It’s good to be the king.
When David Kalakaua ordered a new palace built in 1879 in Honolulu, the Hawaiian kingdom’s capital and an increasingly important hub for international trading, the monarch mandated that no expense be spared. The building was intended to impress, lest overseas VIPs think his realm in the middle of the Pacific was a backwater.
Iolani Palace was decked out with cutting-edge amenities like indoor plumbing, a telephone, and electric lighting, which it had before the White House or Buckingham Palace. Constructed in a unique architectural style, the building melds European-inspired features with traditional Hawaiian elements such as wide, wrap-around lanais.
The only official state residence in the U.S. once occupied by royalty, Iolani Palce looks like the domain of an Italian duke rather than a dwelling in the tropics. While admiring the architecture and décor is reason to visit the residence, it’s more than just…
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