A classic Manoa estate offers a tranquil space with a view

In Manoa, where waterfalls and rainbows abound, a treasure awaits nestled at the foot of the Koolaus.

Amid the growing landscape of screaming cookie cutter-style mansions squeezed into zero-lot-line parcels, this Hawaiian-style estate with New England influences stately presides over more than a half acre of lush tropical grounds in preferred lower Manoa – where the valley mist is ever so slight.

With high ceilings, fireplace, crown molding and ohia wood floors throughout, its walls tell quiet tales of a Hawaii-gone-by captured in ambiance within its 1,900 square feet. Yet, it is a discriminate contemporary, with an integrated Bose sound system being one of many touches blending past with present. Shown by Anne Oliver of Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties and priced at $3.9 million, French doors and windows command vistas of its rolling emerald lawn, Diamond Head, Waikiki and the Pacific beyond.

Built in 1930 by an architect for his own use, the three-bedroom, two-bath home with separate maid quarters transferred ownership only once, into the loving hands of one family for three-quarters of a century. Blessed with great bones, a 2005 renovation required only gentle nip-and-tuck by award-winning interior designer Kathy Merrill Kelly, who with Darcey Builders strove to keep its integrity intact.

The atrium-style kitchen, however, received the grande dame treatment, with modernization melding seamlessly down to glass-knobbed cabinets reminiscent of the 1930s. Of course, only state-of-the-art appliances would do: a Sub-Zero Wolf gas range and, behind facade, refrigerator/freezer, Fisher Paykel double-drawer dishwasher and Bosch washer/dryer. Expansive glassless, screened windows, guarded by Elite laser beam security system, usher in breezes and beckon guests toward a walnut butcher block-surfaced island to take in garden views.

Rich with history, Manoa was once a haven for Hawaii royalty and continues to be for those with discerning tastes who kick off their shoes here. Yet prestigious schools, four-star restaurants, theaters, shopping and world-renowned beaches are just minutes away.

The best show in town, however, may be from the gracious lanai at nightfall as twinkling stars dance with the lights of Waikiki.

tagged in Manoa