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Honolulu City

The Honolulu administrative manager's office is located at 530 South King Street, Honolulu, HI 96813; phone: 808-768-6634.

Thomas Alexander Burningham House, 2849 Pali Highway, Honolulu, Hawaii
Photo: Thomas Alexander Burningham House, 2849 Pali Highway, Honolulu, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. Constructed in 1910, the house is a fairly early example of the style in the State. It is typical of the earlier bungalows with its hipped, rather than gable, roof, and use of stone and stucco siding, which differentiate it from most of the 1920s examples. Photographed by Joel Bradshaw, 2009,, accessed September, 2012.

Beginnings [†]

Historians believe that a settlement in the area that would become Honolulu was present as early as 1100 A.D. King Kamehameha, the first, located his court here in 1809 and built a royal housing complex while maintaining residences in Kailua, Hawaii and Lahaina, Maui.

The name Honolulu means sheltered harbor. The first foreigner to come to the area was Captain William Brown with the crew of his ship Butterworth about 1794. He named the harbor Fair Haven. What was known as the City of Honolulu in the 1800s is the present-day area near the harbor, or Downtown Honolulu.

In 1850 King Kamehameha, the third, made Honolulu the capital city of his kingdom.

The County of Ohau was established by the U.S. Territorial government in 1905. In 1907 it was renamed the City and County of Honolulu, adding a mayor to its Board of Supervisors.

The City and County charter of 1959 changed the governing structure to mayor-council separating executive and legislative functions.

The boundary of the county includes hundreds of islets and reefs in addition to its land area of 600 sq. miles. These places are typically not populated and extend some 2,000 miles to Kure Atoll, excluding Midway Island.

† City and County of Honolulu, This is Your City and County of Honolulu Government,, accessed September, 2012.

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