Stangenwald Building

119 Merchant Street
Architect: Charles William Dickey
Style: Beaux Arts


In 1869, Dr. Hugo Stangenwald, an Austrian physician, purchased the property where the Stangenwald Building sits. Early in 1899, he leased the property to a group that would construct a building as a monument to himself. Unfortunately, he died later that year and didn't oversee the construction of the building as planned.

The Stangenwald Building, built in 1901, was Hawaii's first skyscraper. Charles William Dickey designed the six-story building. The building was constructed with a steel frame, bricks with terra cotta embellishments, an intricate cornice, and a slightly recessed balcony on the sixth floor. The building was designed with an elevator and stairwell in the center.

Sometime after 1912, the cornice and overhanging balcony were removed, and the sides of the building were covered with plaster.

The Stangenwald Building was the tallest on the island until the construction of the seven-story Edgewater Hotel in Waikiki in 1950.