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Banian Tree Square, Lahaina, Maui, HI, USA, 2014[open in full screen]  

 
 

This is very unusual space in several aspects. First it is all under one single banian tree planted as a seedling on April 24, 1873 in the occasion of the 50th anniversary of arrival of missionaries on Maui. It has 16 major trunks and it is covering almost half hectare [one acre]. Other peculiar fact is this is practically the only square on the island of Maui, since this is the only urbanized city on the island. Square is defined by Hotel, Canal, Front and Wharf streets, nicely describing main content of each.

  Hotel is of course hosting Best Western Pioneer Hotel reassembling building on the American South, Front Street numerous shops, restaurants, mainly with content to dedicated the tourists, and located in the Wharf Street remains [top photo right] of the fort built in 1832 mainly to keep hordes of whalers, numerous at the time and wild after long days at sea, peaceful as much as possible.

Most important building in the area, completely hidden by the banian tree is court house from 1859. In this building annexation [or as local call it illegal occupation] of Hawai'i is officially concluded in 1898.

  Today it hosts visitors centre and small museum. Square has regular craft and farmers market held under the tree. During the Christmas time when we visited Lahaina it is lighted with somewhat shy number of colourful light bulbs.

We were somewhat disappointed how the space is neglected and underused. Maybe just because nature on the Maui and rest of Hawai'i islands are extraordinary beautiful and exciting. [check the gallery on our photoblog]

 
           
   
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ceremonial
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court yard
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Last time updated on July 18, 2017 1:08