Sunday, June 26, 2011

US Capitol Cities: Honolulu, Hawaii

From Wikipedia:
Honolulu is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Hawaii. Honolulu is the southernmost major U.S. city.

Although the name "Honolulu" refers to the urban area on the southeastern shore of the island of Oahu, the city and county government are consolidated as the City and County of Honolulu which covers the entire island. For statistical purposes, the U.S. Census Bureau recognizes the urban part of Honolulu as a census-designated place.

Honolulu is a major financial center of the islands of the Pacific Ocean. The population of the Census-designated place was 371,657 at the 2000 census, while the population of the city and county was 909,863.

Honolulu is the most populous state capital relative to state population. In the Hawaiian language, Honolulu means "sheltered bay" or "place of shelter". Honolulu has been the capital of the Hawaiian islands since 1845 and gained historical recognition following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor near the city on December 7, 1941. It is also the birthplace of Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States.

Evidence of the first settlement of Honolulu by the original Polynesian migrants to the archipelago comes from oral histories and artifacts. These indicate that there was a settlement where Honolulu now stands in the 11th century. However, after Kamehameha I conquered Oʻahu in the Battle of Nuʻuanu at Nuʻuanu Pali, he moved his royal court from the Island of Hawaiʻi to Waikīkī in 1804. His court relocated in 1809 to what is now downtown Honolulu. The capital was moved back to Kailua-Kona in 1812.

In 1794, Captain William Brown of Great Britain was the first foreigner to sail into what is now Honolulu Harbor.[5] More foreign ships followed, making the port of Honolulu a focal point for merchant ships traveling between North America and Asia.

In 1845, Kamehameha III moved the permanent capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom from Lahaina on Maui to Honolulu. He and the kings that followed him transformed Honolulu into a modern capital, erecting buildings such as St. Andrew's Cathedral, ʻIolani Palace, and Aliʻiōlani Hale. At the same time, Honolulu became the center of commerce in the islands, with descendants of American missionaries establishing major businesses in downtown Honolulu.

Despite the turbulent history of the late 19th century and early 20th century, such as the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893, Hawaiʻi's subsequent annexation by the United States in 1898, followed by a large fire in 1900, and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Honolulu remained the capital, largest city, and main airport and seaport of the Hawaiian Islands.

An economic and tourism boom following statehood brought rapid economic growth to Honolulu and Hawaiʻi. Modern air travel brings, as of 2007, 7.6 million visitors annually to the islands, with 62.3% entering at Honolulu International Airport. Today, Honolulu is a modern city with numerous high-rise buildings, and Waikīkī is the center of the tourism industry in Hawaiʻi, with thousands of hotel rooms. The UK consulting firm Mercer, in a 2009 assessment "conducted to help governments and major companies place employees on international assignments", ranked Honolulu 29th worldwide in quality of living; the survey factored in political stability, personal freedom, sanitation, crime, housing, the natural environment, recreation, banking facilities, availability of consumer goods, education, and public services including transportation.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 105.1 sq mi (272 km2). 85.7 sq mi (222 km2) of it is land and 19.4 sq mi (50 km2) of it (18.42%) is water.

The closest location on the mainland to Honolulu is the Point Arena, California Lighthouse, at 2,045 nautical miles (3,787 km). (Nautical vessels require some additional distance to circumnavigate Makapu'u Point.) However, part of the Aleutian Islands of Alaska are slightly closer than California.

Completed in 1928, Honolulu Hale is the city and county seatThe municipal offices of the City and County of Honolulu, including Honolulu Hale, the seat of the city and county, are located in the census-designated place. The Hawaii state government buildings are also located in the CDP.

The Honolulu District is located on the southeast coast of Oahu between Makapuu and Halawa. The district boundary follows the Koolau crestline, so Makapuu Beach is in the Koolaupoko District. On the west, the district boundary follows Halawa Stream, then crosses Red Hill and runs just west of Aliamanu Crater, so that Aloha Stadium, Pearl Harbor (with the USS Arizona Memorial), and Hickam Air Force Base are actually all located in the island's Ewa District.

The Hawaii Department of Public Safety operates the Oahu Community Correctional Center, the jail for the island of Oahu, in Honolulu CDP.

The United States Postal Service operates post offices in Honolulu CDP. The main Honolulu Post Office is located by the international airport at 3600 Aolele Street. Federal Detention Center, Honolulu, operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, is in the CDP.

Neighborhoods and Districts
--Downtown Honolulu is the financial, commercial, and governmental center of Hawaii. On the waterfront is Aloha Tower, which for many years was the tallest building in Hawaii. Currently the tallest building is the 438-foot (134 m)-tall First Hawaiian Center, located on King and Bishop Streets. The downtown campus of Hawaii Pacific University is also located there.
--The Arts District Honolulu in downtown/Chinatown is on the eastern edge of Chinatown. It is a 12-block area bounded by Bethel & Smith Streets and Nimitz Highway and Beretania Street - home to numerous arts and cultural institutions. It is located within the Chinatown Historic District, which includes the former Hotel Street Vice District.
--The Capitol District is the eastern part of Downtown Honolulu. It is the current and historic center of Hawaii's state government, incorporating the Hawaii State Capitol, Iolani Palace, Honolulu Hale (City Hall), State Library, and the statue of King Kamehameha I, along with numerous government buildings.
--Kakaʻako is a light-industrial district between Downtown and Waikīkī that has seen a large-scale redevelopment effort in the past decade. It is home to two major shopping areas, Ward Warehouse and Ward Centre. The John A. Burns School of Medicine, part of the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa is also located there. A Memorial to the Ehime Maru Incident victims is built at Kakaako Waterfront Park.
--Ala Moana is a district between Kakaʻako and Waikīkī and the home of Ala Moana Center, the "World's largest open air shopping center" and the largest shopping mall in Hawaii. Ala Moana Center boasts over 300 tenants and is a very popular location among tourists. Also in Ala Moana is the Honolulu Design Center and Ala Moana Beach Park, the second largest park in Honolulu.
--Waikīkī is the tourist district of Honolulu, located between the Ala Wai Canal and the Pacific Ocean next to Diamond Head. Numerous hotels, shops, and nightlife opportunities are located along Kalakaua and Kuhio Avenues. It is a popular location for visitors and locals alike and attracts millions of visitors every year. A majority of the hotel rooms on Oahu are located in Waikīkī. Unfortunately now, it is filled with homeless people.
--Manoa and Makiki are residential neighborhoods located in adjacent valleys just inland of downtown and Waikīkī. Manoa Valley is home to the main campus of the University of Hawaiʻi. President Barack Obama lived in Makiki with his maternal grandparents until graduating from Punahou School, apart from four years in Indonesia with his mother and stepfather.
--Nuʻuanu and Pauoa are upper-middle-class residential districts located inland of downtown Honolulu. The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is located in Punchbowl Crater fronting Pauoa Valley.
--Palolo and Kaimuki are neighborhoods east of Manoa and Makiki, inland from Diamond Head. Palolo Valley parallels Manoa and is a residential neighborhood. Kaimuki is primarily a residential neighborhood with a commercial strip centered on Waialae Avenue running behind Diamond Head. Chaminade University is located in Kaimuki.
--Waialae and Kahala are upper-class districts of Honolulu located directly east of Diamond Head, where there are many high-priced homes. Also found in these neighborhoods are the Waialae Country Club and the five-star Kahala Hotel & Resort.
--East Honolulu includes the residential communities of ʻĀina Haina, Niu Valley, and Hawaiʻi Kai. These are considered upper-middle-class neighborhoods. The upscale gated communities of Waiʻalae ʻiki and Hawaiʻi Loa Ridge are also located here.
--Kalihi and Palama are working-class neighborhoods with a number of government housing developments. Lower Kalihi, toward the ocean, is a light-industrial district.
--Salt Lake and Aliamanu are (mostly) residential areas built in extinct tuff cones along the western end of the Honolulu District, not far from the Honolulu International Airport.
--Moanalua is two neighborhoods and a valley at the western end of Honolulu, and home to Tripler Army Medical Center.

As of the census of 2000, there were 371,657 people, 140,337 households, and 87,429 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 4,336.6 people per square mile (1,674.4/km2). There were 158,663 housing units at an average density of 1,851.3 per square mile (714.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 29.7% White, 20.6% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 55.6% Asian, 8.9% Pacific Islander, 0.9% from other races; and 24.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.4% of the population.

There were 140,337 households out of which 23.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.5% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.7% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size is 3.23.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 19.2% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 24.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 96.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.5 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $45,112, and the median income for a family was $56,311. Males had a median income of $36,631 versus $29,930 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $24,191. About 7.9% of families and 11.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.6% of those under the age of 18 and 8.5% of those 65 and older.

According to the 2006–2008 American Community Survey, the racial composition of Honolulu was:

White: 33.4%
Black or African American: 23.0%
Native American: 0.2%
Asian: 50.6%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 10.2%
Some other race: 0.8%
Two or more races: 24.1%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 2.8%

The largest city and airport in the Hawaiian Islands, Honolulu acts as a natural gateway to the islands' large tourism industry, which brings millions of visitors and contributes $10 billion annually to the local economy. Honolulu's location in the Pacific also makes it a large business and trading hub, particularly between the East and the West. Other important aspects of the city's economy include military defense, research and development, and manufacturing.

Among the companies based in Honolulu are:

Alexander & Baldwin
Bank of Hawaii
Central Pacific Bank
First Hawaiian Bank
Hawaii Medical Service Association
Hawaii Pacific Health
Hawaiian Electric Industries
The Queen's Health Systems
Go! Mokulele, Hawaiian Airlines, Island Air, and Aloha Air Cargo are headquartered in the CDP. Prior to its dissolution, Aloha Airlines was headquartered in the CDP.

Since the housing collapse, Honolulu has faced a decrease in its rent of about 3.4%, but has recently evened out. This stands in relation with the national average of a 4% decrease in rent.

Since no national bank chains have any branches in Hawaii, many visitors and new residents have to use different banks. Many Bank of America customers will switch to/use the Bank of Hawaii, as it is a local affiliate to the national bank chain. Many however, have decided to switch to the First Hawaiian Bank, the largest and oldest bank in Hawaii. Their headquarters is the First Hawaiian Center, the tallest building in Hawaii.

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