Friday, October 23, 2009

Culture Verses Nature

Maui’s first co-educational high school opened in 1913 in a small frame building at Hamakuapoko, close to bustling Paia town and near the large plantation camps of East Maui.

Hawaii architect Charles W. Dickey designed the the concrete, mission-style school building in 1921. Students came from surrounding communities, central Maui and Upcountry, often by horseback, via Kahului Railroad trains or buses, or over the well-worn footpaths from neighboring plantation camps.

In 1972 a new Maui High School opened in Kahului. The old Maui High closed its doors, beginning years of decline and deterioration.

I recently went to the site where the old Maui High stands today looking clean and fairly in-tact, the grounds were being very well tended to.

I decided to photograph the adjacent structure and beautifully decayed and graffitti'ied building of the old Maui Sugar Mill. With the secondary forest aggressively growing, ficus roots, trunks and branches breaking through all the concrete, I really admire the whole process and found this place to be a real treat to do photo shoots.

I thought it was interesting to compare my color photographs in 2009 of the Sugar Mill with these old 1920-30's black and white photos of old Maui High and this area when it was first constructed.

Photos of Old Maui High School and the Old Haiku Mill

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