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Spencer Leineweber Collection

Identifier: MANUSCRIPT-CAHA00022
This is a large collection of material from preservation architect Spencer Leineweber's private practice in both new designs and historic preservation of existing buildings. It includes field notebooks, project files, and drawings. The folders follow a pattern: correspondence-in, correspondence-out, change orders, drawings, site plans, photographs, invoices/payments, vendor information, etc. The large drawings are mostly rolled separated from the materials in file folders.


  • Majority of material found within 1977-2015

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is part of the Archive of Hawaii Artists & Architects. The collection is currently being inventoried and is unprocessed. Please contact the Art Archivist Librarian at the Jean Charlot Collection by email: or phone: 808-956-2849.


90 Linear Feet : (72) record storage boxes, some oversized

31 Cubic Feet : (31) boxes of rolled drawings; average size of box 3' long

Biographical / Historical

Spencer Leineweber was an architect and an influential leader in Hawaii’s historic preservation community for over 40 years, through her architectural practice, her teaching profession and her community service. She was a charter member of the Historic Hawaii Foundation and served on its Board of Trustees from 1995 – 2001.

She earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree at Cornell University, a Master’s degree in American Studies at the University of Hawaii, and a PhD in Philosophy from the Australian National University (Space, culture and change in nineteenth century Hawaii: open access:

Leineweber was a longtime professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she directed the School’s graduate programs and was director of the university’s Heritage Center. She was instrumental in forging an exchange program between the University of Hawaii’s Department of Architecture and the Nagaoka Institute of Design (Nagaoka and Honolulu are sister cities).

Leineweber founded her architecture business in 1978 as Spencer Limited. In 1980 architect Glenn Mason joined her and in 1984 they formed Spencer Mason Architects. In 1998 she resumed a solo practice as Spencer Architects Inc. and Mason founded Mason Architects.

She was sought after to design or renovate many private residences and to restore or repurpose many historic buildings throughout Hawaii. She headed a state survey of historic bridges on the islands of Oahu, Hawaii, Maui and Kauai. In 1996 she started, and for many years led, public tours of historic homes in Oahu’s Manoa district. She delighted in leading walking tours of Honolulu’s historic Chinatown, some of whose buildings she restored.

Many of her projects won local and national awards: National AIA Design Honor Award for Hawaii’s Plantation Village National Trust for Historic Preservation Award for the Uchida Coffee Farm Nine Honolulu and Hawaii AIA Design Awards Twelve Historic Hawaii Foundation Preservation Honor Awards Two Building Industry Association Grand Awards

Public service awards include: City and County of Honolulu’s KOA Award for leading a non-profit construction company project to restore 257 historic plantation homes for affordable housing Historic Hawaii Foundation’s Frank Haines Lifetime Achievement Award

Leineweber wrote extensively about Hawaii’s cultural heritage, including a chapter in Hawaiian Modern: the Architecture of Vladimir Ossipoff (Honolulu Museum of Art, Yale University Press, 2015). For the University of Hawaii, she produced the Campus Heritage Report.

Among Leineweber’s historic house renovations are the Shipman House in Hilo and the Charlot House, former home of local and international artist Jean Charlot.

She died in Honolulu in 2015.
Spencer Leineweber Collection
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Hawaii at Manoa Libraries Repository