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The Natatorium War Memorial

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Reflecting Hawaiians’ love for the water, a number of civic organizations in Honolulu decided, in 1918, that the city should have a World War I memorial in the form of an Olympic-sized, ocean water swimming pool. Thus, the Waikiki Nantatorium War Memorial was built with a stately classical style arch and bleachers overlooking the oceanside pool. The first to swim in the pool is local legend Duke Kahanamoku, world-renowned surfer and Olympic swimming gold medalist. Unfortunately, the memorial has fallen to a state of disrepair and has been a hot topic of debate among the public as to whether the city should preserve it or part with it. In 2013, an agreement was reached—the arches would be moved to a brand new beach area (to be built), but, sadly, the swimming pool will be demolished.