The Kamalani Pavilion

A friend on the mainland is planning her family’s visit to Kaua’i and told me how sad she was that the Kamalani Pavilion and its artwork had burned down. Since this will be her first visit, I’m not sure where she heard about the pavilion, maybe a recent update of a visitor’s guide mentions it.

The Kamalani Pavilion at the southern end of Lydgate park was meant to be a gathering place for groups of campers, such as Boy Scouts, but the campground at Lydgate has never opened. It was built by the Friends of Kamalani in the spring of 2004, using wood leftover from the nearby play-bridge. Sometimes called the art pavillion, it contained wood carvings made by children and by accomplished artists. Fortunately, the ceramic art embedded in the cement benches and outdoor fireplace did survive.


In any case, I remembered that I had taken a few photos of the beautiful artwork in the pavilion before it was destroyed, so I offer them here for posterity. There were two friezes all around the inside of the building. The top one had a tapa cloth motif, and one below it, a floral and vegetation motif, tropical of course.


I was really intrigued by this one section, which doesn’t appear to be a tapa pattern anymore. I’m not sure what it is, but I like the negative outlines and mix of geometric and what looks like leaf patterns.


The Friends of Kamalani website has lots of pictures of the construction and wood carving. They even show the artists working on paper layouts of the friezes, but it doesn’t give their names:


That website has more photos of the construction and links to many more, but I didn’t see any that show the finished works in their entirety. I do hope it’s documented somewhere—if you know more information, leave a comment.

And there was talk of starting to rebuild the pavilion ever since the fire, but I haven’t heard what the status is recently.

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  1. Ryan says:

    Thanks for blogging for so many years! Your posts have been very interesting to read and helpful for planning our Kauai trip!

    I read that your wife is a big green tea fan. Is there a good place on the island to either get a good brewed cup or buy loose leaf? I prefer traditional non flavored green tea (japanese sencha or gyokuru).

  2. Andy says:

    My wife recently found good tea at Small Town Coffee Company in Kapa’a. They have over a dozen quality loose-leaf teas, but you buy by the cup, not in bulk. Hoku whole foods has a decent packaged organic green tea (in individually wrapped bags). There may be others, but I have to admit my wife stocks up on tea in the Bay Area (California), so we aren’t so familiar with the local tea options.

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