Spontoon Island
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***  Update 30 October 2006  ***
**  Update 12 October 2006  **
*  Update 28 July 2006  *
30 March 2006

1930s Pacific Island Architecture 
A reference of typical island buildings for artists and writers
in photos and drawings from the 1930s.
As much as possible, buildings will be identified and locations given.
Spontoon Island would likely have a mixture of buildings & houses inspired by these styles,
including British & American style buildings dating back to the 1870s.
 There will be neighborhoods or villages with concentrations of certain ethnic styles.

House building

Photos are marked with their sources:
The British MOD has claimed crown copyright for the  images from the
Pacific Island Geographical Handbooks (circa 1943 with images from the 1930s),
a publication of the Royal Navy
(Credits here - reprinted with permission of MOD.)
The Public Domain sources: White Shadows In the South Seas (1919)
& Our Islands and Their People (1899) are labeled. Thanks to Reese Dorrycott for
sharing & scanning images from the latter book.

Harbor buildings & structures
(with some homes in view, of course)

Stone causeway, Melekeiok Island
 Built out to reef by locals (and used also as a jetty?) Note house & boathouse.

Yap: Jetty & buildings on Tomil Harbor. Yap Island,  Caroline Islands
With narrow-gauge tramway tracks running down the jetty.
These buildings are probably from German colonial times.

King's Wharf, Suva, Fiji
The Harbor Master's Office is like a 'control tower' for the ships in the harbor.

Another view of King's Wharf, Suva, Fiji

Small craft in creek, Suva, Fiji
A mooring area & a place to land passengers & cargo for small boats.

Wharves, Levuka, Fiji
Government structures. Note: both wood pilings & stone/concrete for wharf.

Customs House, Kavieng, New Ireland
Built adjoining main wharf; view from ship alongside

Harborside main street, Levuka, Fiji
Buildings have a British tropical colonial style that can still be seen in Australia.
Balcony above sidewalk is shaded with shutters, venitian blinds, & screens.
I would guess these shops were built circa 1870-1885, photo from mid-30s.

Main Street, Rabul, New Guinea

Main Street, Papeete, Tahiti Island, French Oceania
This is the French version of the colonial style, seen in the mid-30s.
This town is the main administrative center and regional port.

**  A colonial town business street in the Philippines, circa 1899  **

Part of Honolulu downtown in 1936, Hawaii
A small city that was the largest and most built-up of the towns
in the central Pacific islands.

Ponape town from the harbor. Ponape, Caroline Islands
Houses going up the hillside. Both German & Japanese colonial styles.

Factory on Ronkiti Harbor. Ponape, Caroline Islands
Those look like fuel drums to the left. A motor for machinery or a generator?

Tulagai waterfront, Solomon Islands
A small government wharf. This area seems to be low-density housing.

Tulagai 'Chinatown', Solomon Islands
A shore area of small wood-frame stores and hotels, with lots of small jetties.

Another view of 'Chinatown', Tulagai Harbor, Solomon Islands

**  Small street shop (food & bar (bottles)?) Philippines  **

**  Small street shop (food and convenience store) Philippines  **

***  Small street shop (fruit) & family home Philippines  ***

Trader's Store on Christmas Island, Line Islands
The island was settled as a coconut plantation. This store is for the workers.
It is quite likely the trader is an agent of the company that owns the plantation.

Cable relay station, Fanning Island, Line Islands
This is the relay point that boosts the power & signal for the
British trans-Pacific telegraph cable between Canada & Fiji.
This is one building of several (built circa 1902?) for staff & equipment.

Seaplane landing pier, Pan-American Airways, Pierce Island, Wake Atoll
A stop on the trans-Pacific seaplane route. Some stops had barges at the end
of the pier for passengers & fuel. Here the fuel is just out of the photo, to the right.


Round House, Samoa
This is a communal village building used for ceremonies and as a guest house.

Kava Ceremony, Tonga Islands  *
Showing the interior of a community & ceremonial building

"Court House",  Nauru Island  *
This is a community building -- used part-time by local chiefs for legal hearings.
Note mature coconut trees in the public village area.

House building,  Taveuni Island, Fiji
Stone platform foundation. Wooden framework, with reeds being applied.

**  Framework for a small hut, Philippines  **

**  Framing for a larger mat & thatch house, Philippines  **

"The Bure"-- a Fiji home.
Article & Art by David Ackermann

Thatching a house roof,  Guam

Village in the Caroline Islands

House in the Caroline Islands

House in the Marquese Islands
(from White Shadows in the South Seas)

Small house on a stone platform, Marquese Islands
Must be lunch. The stone platform is being used as an open porch; the small lean-to
is probably a cooking shack. (from White Shadows in the South Seas)

Houses at  Vaitupu Island,  Ellice Islands Plate 42
A colonial administrator's model village. In rows, and in one place. 8)

Houses at  Vaitupu Island,  Ellice Islands Plate 43
Hard to see, but there is a windbreak of propped-up coconut fronds.
Woven mats are also placed on house sides to keep out wind & rain.

Houses at  Vaitupu Island,  Ellice Islands Plate 44
'Modern' house on stone platform. Open sides to let in a breeze.

Houses at  Vaitupu Island,  Ellice Islands Plate 45
A house built over the lagoon. The other building may be its cookhouse.

Fisherman's House over lagoon, Marquese Islands
(from White Shadows in the South Seas)

Small boathouses, Ngarmid Cove, Caroline Islands

'Chamorro' (Spanish influence) townhouse. Yap Island, Caroline Islands
The stone (or plastered) house seems to be built on a tall concrete platform.

Houses  in  Mutcho  town, Saipan Island, Marianas  Islands
A wood house on pilings to the front, a 2-story stone house to the rear.

View of Garpan town, (Japanese settlers' homes) Saipan Island
From this view, the style seems more 'South Sea colony' than Japanese.