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Maryknoll High School is a small private school with 575 students, located on 1.8 acres of land. Maryknoll High School moved from Dole Street to its present location on Punahou Street overlooking the H-1 freeway in 1948. Punahou Street was a prominent neighborhood during the Missionary times. The Hotel MacDonald was on the property prior to the high school and, at that time, the street was lined with Royal Palms. Many of these same Royal Palms remained on the property but were in very poor health and needed to be removed. With safety being the first priority and to preserve the character of Maryknoll School’s past as well as to fulfill the requirements of the Punchbowl Special Design District, nine healthy field stock Royal Palms were planted to replace the original palms.


With limited space, every inch of land was valuable. This is why it was surprising that after more than 50 years, Maryknoll did not make use of its 5,800 square foot front entrance. Everyone just passed by the brown grass and hot, noisy entrance on their way to class. Maryknoll was in need of a place for students, faculty and staff that was conducive to learning; a place where they could study, have lunch, or get together with friends.

The Maryknoll entrance is an environment that fosters learning, promotes stewardship of the land and encourages ecological awareness. The key to the success of the project is that what was once a barren, unused front entrance has been transformed into a functional, attractive gathering space. Students can be now be seen studying under the shade of the maroon and gold umbrellas. At last, after over half a century, Maryknoll High School, a little school by the freeway, has a delightful pleasant garden entrance that they and the community can take pride in and enjoy.


Maryknoll High School, Garden Entrance was recognized by Scenic Hawaii , Betty Crocker Landscape Award of Excellence in 2004.

Maryknoll High School, Garden Entrance was also recognized by the American Society of Landscape Architects for an

Award of Merit in 2006.

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