100 years

Hawai‘i Community Foundation
Our Place of Work

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Our place of work

The C. BREWER & CO. BUILDING was constructed in 1930 as the headquarters of C. Brewer & Co. Ltd. (1826-2006), the last and smallest of the “Big Five” office buildings to be built in downtown Honolulu. Hardie Phillip of the New York firm of Mayer, Murray and Phillip was the chief architect. Phillip previously worked with Bertram Goodhue on the Honolulu Academy of Arts building (now the Honolulu Museum of Art). The C. Brewer Building is a contemporary of the nearby Alexander & Baldwin and Dillingham Transportation Buildings which were constructed in 1929. The Hawai‘i Community Foundation made it our headquarters in 2011.

The building is described as an example of the Mediterranean Revival style and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. It is built of concrete and native basalt with a rough stucco finish and natural grey color, with a ceramic tile roof.

Exterior and interior decorative elements are symbolic of C. Brewer & Co.’s businesses. Second floor rotunda iron railings and grille work depict sugar cane, and light fixtures recall sugar cubes. Exterior iron balcony elements, which include horseshoes and spurs, refer to the company’s ranching activities.

In 2021, HCF launched a renovation of the C. Brewer & Co. Building, completing the project in July 2022. The goal was to create a gathering place where community members, nonprofits, donors, and others can come together and collaborate. With additional meeting spaces, a media room for creating content, technological advancements to conference rooms, and a new, more welcoming lobby experience, the renovation has created a community resource in the heart of the Honolulu business district that can support the work HCF has doing to create a thriving Hawaiʻi with its partners today—and into the future.

In addition to its distinctive architectural features, HCF’s headquarters feature an extensive collection of beautiful and culturally significant artwork throughout the building.

Want to take a quick tour of the newly renovated C. Brewer & Co. Building? Hang on to your seats and check out this drone fly-through of the HCF headquarters.

HCF had its newly renovated headquarters blessed in a traditional Native Hawaiian ceremony on July 13, 2022. Hear what some of the attendees had to say, including Micah Kāne, Peter Ho, Duane Kurisu, and Catherine Ngo.

The artists of the Hilo-based design collective Sig Zane Kaiao share the creative process and meaning behind the murals that welcome visitors into the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation headquarters.

Visual artist and designer Manu Mei-Singh explains the meaning behind Wages: What are we worth?, a digital art installation in the atrium of HCF’s newly renovated headquarters.