c.1940 | Man with Waikiki Inn rental surfboard
The Waikiki Inn opened about 1930 at what is today called Kuhio Beach. In addition to a hotel – the Inn itself – the buildings also included a restaurant and bar called theWaikiki Tavern.
These accommodations were fairly low-cost, and some of the first Californians to come toHawaii on surfing safaris stayed here. As this photo shows, the Waikiki Inn rented outsurfboards. The one in the picture is presumably #29 in the hotel’s fleet.
Nobody at the time thought it was odd that a business situated directly on the sand ofWaikiki Beach would be constructed to resemble an “olde English” establishment, with exterior walls using exposed half-timbers and intentionally distressed or weathered elements to imply great age.
The fact that such design had absolutely nothing to do with Hawaiian culture was beyond anyone’s consideration then.
Even stranger to us today, the Waikiki Innhad a picturesque façade facing Kalakaua Avenue but showed an ugly concrete foundation and plain shingled walls to everyone on the beach itself.
Not an enhancement of the location that even then was being heavily advertised fortourists. You can see this to the right of the man in the picture.
All the commercial structures along this stretch were condemned and demolished in 1960-’61 to open up the increasingly crowded beach to the public.
Today this is the site that includes the statue of Duke Kahanamoku.