Remembering Jack Lord

Aloha Tower

South side of the Aloha Tower (Webmaster)


Designed by Arthur Reynolds in the Gothic Revival and Art Deco styles, the Aloha Tower opened in 1926 at Pier 9, between Piers 8 and 10, where ships arrived on Boat Days. In the picture in following display at the Aloha Tower, ships are seen moored at Piers 8 (left), 9 (above) and 10 (right) surrounding the Aloha Tower.



Display in the Aloha Tower (Webmaster)


The Aloha Tower was constructed as a lighthouse to guide ships into Honolulu Harbor. It stands 10 stories (184 feet) high with a widow's walk emanating from the top of each of the tower's four sides. A  yardarm-style flag mast was used to signal ships.


Wo Fat (with binoculars) and his henchmen are seen on the southern widow?s walk atop the Aloha Tower in "FOB Honolulu," part 1 (Season 3). Hawaii Five-0. Leonard Freeman Productions / CBS Television, 1971.

Sand Island and the reef runway are seen from the widow?s walk where Wo Fat stood in the above photograph. Note the circular vapor trail. An air show was ongoing at HNL when this picture was taken. (Webmaster)


Not everyone favored construction of the Aloha Tower. So heated was the debate that one compromise offered was for a 7-storey structure. In the end, the 10-storey design was approved and constructed. For many years, it was the tallest structure in Honolulu. Its light could be seen as far away as 16 miles out to sea. Today, the light no longer is used. Sadly, new skyscrapers dwarf the Aloha Tower, making it even more difficult to spot.

During World War II, the tower was painted in camouflage green and protected by the Coast Guard. After the war, the camouflage was sandblasted away, and the tower?s original appearance was restored.

Originally, the Aloha Tower was surrounded by warehouses, where ships loaded and unloaded. Today, only the structure serving Pier 10 remains. The others were dismantled in 1981 and have since been replaced by the Aloha Tower Marketplace, which features shops, restaurants, and a bright, Kelly-green tile roof.



The Aloha Tower rises above the new Aloha Tower Marketplace (Webmaster)


Although the exterior of the Aloha Tower boasts Gothic Revival details, the interior is distinctly Art Deco.


Balcony. Although the art deco details were retained in the 1994 renovation, new pot lights were installed that were unknown in 1926. (Webmaster)


Today, the Aloha Tower houses the Hawaii Department of Transportation / Harbors Division. It is protected by the National Register of Historical Places and the Hawaii State Register.

The Aloha Tower is seen in the opening sequence of Hawaii Five-0. In addition, it appeared in several episodes, including "FOB Honolulu," part 1 (Season 3) and "Anybody Can Build a Bomb" (Season 6).


Read more about the Aloha Tower and see pictures taken throughout her history:

Burlingame, Burl. "Aloha Tower, Past and Present" in Honolulu Star Bulletin. August 17, 2003.