Tucked in the shadows of the iconic banyan tree, Lahaina’s 1859 courthouse is a repository of history and art. Its location beside the harbor is no coincidence: smuggling was so rampant during the whaling era that officials deemed this the ideal spot for customs operations, the courthouse and the jail – all neatly wrapped into a single building. It also held the governor’s office. On August 12, 1898, the US annexation of Hawaii was formally concluded here.
There are also two art galleries operated by the Lahaina Arts Society, one in the old jail in the basement (entrance outside).
The building was given the Greek Revival style you see today in 1925 and the courthouse and other government offices here were used until the 1970s.