SACRAMENTO — Nisei VFW Post 8985, located at 1515 Fourth St., was unanimously designated as a historic landmark by the Sacramento City Council on April 20.
The site, described by Mayor Darrell Steinberg as “the last remnant of a once-thriving Japanese community in downtown Sacramento,” is now listed on the Sacramento Register of Historic and Cultural Resources.
Built in 1951 by African American entrepreneur Phelix Flowers as the Flower Garden restaurant, complete with rooftop garden, the building also served as a meeting hall for an African American chapter of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
The restaurant closed a few years later and was purchased by the Sacramento Japanese American Citizens League for use as a Veterans of Foreign Wars hall for Japanese American members of the VFW, who, like the African American Elks, had to form their own chapter instead of joining an existing VFW chapter in Sacramento.
The building is still in use as a VFW hall by Post 8985, and a marker in front of the building at Fourth and O streets discusses the history of Sacramento’s lost Japantown, of which this building is one of the only survivors. The building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places earlier this year.
The public can read the staff report and leave an eComment regarding listing of this building via this link: : https://sacramento.granicusideas.com/