Charles William Dickey (1871 - 1942)

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Nicknames: "C.W. Dickey"
Birthplace: Alameda, California, United States
Death: Died in Honolulu, HI, USA
Occupation: architect
Managed by: Fay Baldwin
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About Charles William Dickey

CHARLES WILLIAM DICKEY BESTOWED UPON HAWAII A REMARKABLY RICH ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE. As the long list of his designs would attest, he is noteworthy by any criteria: variety, quantity, quality. His legacy includes many of the buildings which, today, are considered among Hawaii's best architecture and also extends beyond his own work to the influence he exerted on other well known architects that began their work under his auspices.

Born in Alameda, California, to Charles Henry Dickey and Anne Elizabeth Alexander, on July 6,1871, he was brought to Hawaii at the age of two, to Maui, where his parents established a general mercantile store. His mother came from a kama 'aina family, her father being one of the earliest missionaries to arrive in the Hawaiian Islands (the Rev. William P. Alexander). Dickey grew up in Haiku, Maui. Returning to the United States for his education, he attended Oakland High School and graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a BA in architecture in 1894. He worked briefly with two American architectural firms but in 1895 he became partner with Clinton Briggs Ripley of Honolulu. At the beginning of the new century he formed the firm of Dickey & Newcomb.

In 1904 he moved to Oakland, California and maintained an architectural office for twenty years.From as early as 1899 he expressed the concern that the architecture of Hawaii should be suitable for the environment and strove to design houses and other structures in which the culture of the people, within the locale, would be best matched. He stressed the need for broad porches (or lanais), interior courtyards and fountains, and felt that the "California Mission" style of architecture was most appropriate for Hawaii. Until his innovations, the prevailing style of structure was mostly within the American style of building.

In the 1920's he opened a new office in Honolulu and his ideas of creating a distinctive local architecture took root....he returned to the Islands in 1925, to reside there until his death on Apr. 25,1942.

Note: Charles William Dickey was also nephew to William Alexander and Abigail (Baldwin) Alexander; she being the dau. of famed missionary Dwight Baldwin, who left a vast footprint in Hawaii; both as missionary and businessman.

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Charles W. Dickey's Timeline

July 6, 1871
Alameda, California, United States
April 25, 1942
Age 70
Honolulu, HI, USA