State to demolish crumbling tower at Diamond Head State Monument

A Diamond Head landmark must be torn down -- and that won't come cheap

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - After a long hot hike with unforgiving steps, visitors at Diamond Head State Monument are rewarded with unparalleled vistas.

“It’s amazing. With views like this, you can’t beat it,” said Ethan Traineanu, who’s visiting from Connecticut.

Still, many visitors climb even higher — onto a 1940s era tower, once a military observation post, to get to the ultimate peak.

“It’s unfortunate people don’t follow the warning signs and they still climb on top of it,” said Curt Cottrell, administrator of DLNR’s Division of State Parks.

A year ago, the state Land Department started getting reports of the crumbling tower. With 3,000 people visiting Diamond Head each day, Cottrell blames the selfie craze.

“The deterioration was starting to happen relatively quickly, mainly because people were illegally climbing on them and what not for selfies and stuff,” he said.

He says it would cost roughly $200,000 to tear down compared to $800,000 to repair the columns and the roof. The state has used plywood and metal bands as a temporary fix.

“If it’s financially feasible, I think rebuilding would be excellent, but I’m sure that’s easier said than done,” said Traineanu.

The Land Department hopes to cobble together the funding to demolish the tower and the structure still needs to go through historical evaluation before any final decision.

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