* Buildings shown in capital letters were on the List of Classified Structures at the time of this analysis.

National Park Service contacts: <bryan_harry@partner.nps.gov> or <tom_workman@nps.gov>

Page last updated 21 February 2007

Interpretive Theme
From 1866 until 1969, people afflicted with leprosy or Hansen's Disease were quarantined for life on the isolated Kalaupapa peninsula.
Kalaupapa's main interpretive theme is its people's courage, faith, unselfish aloha, and perserverance despite affliction with the world's most dreaded disease and of their enforced separation from family and friends to Molokai for life. Further, as an internationally acclaimed Historical Park revealing knowledge and understanding of leprosy patients, Kalaupapa widely publicizes that ordinary medical treatment--rather than exile in isolation--should be the human standard to deal with leprosy worldwide.
Excerpt from
Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Cultural Resources Management Plan

April 1984.


Earlier, others prioritized Kalaupapa historic structures for stabilization or maintenance treatment. Regional Historical Architect Cox (1980) recommended a priority based in part upon best architectural samples and in part upon structural need for immediate emergency treatment. Soulliere and Law (1979) summarized relative importance of structures ranking them upon their known historical and architectural significance. Apple (1982) ranked structures by weighing relative importance of:

(1) features as illustrating the significant interpretive theme of the park and,

(2) providing "essential community services" (i.e., better to use a historic structure of the period to house a needed community function than to let such a structure deteriorate, then spend money to replace it with a new non-period structure) and,

(3) as groupings of structures (illustrating the park's significant interpretive theme) rather than as individual buildings, and he raised a conscious need to think priorities with a sense of community areas to be preserved.

With receipt of stabilization moneys from PRIPS in 1983, the need for a rational priority list for spending stabilization moneys became an immediate necessity. (Okay, we got $250,000: what do we do right now to which of the 400 some odd structures?)

Historic Architect Henry Law and Pacific Area Director Bryan Harry then developed (or consolidated from past efforts) a draft priority list philosophically and mechanically as follows:

The CRITERIA. Four criteria were used:

1. The importance of the structure in interpreting the Primary Interpretive Theme of Kalaupapa National Historical Park. That theme is explained on page 2 of this report. The question is simply, "as interpreter of Kalaupapa, what structure would help you most in conveying that theme to a park visitor?" Next most?, next most?, etc.

2. The importance of the structure in relation to the most important zones or association of structures as they relate to the Primary Interpretive Theme of the park. Again, the question is simply, "as an interpreter of Kalaupapa, what grouping of structures would help you most in conveying the theme to park visitors?" Next most?, next most?, etc.

3. The importance of the structure in providing an essential community service to the extent that abandoning the structure would merely require us to construct a new building to carry on an essential service or use.

4. She structure's conformance to integrity and feasibility criteria listed in "National Park Service Criteria for Historical Areas."

5. A cost/benefit consideration of stabilization needs. For example, if building priority A will cost $250,000, and buildings priority B plus C plus D plus E plus F will together cost $250,000 to stabilize, is A alone worth more than a package of B + C + D + E + F? Maybe yes, maybe no.

Based upon the above criteria, Law and Harry developed a sequence and method to sort the 400 same odd buildings into a priority. That method sequence was this:

A. The Kalaupapa settlement was divided into zones with a "comprehensible" or "manageable" number of buildings and of relative importance based upon the "Criteria" above. Figure 2 shows these zones. In this scheme, a person interpreting Kalaupapa's primary theme would find having the group of structures in Zone A more help in that task than having say the group of structures in Zone I. (However, perhaps it might be a toss-up whether Zone A would be more help than Zone B. Or, the difference between close priorities isn't much -- but between distant priorities it is significant.)

B. With the park computer they printed out a list of all buildings by zones showing priority rankings by Apple, Cox, and Soulliere and Law. Tables 7 and 8 are examples of two such lists.

C. With these lists in hand (which had previous workers rankings), Law and Harry on-site prioritized the structures within each zone based upon the "Criteria." Tables 9 and 10 show samples of the same zones with individual zone priorities of this stage. Note that there is more than a single priority 1; i.e., Zone A and Zone B each have a priority 1. So did all the rest of the zones at this stage.

D. The next step was to integrate the priorities of buildings in the different zones. This was done on-site by testing the Zone B priority 1 structure against the Zone A list based again on the "Criteria" (it was placed between 4 and 5); then B2 was so tested (it was placed between 11 and 12); then B3; B4; etc. At this point, a printout was made of the combined Zones A and B single priority list.

E. During steps C and D above, some buildings began to fall altogether from the list:

(l) Those that were not "structures" were given a temporary priority in the 500-600 series. These may be historic 'sites' or archeological ruins.

(2) Some buildings beyond stabilization were dropped with priority 997; some which were very low, low in importance were assigned priority 998: those that were gone entirely by termites or rot were assigned 999.

F. In the same manner, Zone C was integrated into the Priority list of the combined Zones A and B list and a combined Zones A, B, C priority list was made. Each of the following zones were integrated in a similar manner.

Table 11 shows the completed priorities and the initial zone priorities.

G. Later the cost/benefit analysis may further revise the priorities. That has not happened at this point.

H. This list was again reviewed on site posing the simple question, "Based upon the 'Criteria' do these priorities make sense." Same modifications were made. The priority listing in the body of the Cultural Resources Management carries priorities developed in this fashion.

Table of Contents:
Text: Derivation of Priority Listings
Figure 2. Zones Used to Establish Historic Structure Priorities Within Settlement
Table 7. List of Structures Within Historical Zone A. (08/16/83)
Table 8. List of Structures Within Historical Zone B. (08/16/83)
Table 9. Zone A. Initial Priorities. (04/02/84)
Table 10. ZONE B. Initial Priorities. (04/02/84)
Table 11. Historic Structures Priorities. (04/02/84)
Excerpt from
Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Cultural Resources Management Plan

April 1984.



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