2008  :  Conservation Treatments, Kam Wah Chung & Co. Museum, John Day, Oregon

Completed while employed at Hara Shick Architecture, P.C. 

The Kam Wah Chung & Co. Museum, located in John Day, is a truly unique structure that represents the oldest known vestiges of Chinese culture in the United States. Built in 1867, the Kam Wah Chung & Co. building tells the story of Chinese immigrants who made significant contributions to the social and economic development of this country during its westward expansion. Chinese businessman Lung On and herbal doctor Ing Hay lived and worked out of this building.  "Doc" Hay administered care to the Chinese gold-mine workers, pioneers, and others from the John Day area and beyond by using traditional Chinese herbal medicine and the practice of pulse diagnosis. The Kam Wah Chung & Co. building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated a National Historic Landmark.

A short video about the Kam Wah Chung & Co. Museum by Grant McOmbie can be seen on Grant's Getaways courtesy of Travel Oregon. You can learn even more about the building's story via a half-hour, Emmy-nominated documentary by Oregon Public Broadcasting as well as an hour and a half public history lecture by site curator Christina Sweet and Oregon College of Oriental Medicine professor Beth Howlitt that was recorded at McMenamins Kennedy School in Portland, Oregon, on November 28, 2011. More recently, the Bend Bulletin ran a story on John Day’s Chinese Heritage.


Building statistics:

  • Client:  Oregon Parks & Recreation Department
  • Construction Budget:  $1,500,000
  • Use:  State Park, museum
  • Conservation Treatments:
    * A new interpretive lighting design.
    * A new fire protection system, including detection, suppression, and alarm capabilities.
    * The removal of non-historic visitor barriers.
    * The historic restoration of a previous addition to the building.