George J. Wimberly




George J. "Pete" Wimberly (died 1995) was an architect known for his work in Honolulu, Hawaii and for his firm's designs of resorts. He was part of the architectural firm of Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo until his death in 1995. Wimberly came to Hawaii in 1940 as a "journeyman architect doing naval work at Pearl Harbor." After the war he worked with Howard Cook in the architectural firm of Wimberly and Cook. The rehabilitation of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel was one of his first jobs and many more followed. His work is typified by the use of local materials such as coral stone, lava rock, wood beams, thatch, bamboo, and glass; local "forms" such as flowing indoor/outdoor open spaces sheltered by big dramatic roofs with big eaves; and "liberal use of figurations, patterns and motifs derived from the cultures of the Pacific". An article in Honolulu Weekly said Wimberly "established himself as perhaps the most successful resort architect in the world" and that his "Honolulu—based firm of Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo,also known as WATG, designed many of the Pacific Rim's pace-setting hotels and is now the world's largest "niche" architecture firm, specializing in the $4-trillion-dollar travel industry." He did numerous small scale projects on the Hawaiian islands until after 1960 when tourism and travel greatly expanded tourism and he started working on larger projects, a "construction boom that... led to the demolition of" many buildings Wimberly designed. He was "instrumental" in founding the Pacific Asia Travel Association in 1952 with Bill Mullahey, the regional chief of Pan American Airlines, after traveling the Pacific in the 1950s "looking for new destinations, new hotel opportunities" in Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, Jakarta, Singapore, and Bali. Wimberly was an avid outdoorsman, according to his working partner of 27 years, Donald Goo. He relocated to Southern California late in life before returning to Honolulu when he became terminally ill with emphysema.

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