Peter Mills, professor of anthropology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, along with Russian colleague Alexander Molodin, dean of the Novosibirsk State Academy of Architecture, will be recognized by the Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation for their outstanding preservation efforts related to Fort Elisabeth on Kauaʻi.
Mills and Molodin will receive a Preservation Commendation Award from the foundation, Hawaiʻi’s highest recognition of preservation projects that perpetuate, rehabilitate, restore or interpret the state’s architectural, archaeological and/or cultural heritage.
The fort, built largely by Hawaiian hands, was part of King Kaumualiʻi’s residential compound and was never really occupied by the Russians as the commonly used name “Russian Fort” implies. Instead, Mills’s 2002 book,Hawaiʻi’s Russian Adventure, demonstrates that this was really Kaumualiʻi’s fort, built as part of his Russian alliance to maintain Kauaʻi’s sovereignty from Kamehameha. As such, its unique architecture reflects much about Hawaiian culture in the early 19th century and very little about Russians.
Read more about the Preservation Honor Awards here.