Property owners want Obama's home on historical registry - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Property owners want Obama's home on historical registry

Renton Nip Renton Nip
Ewoud Bezemer Ewoud Bezemer
Mitch Berger Mitch Berger

HONOLULU (KHNL) - President Barack Obama's been living in the White House for a little more than a week now.

Some lavish living that looks nothing like where he grew up.

We're not talking about the White House or President Barack Obama's classy Chicago pad.

And many years before his recent nine million dollar Kailua vacation rental, living was a lot more humble at the Punahou Circle apartments.

Long before his new presidential pad, there was his childhood home, Punahou Circle apartments.

It's not quite white, it's more of a...

"Beige or taupe, The Taupe house," said Part-Property Owner Renton Nip.

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to the 1600 block of South Beretania Street.

"It's a very mellow peaceful building," said building resident Ewoud Bezemer.

There's scenery.

"A big yard across the street," said Resident Manager Pete Jones.

No Secret Service, but some security.

"You have to have a key to get in," said Jones.

He has his own airplane, bowling lane and movie theatre now, but back then President Barack Obama's upbringing was more modest.

"A laundry room trash chute," said Jones.

Apartment 1008, that's where he grew up with his grandmother Madelyn Dunham. It's about 1000 square feet.

"This is the size of a bedroom Barack Obama lived in," said Nip.

Punahou Circle first hit the spotlight in October when the then presidential hopeful made a last stop to be at his tutu's bedside. Crowds came then, and they keep coming.

"They're just fascinated," said Guides of Oahu Owner Mitch Berger.

Mitch Berger's tour business brings hundreds right by the building.

"Everybody wanted to stop, take pictures, they were like what apartment? What floor? Which unit?," said Berger.

Property owners want to preserve the apartment and put it on the historical registry. Obama's grandmother has rented it since the 60's, just as he rents out the oval office the next four years, but who knows, he might decide to stay a bit longer.

The lease on Obama's grandmother's apartment runs through June.

Property owners say they don't plan to put it back on the market, they're taking the steps now to preserve and recognize its presidential importance.

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