Jaggar Museum

Aerial image of damaged buildings sitting on the edge of a volcanic crater.
Jaggar Museum and the USGS-operated facilities and parking lot on Uēkahuna Bluff, near the edge of Kīlauea Crater.

NPS Photo/J.Christensen

The Jaggar Museum was the first park museum in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, sharing volcano science and Hawaiian culture with millions of visitors over many decades. The last major renovation of the Jaggar Museum building and exhibits occurred in the mid 1980s and saw the addition of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Hawaiian Volcano Observatory to the surrounding building complex.

In 2018, a new eruption of Kīlauea volcano changed the island of Hawai‘i forever. From May through August the summit area of the park was dramatically changed by tens of thousands of earthquakes, towering ash plumes, and a massive collapse of Kīlauea caldera. Both the Jaggar Museum and Hawaiian Volcano Observatory were severely damaged from the thousands of earthquakes during the eruption.

One of the most treasured visitor contact stations, the Jaggar Museum, may be a thing of the past. The building sustained significant structural damage and recent assessments from NPS geomorphologists determined the ledge on which the Jaggar Museum sits is “extremely unstable”, limiting the use of the buildings and grounds. Since the eruption ended, the National Park Service (NPS) and USGS have been working on a disaster recovery project to repair and replace critical infrastructure that was damaged during the 2018 eruption.

The focus of the Disaster Recovery Project is to repair, replace, relocate or remove critical park infrastructure and USGS-operated facilities and equipment damaged during the 2018 eruption and summit collapse.

Under the proposed action, the National Park Service (NPS) would:

• Demolish three damaged structures at Uēkahuna Bluff on the Kīlauea summit (the former Jaggar Museum, the Okamura Building and the Geochemistry Annex).
• Repair and restore access to the existing overlook area at Uēkahuna adjacent to the former Jaggar Museum.
• Replace the Jaggar Museum visitor center function with a new building near the existing Kīlauea Visitor Center (KVC) by the park entrance. (KVC would still be used for administrative offices and K-12 educational programs, and the auditorium would still host public presentations).
• Realign Crater Rim Drive near the park entrance and install a roundabout to impove safety.
• Allow USGS to construct a replacement field station adjacent to the ball field by Kilauea Military Camp in the park.

Check out future plans for this site on the Diaster Recovery Project StoryMap.

Last updated: June 10, 2022

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