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Diamond Head to close temporarily for demolition project

Hawaiʻi DLNR

The Diamond Head State Monument and its famous hiking trail will be closed for several days this week and in November due to construction.

The Lēʻahi Fire Control Station at the summit of Diamond Head Crater will be demolished due to safety concerns and the high cost of repairing the structures.

The hiking trail will be closed Thursday and Friday, and from Nov. 1 to Nov. 5. The summit will be closed from Nov. 6 through Nov. 19, and possibly longer depending on construction progress.

Division of State Parks Archaeologist Holly McEldowney said old photographs and other evidence suggest the two concrete and rebar structures were constructed sometime between World War II and the early 1950s and were additions to the fire control array which was completed in 1911.

After archaeological research, DSP could not identify the historical purpose of the concrete structures at the top of the trail.

The structure is also being demolished for safety reasons. Although signs warn visitors to stay off the concrete structures, many still climb on top of them to get a better view.

"The decision was made easier by the fact that they are not part of the 1911 structure, so in a way, we are restoring the original feature's integrity,” said Alan Carpenter, DSP Assistant Administrator.

During the demolition, protection measures will be in place to prevent damage to any of the other five historic features at Diamond Head’s summit.

The work meets historic preservation standards for significant historic buildings and structures. The structures being removed have been thoroughly documented and photographed for historical preservation purposes.

Zoe Dym was a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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