Best Of 2021

Best Unexpected Faux Facade: Chong Inc.

The reveled facade of the Chong Inc.

Earlier this year, a set of images by Greater Cincinnati-based photographer Scott Beseler went locally viral on Facebook after they revealed some history hidden behind the brick façade of a downtown building. The building, formerly owned by Chong Inc., is being redeveloped by the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC). Joe Rudemiller, 3CDC’s vice president of marketing and communications, told CityBeat that the corporation hired Digging Cincinnati History’s Ann Senefeld to learn more about the building and its past. Senefeld’s research uncovered that since the building was first constructed between 1887 and 1891, several department and furniture stores have inhabited the space, as well as a Kroger store from 1960-1969. But Senefeld’s most fascinating discovery is that in 1951, the building went through a massive renovation, removing the fifth and sixth floors and covering the original exterior with a new facade.