Kaimuki in the early 1900s was covered with red dirt and kiawe trees. With Waialae Ave serving as its artery and connecting it between downtown and East Honolulu, Chinatown fire of 1900 which left small business owners with finding Kaimuki to relocate their business and live, as well as the streetcar line extension in 1903, Kaimuki became a major business district.
The Kaimuki area is roughly defined as located north of Diamond Head and bounded by Manoa (where Univ. of Hawaii main campus is located) to its west, and Kahala to its east. Kaimuki in Hawaiian means ‘the ti root oven’. It is said that the Menehunes (dwarf-size people with good craft skills living in forests, according to Hawaiian mythology) built various ti root oven around the hillsides of Kaimuki.
Today, Kaimuki is a vibrant neighborhood with specialty shops and eateries littering on and around Waialae Ave. The majority of homes in Kaimuki are single-family homes. Most of the homes were built before and around the 1950s. In recent years, there has been a wave of renovations and new constructions in the area.
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