But back then you could park your 1917 Cadillac right on the road AND leave the doors open. I wouldn't suggest doing that now. Now you can pay for parking in the lot. The road over the Nu'uanu Pali was first developed in 1845, and later improved to become a highway. That old Pali Highway is now a trail, and has been replaced by a new Pali Highway with tunnels.
In addition to its status as a scenic lookout, the Pali is also the site of one of the bloodiest Hawaiian battles, when King Kamehameha and his army forced the Oahu army off the cliffs. When the first Pali Highway was under construction, hundreds of skulls from this conflict were unearthed.
The view from the Pali lookout has always been green and lush. Back in the 1920s, the view was of farmland:
Now the view includes some houses, but no farmland.
P.S. I have sent Hawaii postcards to all those who requested them (except for Dorin, who had a difficult special request.) You can still request a card if you send me your mailing address here by tomorrow.