Our Lady of Peace Cathedral

1183 Fort St., Honolulu, Hawaii



Photo taken for the Historic American Buildings Survey



Soon after 1828, Catholic missionaries to Hawaii constructed a chapel on land granted to them by King Kamehameha III. Following persecution and expulsion from Hawaii in 1831, they returned in 1839 and broke ground for the existing cathedral July 9, 1840, under the administration of Monsignor Rouchouze who is presumed to have planned it. The original contractor Mr. F.J. Greenway, went into bankruptcy and the work was completed by a Frenchman named Forest. The Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace was solemnly blessed and dedicated on August 15, 1843. Since that time it has served as the center of Catholicism for the Hawaiian Islands. In it Father Damien, the "Martyr of Molokai" was ordained to the priesthood in 1863. The original church has undergone several changes, the first being an increase by 30 feet in length while it was still under construction. The major change in form seen today occurred in 1871 when the vaulted redwood ceiling was installed, raising the roof by approximately 5'-0". A Gothic porch was added in 1910 to be replaced by the present Tuscan porch in 1929. The original square bell tower was replaced by an octagonal steeple in 1866, which was in turn replaced by the existing concrete tower between 1892-1903. The last major alteration occurred in 1940 when architect Josef Van Oort installed steel trusses in the attic and reinforced the walls with reinforced concrete buttresses. -- Historic American Buildings Survey

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on August 7, 1972
Reference number
Areas of significance
Architecture; Religion
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Religious structure
Current function
Religious structure
Period of significance
Significant years
1840; 1843


19th Century (37,324)
Built 1840 (331)
Built during 1840s (2,978)
Ceramic tile (3,229)
Church (5,638)
Hawaii (336)
Honolulu County, Hawaii (149)
Honolulu, Hawaii (100)
Place of worship (6,002)
Private owner (54,396)
Stone (26,161)
Stucco (7,816)

Update Log 

  • May 17, 2012: Imported photos from HABS/HAER