2003 News Stories

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Queen's grounds-especially the front lot-is greatly influenced by the heritage of its past. Here we highlight a few of the major factors which have shaped the course of Queen's grounds through 2003.

The tradition of its lush garden setting began with Queen Emma and Dr. William Hillebrand, Queen's first physician. Acquired for $2,000 in 1859, the land was dusty and barren of trees, shrubs and even undergrowth. However, its name, Manamana, which means in Hawaiian to branch out, or much spiritual power, foretold its transformation into a garden oasis and a place of healing. Dr. Hillebrand, a noted botanist, and Queen Emma beautified the grounds with exotic plants and rare, exceptional trees, including the Baobab, Nawa, Kapok and pink and white Bombax trees. Queen's exceptional trees are the underpinnings of its grounds. Construction and underground lines have been rerouted to protect our exceptional trees.

In the 1930s, new varieties of shower trees created by cross pollinating were planted around O’ahu. One of these varieties was planted at Queen's, and became known as Queen's Hospital White. Consequently, today's front lot landscaping features Queen's Hospital White shower trees, which follow the berm along Punchbowl St. to the Harkness Building. Now found all over O’ahu, the variety has canary yellow blooms which turn to a creamy white at maturity.

Queen's grounds are also affected by its location in the Capitol District. Built in 1961, the State Capitol dictates the view plane through Punchbowl crater. At least 40 percent of Queen's front lot must remain as open green space.

Many people will remember the physician's parking lot out front along Punchbowl St. Today, a gently sloping berm insulates Queen's grounds from the traffic. The berm's curvilinear lines of dwarf laua'e ferns in the center and golden glory ground cover along the sides are reminiscent of a haku lei, and are designed to create a visual flow which draws a viewer's eye across the campus. The intent is to eventually have this natural flow connect the Miller Triangle, the ER and the Queen's Conference Center.

The grounds of The Queen's Medical Center are more beautiful than ever. Although construction continues on the frontage, Queen's sense of place is taking root.

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