Unveiling the Historic Charm of 808 Makawao Ave: A Journey Through Time

Posted by Island Sotheby's International Realty on Monday, March 25th, 2024 at 6:19pm

Step into the pages of history with the iconic 808 Makawao Ave, a property that embodies the architectural greatness of late nineteenth-century Victorian style and carries the legacy of the Hawaiian family of Opunui and the pioneering spirit of Fred Hardy. Situated in the heart of Upcountry Maui, this historic gem, known affectionately as the "Hardy House," presents a unique opportunity for those who cherish history, architecture, and the serene beauty of Maui. This offering, presented for the first time in over six decades, is an unprecedented opportunity to own a slice of Hawaiian heritage.

Constructed in 1897 for Fred Hardy, a Bostonian who became an integral part of Hawaii's educational journey, and his wife, Lilian Aiken Hardy, the house is a testament to their vision and legacy. Fred Hardy, who made his way to the islands in 1882, became the first principal of the Makawao School, marking the beginning of a lifelong dedication to education in Maui. 

The "Hardy House" is distinguished by its Victorian architecture, a rare sight in the Hawaiian Islands. With verandas featuring diamond-patterned balustrades and a double-pitched roof reminiscent of Hardy’s close friend and renowned designer, C.W. Dickey, the residence is a harmonious blend of New England ancestry and Hawaiian influence, despite the lack of documented involvement from Dickey himself.

“This beautiful, historic home is beyond special. It’s a symbol of old Hawaii and days gone by. Few homes from more than a century ago exist in the tropics, let alone one in this immaculate condition, a testament to the love and care shown to it by the Rezents family for the past 60 years and other prominent Maui families dating back to the late 1800s,” (Cynthia Warner, RB-15934, Island Sotheby’s International Realty listing agent). 

Since 1961, the Rezents family has stewarded the Hardy House, lovingly preserving and restoring it, maintaining its historical essence while adapting to modern styles. This dedication to preservation has earned the property a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, ensuring significant real property tax savings and securing its legacy continues for generations to come.

This exquisite property spans over 2,300 square feet of living area and an additional large garage across a half-acre of meticulously landscaped grounds. The home's design has a seamless flow between indoor and outdoor spaces, with a fifty-foot-long downstairs veranda providing a graceful entrance and private access to the two downstairs bedrooms. The interior holds a large living area with a cozy window nook, a fireplace adorned with Koa paneling, and nine-foot ceilings that enhance the space. The surrounding outdoor space, populated with a variety of fruit and exotic trees, creates a private oasis, marrying the home's architectural beauty with the natural splendor of Maui.

“It’s such a noteworthy home and landmark for Maui residents. One can easily imagine Mr. Hardy walking up what was likely then a quiet road to the new Makawao School, located where our Post Office is now, where he was Principal for decades. The home’s beautiful covered lanai stirs with visions of Mrs. Hardy teaching sewing there for the young girls” (Cynthia Warner). 

808 Makawao Ave is not merely a residence but a piece of living history, offering a glimpse into the past while providing all the comforts and amenities of contemporary life. With its rich history, architectural significance, and the serene beauty of its surroundings, this property represents a rare opportunity to own a landmark of Hawaiian heritage. It invites those who appreciate the confluence of history, architecture, and natural beauty to make this iconic house their home.

“Heart-warming moments abound about this property including one from just a few weeks ago when I was working on bringing in and setting up furniture for staging. The great-granddaughter of Frederick and Lillian Hardy came by to introduce herself. She, too, enjoyed that very lanai, sitting in the turquoise rocking chair her great-great-grandmother or father may have sat in over a hundred years ago.

It’s the Rezents’, and my hope the new owner will enjoy and carry on the legacy of love, honor, and care for the property” (Cynthia Warner).



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