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  • Honolulu Zoo’s Newly-Renovated Preis Building Provides First Native Hawaiian Bird Rehabilitation Facility On Oahu

Honolulu Zoo’s newly-renovated Preis Building provides first Native Hawaiian bird rehabilitation facility on O‘ahu
The Honolulu Zoo’s Preis Building in Waikīkī.
WAIKĪKĪ – The Honolulu Zoo is pleased to announce that renovations to the historic Preis Building have been completed. The former front entrance to the Honolulu Zoo, designed in 1962, was named after Austrian-born American architect Alfred Preis, best known for designing the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. 

After more than 40 years, a new front entrance was constructed for the Honolulu Zoo in 2011, closer to the Waikīkī end of the property. Plans were made to renovate the deteriorating roof and structural beams of the Preis Building, and to repurpose the interior to support operational and public use. The $2.5M renovation project, managed by the City’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC), restored the A-frame roof structure to retain its original design elements, which are similar to the USS Arizona Memorial, and also added public restrooms.

Additionally, the renovation project also created a facility space to accommodate a partnership with the Hawai‘i Wildlife Center to support the rehabilitation of Native Hawaiian birds, primarily seabirds during fallout season, including the Manu-o-Kū, which is found in and around the Honolulu Zoo.

“The Honolulu Zoo has been working closely with the Department of Design and Construction to renovate many of its facilities to fulfill its mission and improve the visitor experience,” said Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “I am proud of the strong teamwork and relationship that the zoo and DDC staff have cultivated over the years, and commend Director Haku Milles for getting this very important project across the finish line to help the zoo provide critical native bird support services on our island.”

“We are pleased that the renovations to the Preis Building have provided us with the first facility to support the rehabilitation of native birds,” said Honolulu Zoo Director Linda Santos. “We thank and appreciate Hawai‘i Wildlife Center’s President and Director, Linda Elliot, for her advocacy and for activating a satellite office on our campus to provide care for injured or disoriented seabirds, to be re-released from our zoo grounds when possible.

“This will no longer require every bird to be transported to the Big Island for assistance,” added Santos. “We are also very happy to be able to satisfy the public’s demand for public restrooms at the front of the zoo and are thankful for DDC’s assistance with this project.”

The areas surrounding the Preis Building, previously closed due to construction, and the new public restrooms have been opened to the public on April 1, 2024.

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