This is historical material, "frozen in time." The web site is no longer updated and links to external web sites and some internal pages will not work.

Perpetuating the queen’s legacy and Washington Place

Posted on Oct 3, 2022 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main

“People have said they’ve lived here all their lives but never had the chance to visit Washington Place. I wanted more people to see the home, to experience it,” said First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige. That vision became the driving force behind a nearly eight-year effort by Mrs. Ige and many others to preserve the home and its legacy as well as bring it into the 21st century for more people to enjoy.

“This home belongs to the people of Hawai‘i. It’s where Queen Lili‘uokalani lived for 55 years, so it should be a place we preserve for generations to come,” said the First Lady.  A major restoration project in 2017 transformed the entire second floor of the historic mansion into a public exhibit area. Another project involved revitalizing the home’s gardens, including the addition of more of the queen’s favored native plants. “We also created an organic garden and aquaponics system to reflect the governor’s initiative on sustainability,” said Mrs. Ige. “We have so many events here, I thought we should use local products and locally grown produce.”

The Iges with Washington Place 175th anniversary planners at the proclamation signing.

The culmination was the 175th anniversary celebration this year of Washington Place, with a statewide keiki hula performance,  Royal Hawaiian Band concert, virtual lectures, a new exhibition and open house to showcase the queen’s life at the home, a commemorative booklet, and a KHON-TV special, “Hale o Nā Alaka‘i,” which reached thousands of people. “The event was basically created with the community for the community,” Mrs. Ige explained. “We had an amazing committee who used their expertise to develop the program so everyone, from keiki to kūpuna, could participate.”



A formal portrait of Queen Lili‘uokalani.

Also, for the first time in the home’s 175-year history, information on Washington Place and the celebration were shared and documented through digital media. The March 31 hula performance of 2,300 keiki from 38 schools was live streamed statewide. The new updated website makes Washington Place accessible to the world through virtual tours, as well as to register for in-person tours and events. It provides extensive history of the home and the queen’s life, a digital photo gallery, and the queen’s own descriptions of the house and gardens. “My goal was to give people a window into the queen’s life, a sense of the families who lived here and what Washington Place meant to them,” Mrs. Ige said. She thanked the 175th host committee members, including the Washington Place Foundation, the Department of Accounting and General Services, the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, the Department of Education, the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, the State Archives, the Historic Hawai‘i Foundation, the Bishop Museum, the Office of the Governor, and community stakeholders. For more details, go to


Read more in the October Capitol Connection newsletter.

Subscribe to the Capitol Connection newsletter.