Historic Judd Building on Merchant Street Once Housed the Bank of Hawaii

On the corner of Fort and Merchant Streets between Pioneer Plaza and Aloha Tower is the Judd Building. It opened in 1899 and was named after Dr. Gerrit Judd, an American missionary doctor and adviser to King Kamehameha III. Dr. Judd’s office once occupied the site. The structure was designed by Oliver G. Traphagen, who also designed the Kaka‘ako Pumping Station near Waterfront Plaza. The Judd Building had all of the latest technology of the time including an electric elevator, toilets on each floor, approximately 30 telephones, and the first mail chute in Hawai‘i. When it opened, the building’s main tenant was a new company that had just been founded in 1897, the Bank of Hawaii. Write-up by Associate Professor of History Douglas Askman, Ph.D., and photo by Jada Santos.