From the Historic Hawai‘i Foundation Preservation Diary:
5/18/13: Today we joined Friends of Tantalus in a stakeholders’ meeting about the history, characteristics, safety and use of the historic Tantalus Road/Round Top Drive corridor. Tantalus is located in the Ko‘olau mountain range in the Kona district of the island of O‘ahu. The ridges that carry Tantalus Drive and Round Top Drive surround Makiki Valley. Construction of the Tantalus road began in 1892, in part an effort by the Kingdom of Hawai‘i to provide access to several hundred acres of land for settlement “at an elevation sufficient to enjoy an atmosphere as cool and bracing as is desirable for a summer outing (…) the site [Tantalus] selected is one of the best that can be found in any near vicinity of Honolulu…” The designated historic property includes the road, lookouts, culverts, retaining walls and curbs along the shoulder and encompasses the entire public road right of way. The period of significance is from 1890, when residents of Honolulu petitioned the Kingdom of Hawai‘i for a carriage road to the top of Tantalus, until approximately 1954 when the present roadside drainage improvements were completed. The current preservation effort is to retain the features of historic significance while continuing to address structural safety and access for the many people who enjoy this special place.
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