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Kamehameha V Post Office
Society
Main Category
Sub Category
Era
Date Created
Location Country
us
Coordinates
21.309722, -157.863056
Address1
corner of Merchant and Bethel Streets
Address2
901-925 Bethel Street
City
Honolulu
State
Country
Zip
Creator

The Kamehameha V Post Office is the oldest surviving public building in the U.S.  constructed with reinforced concrete. The success of this early structure helped establish the value of reinforced concrete as a durable construction material.

Brickmaker J.G. Osborne was chosen to provide design and construction. He  immigrated to Hawaii from Yorkshire, England, and was aware of the recent  development of Portland cement and its expanding use in Europe. It is believed that the leaders of Hawaii were anxious to adopt British skills, which influenced their selection of Osborne.

Because of Honolulu's warm climate, the concrete was carefully wetted and left to harden slowly. While this meticulous curing effort delayed the construction  schedule, the city's Superintendent of Public Works believed the care was  essential for such a novel idea as a concrete building.

"Built of the best materials and in the most faithful manner, it is calculated to stand for an indefinite period proof against the gnawing tooth of time or the ways of the elements."
- Editor, Pacific Commercial Advertiser March 25, 1871
Image Credit
Public Domain (Author's Choice)
Image Caption
Kamehameha V Post Office
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