about the home

This home sits predominantly on an expansive lawn on the ocean side of Kalanianaole Highway. It was one of the first homes built along Oahu's southeastern coastline which was proliferated by pig farms, chicken farms, the Hind-Clarke Dairy, and groves of keawe trees at the time that the house was constructed.

The lot on which the Bayer House is constructed was part of the Wailupe 'ili, a subdivision of the ahupua'a of Waikiki, in the moku or district of kona.  The area was divided during the Great Mahele between Kamehameha III and Kamaha, the konohiki of the ahupua'a. The area was most likely a prime settlement area of the early Hawaiians due to the proximity to the ocean and Wailupe Stream. The residential character of the area was not established until the large farm parcels in the area were subdivided in the mid-1950s. Today the area is known as Aina Haina, and the alignment of the highway, originally the pre-historic trail, and later known as the Government Road, was renamed in 1929 to Kalanianaole Highway.

The Bayer parcel was partitioned in 1923 and was originally owned by a group of prominent members of Hawaii society including Judge Antonio Perry, a Chief Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court (1926-1934) and Judge Alexander D. Larnach, Judge Perry's brother-in-law and a Second District Magistrate of Honolulu.

The house has an unusual foundation system designed at the request of Carl Bayer. This foundation is a five-feet thick pad of concrete anchoring the house with steel bolts. This foundation system has withstood several tidal waves in the area; the worst one was in 1946 when eleven-feet high waves rolled across the yard and through the house.

After the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, the Army, in fortifying Hawaii's shorelines against further attack, set up temporary installations around the island of Oahu under the command of Colonel Merrick, a personal friend of the Bayer family. The coastline near the Bayer home was strategic due to the depth of the flat reefs, shallow enough to easily push up landing craft. The Army leased the backyard of the Bayer Home for $1.00 to set up an installation. A telephone communications center, range finders, and telescopes were set up at the Diamond Head makai or southwest corner of the yard and a 75mm French Howitzer placed in the opposite corner.

The lawn has twelve of the original thirty-two coconut trees germinated from coconuts from the privately owned island of Niihau. These coconuts were a gift of Carlos Long, a close personal friend of the Robinson family (which owns Niihau). Because Hawaii has been the recipient of so many different types of coconut trees over the years, there has been a loss of varietal identity (e.g. cross breeding with Samoan coconut trees), and as such, coconut trees from Niihau, while not botanically unique, are historically unique in that they are directly descended from those brought by the early Polynesian settlers to Hawaii. The missing twenty trees were removed and donated in the early 1970s, some of which were used in connection with the landscaping of the new Aloha Stadium.