Schedule for 2020: The museum will remain closed until precautions over the spread of coronavirus are lifted.
May - October: Open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays
April, November & December: Saturdays & Sundays only
Hours: 12 to 4 p.m.
The Honolulu House Museum is a unique structure built in 1860 for a former diplomat who tried to live here as he had in Honolulu. It was updated by another flamboyant owner in the 1880s to a high Victorian style featuring marvelous ceiling and wall paintings. It was rescued in the 1950s from possible demolition and in the early 1960s became a house museum and the Marshall Historical Society's headquarters. Extensive restoration efforts then began which has brought back the 1880s elegance that visitors can enjoy today.
The building is a wonderful blend of Italianate, Gothic Revival, and Polynesian architecture. An elaborate nine-bay porch spans the front, with its wide center bay serving as the base of its pagoda-topped tower. Its tropical features include a raised veranda and the observation platform. The Gothic Revival influences are evidenced in the pointed (four-centered) arch of the door, the veranda trim, and the vertical board-and-batten wood siding. The main floor has two sides. The north, and more formal, side contains the formal parlor, dining room and the former butler's pantry that is now an office. The south side contains the family parlor and two smaller rooms. A key feature is the curved hallway staircase that leads to the observation deck. The downstairs houses the family dining room and kitchen.
The restoration work has been funded by revenue from the annual Marshall Historic Home Tour, memberships, donations, and grants, including National Scenic Byways grants in 2004 and 2010. Major projects have included foundation work, sandstone wall repairs, ADA compliance, a new bathroom, restorations of the ceiling and wall paintings, carpet reproductions, porch and stairs restoration, and mechanical equipment. In 1985, exterior paint scrapoings were taken and researced to determine the original colors of the Honolulu House. The exterior colors were restored to the 1885 color combination of ivory, lattice green, dark green, spring green and Jamestown red.
A project under consideration is replacement of the bedroom wings that were removed in the early 1900s.