King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma
King Kamehameha IV, the first elected king in Hawaiian history, had a summer residence on these grounds. Hawaiians called him ke ali'i lokomaika'i or "the kind king." During his reign, he worked to make the Constitution of 1864 more democratic. His purpose was to, as so clearly stated by him, "...secure to my subjects all the rights which shall best promote their improvements and happiness."
Queen Emma, wife of King Kamehameha IV, owned the land where the International Market Place and Waikiki Town Center now sits. Adopted and raised by her uncle who was British and her aunt who was Hawaiian, Queen Emma grew up being taught both British and Hawaiian ways. While being fluent in Hawaiian, she spoke English with a perfect British accent. While she was an excellent horse rider, a fine vocalist, a talented pianist, and a good dancer - above all, Queen Emma was a humanitarian, joining her husband in a personal crusade to stem the decline of Native Hawaiians.
Celebrating Over 150 Years
of Serving Island Families
Informational Brochure (PDF)
The Queen's Medical Center
In the 1850's, the young King and Queen faced the decimation of their people from foreign diseases. Perilously close to extinction, the native population had dwindled to a fifth of its original size to about 70,000 people. In his maiden speech to the legislature, the King made an impassioned plea to establish a hospital to "stay the wasting hand that is destroying our people."
There was no money to build a hospital. So the King and Queen went door-to-door, walking the streets of Honolulu to personally raise the funds.
In honor of the Queen's tireless efforts, the King and his cabinet named the new hospital The Queen's Hospital. A temporary building with 18 beds opened on Fort Street on August 1, 1859.
On July 17, 1860, the cornerstone of a new building with 124 beds was laid at Punchbowl and Beretania Streets, and The Queen's Medical Center remains on this site over 150 years after its founding.
Today, as successor to The Queen's Hospital, The Queen's Medical Center is the largest private nonprofit hospital in Hawaii, licensed to operate with 505 acute care beds and 28 sub-acute beds. As the leading medical referral center in the Pacific Basin, Queen's has more than 3,500 employees and over 1,100 physicians on staff.
The Queen's Medical Center is part of The Queen's Health Systems, the parent company of a corporate enterprise that includes Molokai General Hospital, a 15-bed rural healthcare facility that provides the only emergency room on the island and Queen Emma Land Company, a nonprofit organization established to support and advance health care in Hawaii, primarily through The Queen's Medical Center and its affiliates.
The royal mission and vision of The Queen's Health Systems is directly supported through revenues generated by the lands bequeathed by Queen Emma when she passed away in 1885. Owned and managed by the Queen Emma Land Company, these income-generating properties, such as the International Market Place, enable The Queen's Medical Center to continue providing high quality health care to Hawaii's people.
As a nonprofit medical center, Queen's is dedicated to serving everyone, and in addition to offering a comprehensive range of primary and specialized care services, Queen's continues to contribute to the well-being of Hawaii by giving back to the community via health care services, education, charitable contributions and uncompensated care as part of its mission to improve the well-being of Native Hawaiians and all of the people of Hawaii.
Don the Beachcomber
Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt, otherwise known as Donn Beach, and more notably as Don the Beachcomber, founded what is known today as the International Market Place, with the commissioning of the Dagger Bar and Bazaar Buildings in 1956. During the 1960's, other elements of the International Market Place included the Hawaiian Halau, Japanese Tea House and Esplanade buildings. The exceptional banyan tree, which still remains to this day, was also once home to Don's tree house.