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Hawaii: Management and Redevelopment at Pearl Harbor Naval Complex/Navy Region Hawaii

Agency: Navy

Criteria for ACHP Involvement:
  • The Navy's management and redevelopment activities in Hawaii have the potential to adversely affect a large number of historic properties, including the U.S. Naval Base Pearl Harbor National Historic Landmark (Criterion 1).
  • Proposed development of a Programmatic Agreement will alter the way the Section 106 process is applied to management activities at the Naval Region Hawaii (Criterion 2).

Recent Developments

The Navy has signed the Programmatic Agreement (PA) for management of all properties within the Navy Region Hawaii negotiated at the December 2000 meeting with ACHP, the Hawaii State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), the National Park Service (NPS), the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Historic Hawaii Foundation.

Main shipyard building, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii      Main shipyard building, Pearl Harbor, HI

The PA will apply not only to the Pearl Harbor Naval Complex (including the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility) but also to outlying naval installations on Oahu and the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands on Kauai. The PA is now circulating for signature.

The PA will exclude the redevelopment of Ford Island. On April 17, 2001, the Navy issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a Master Development Agreement for the Ford Island redevelopment, and is scheduling a meeting in June with preservation organizations to address concerns and comments. ACHP has notified the Secretary of the Navy that it intends to participate in the Section 106 consultations to consider the effects of the Master Development Agreement on the Pearl Harbor National Historic Landmark (NHL).

National attention has been focused on this historic property with the recent opening of the movie "Pearl Harbor" and the upcoming 60th anniversary of the attack on December 7, 2001. (For more information on the Ford Island redevelopment, visit and click on "Ford Island Development." For further information on the RFP, click again on "RFP Process.")


The Pearl Harbor Naval Complex is the Navy’s largest and most strategic base in the Pacific. Encompassing more than 12,600 acres of land and water, it serves as the headquarters of five major fleet commands. More than 1,200 of the buildings and structures constructed during the base’s 100-year history are included in the U.S. Naval Base Pearl Harbor NHL, which was designated in 1964. The NHL designation commemorates the 1941 Japanese attack on the base which propelled the United States into World War II, as well as the strategic role the base has played through time in the Pacific.

In addition, the base contains important Native Hawaiian archeological sites, including traditional stone-walled fishponds. (For more information on historic properties at Pearl Harbor, visit and click on “Virtual Tour of Pearl Harbor.”)

In 1979, the Navy, Hawaii SHPO, and ACHP entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the management of the Pearl Harbor Naval Complex. The agreement is more than 20 years old and, measured against today’s standards, including 1997 Navy guidance on planning for historic properties, needs to be updated and improved. Although the MOA called for periodic reviews, none were initiated, and properties were not re-evaluated to determine if their management by the Navy was still appropriate.

Moreover, the MOA provided no opportunity for public involvement, included no provisions regarding archeology, and contained vague treatment standards. Of particular concern, the MOA virtually excluded ACHP from any review role, contrary to the 1980 amendment of Section 110(f) of the National Historic Preservation Act, which calls for ACHP participation in review of activities affecting NHLs.

Problems with the 1979 MOA were highlighted by the Navy’s 1998 plans for the redevelopment of Ford Island. Ford Island is located in the harbor and contains buildings and structures associated with its historic use as officer housing and a naval air station. The Japanese attack focused on the Pacific Fleet ships moored around the island and on the hangars and airfield on the island itself. The island was, traditionally, accessible only by ferry, but in 1998 a bridge was constructed between the island and the mainland.

That access will facilitate a proposed $500 million master plan that, as originally proposed, would include 600 homes for Navy personnel, a Navy museum, and other development. Because of the Navy’s Ford Island redevelopment plans, NPS recently named Naval Base Pearl Harbor to its list of threatened NHLs, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation placed it on its list of the “11 Most Endangered Historic Properties.”

At the February 1999 ACHP meeting in Hawaii, ACHP members gained first-hand understanding of the complexities of the Navy’s Ford Island plans, as well as the Navy’s challenges in managing numerous obsolete and deteriorated facilities within the Naval Complex. Concern voiced by ACHP members has resulted in the Navy’s willingness to revisit the Pearl Harbor Naval Complex MOA and expand its scope.

In connection with the development of the PA, the Navy is preparing an Integrated Cultural Resources Management Plan (ICRMP) that will be implemented by the PA upon its acceptance by the consulting parties. Additionally, the Navy has focused the efforts of its ICRMP planning team on Ford Island’s resources in order to assist in consultation regarding the island’s redevelopment.

Winter 2001 report on this case

Staff contact: Lee Keatinge

Updated June 6, 2002

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