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The official residence of Hawaii’s monarchy
Built in 1882 by King Kalākaua, the Iolani Palace is Honolulu’s architectural marvel. A National Historic Landmark in downtown Honolulu, this is the only royal palace in the United States used as an official residence by a reigning monarch. Since 1978, the palace is opened to the public as a museum.
The ʻIolani Palace structure you can see today is actually the second to sit on these grounds. The first, a wooden structure, was built in July 1844 by Mataio Kekūanāoʻa for his daughter Princess Victoria Kamāmalu. The second structure, was erected across the street from the original, and was named after King Kamehameha V who ordered the construction.
When King Kalākaua came to the throne, the first structure was in very bad condition, suffering from ground termite damage. The King ordered the old palace to be razed, and commissioned a new ʻIolani Palace, worthy of royalty. This was designed by Thomas J. Baker, Charles J. Wall and Isaac Moore.