Omaha’s day of giving is just around the corner!

This year your gift to us during Omaha Gives on May 22, will help preserve one of Omaha’s most fascinating places, The King Fong Café, Omaha’s oldest Chinese restaurant. King Fong’s opened in 1920 on South 16 Street and is currently closed. Omaha-born director Alexander Payne was involved in its purchase in 2007 and has expressed a desire that this historical and cultural treasure endure, as a Chinese restaurant, to be enjoyed now and for future generations.

The King Fong Cafe is known for its elaborate décor, shipped from China by original owner Chin Ah Gin. Chin went all the way to Canton to retrieve the traditional furniture and décor that would fill King Fong’s second and third levels with elaborately carved teak tables and chairs, chandeliers, and silk embroideries. The Tiffany glass windows in the building are original to Tolf Hanson’s Café Beautiful, the first restaurant in the building, which opened in 1908.

King Fong, 1923

King Fong, 1923 / Bostwick-Frohardt Collection, Durham Museum

With your support, we will prepare a nomination to place the building on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP,) the official list of the Nation’s historic sites worthy of preservation. The NRHP is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archaeological resources.

Additionally, on the community level, our nomination will proceed to the Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission for local landmark designation. Omaha Landmarks are covered by a comprehensive preservation ordinance which regulates work done on the properties and protects the properties from demolition and undesirable alterations.

As stated by Adam Andrews, Board President, “… historic buildings add character and diversity to our city; two things that enrich all our lives. A community that retains its older properties will be blessed with beautiful and interesting places to live, work, and play.”

We are saving cultural and historical places that matter. And you can help! Please add us to your donation list for Omaha Gives!

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