Introducing the Waikiki Natatorium
Opened in 1927,The Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial is a public saltwater swimming pool and monument built to commemorate the 10,000 Hawaiians who served in World War I. Hawaii was considered a territory of the United States at the time, but with the wave of World War I memorials that were being built around the world, the Hawaii legislature moved to construct one to honor their own. One of the first “living memorials” built in the United States, it was designed to have a lasting use to the people of Hawaii instead of existing as a static monument. The memorial was closed in 1979 due to neglect and has since been the subject of debate as propositions have been made to tear down the memorial. The Waikiki Natatorium was listed as an endangered site by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1995 and was declared a National Treasure by the National Trust in 2014. Efforts to restore and reopen the Waikiki Natatorium are ongoing to this day.