the scent of exotic flowers mesmerized the visitors. Boat day was such a big event in Old Honolulu that a lot of people would leave work to take part in the fun of the welcoming celebration.
The Tower stands 184 feet and 2 inches and was the tallest building in Oahu until the mid 1960’s.
The structure is a thin square shaped tower topped by a dome with balconied openings on all four sides below the domed cupola was the biggest clock in Hawaii and one of the biggest clocks in the United States. The clock sits on the missing floor between the 9th and 10th floor observation decks. Between the Clock and the next lower balcony are the letters A L O H A that can be seen for Many miles.
The Tower made a lasting impression on these early visitors, and for many years became a worldwide trademark of Hawaii.
The building was refurbished in 1994 and the Aloha-Tower Marketplace was born. The Marketplace surrounds the antique tower and is a wonderful place to visit in the day or during the evening. The Marketplace has numerous quaint shops, souvenir stands, restaurants and concession stands. At night tiny white lights fill the trees lining the marketplace. You will find some great shopping right here at this tower. You will also see the large cruise ships here because it is also still used as the main cruise terminal for cruises originating in Hawaii.
The Tower Observation deck is opened from 9:00am until sunset daily. Admission is free. The Aloha Tower Marketplace is opened until 9:00pm or 10:00pm.
Copyright 2007 Discover-Oahu.com