Kamehameha V Post Office


About Kamehameha V Post Office


In downtown Honolulu, on the corner of Bethel and Merchant Streets, the Kamehameha V Post Office stands. In 1871 it became the first building in the Pacific to be constructed entirely of precast concrete blocks reinforced with iron bars.

The building was named in honor of Hawaiis fifth king, who ordered the construction of the building in 1870. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.


In the 19th century when Honolulu was burgeoning with life as a key trading point in the Pacific Ocean, one big thing was missing: postal service. In 1850, Mr. H. M. Whitney became Honolulus first-ever postmaster. It was a new eraHawaii now had greater access to the world. Of course, trade with foreign countries increased following this milestone.

The King Kamehameha V Post Office was built in 1871 by J.G. Osborne. The pre-cast concrete construction method was so successful, Osborne applied the same technique in building the Ali’iolani Hale.

In 1922, the post office moved to another building on Merchant and Richards Streets, undergoing several changes over the years. In its place, the King Kamehameha V Post Office became a district court. Today, it houses the Kumu Kahua Theater.

Facts & Trivia

  • Island: Oahu
  • Fun Fact: This building is an architectural landmark: its the oldest public building in the Pacific that is made entirely of reinforced concrete.
  • What to Expect: Be prepared to be surround by several historic Honolulu buildings on this street corner!