Visit Kilohana Plantation today and you’ll step back into the Golden Age of Sugar, the 1930’s on Kauai. In 1935, Gaylord Parke Wilcox, head of Grove Farm sugar plantation, decided to build his dream home with his wife, Ethel. He hired Mark Potter, an architect highly respected for his Diamond Head homes, to design the Tudor-style home that would become Kilohana. The 16,000 square foot mansion was the center of a 26,000 acre sugar tract and served as the family homestead for many generations.
The home was richly crafted with fine woods and Art Deco detailing. Lumber and materials arrived by barge from the West Coast, with detailed moldings from England. Beautiful pine wainscoting and coffered ceilings graced the living room, hallways, foyer, library and staircase. Hawaiian artifacts were proudly displayed along with rare artwork imported from the Orient and the island kingdoms of the Pacific. Upon completion it was the most expensive home ever built on Kauai and it served as both a working homestead and host to many exuberant social gatherings and important diplomatic meetings.
Severely damaged by Hurricane Iwa in 1983, the home has been completely restored and today the original public spaces are filled with notable Hawaiian antiques, paintings, and carpet all reflecting the lifestyle of the Wilcox family. Visitors are encouraged to explore the home’s original and restored features while discovering rooms that have been repurposed as shops, galleries, restaurant and lounge.
Kilohana Plantation estate was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and was named a State of Hawaii Historic Landmark in 1993. Today it remains one of the finest examples of plantation era architecture in Hawaii.