White Castle Seeking Nonprofit to Receive Historic Castle-Style Building
(White Castle, Feb. 7, 2023)
COLUMBUS, Ohio — White Castle, America’s first fast-food hamburger chain, is offering to help a public organization preserve a 1930s diner that was modeled after the iconic White Castle restaurants made famous the prior decade. The current owners near Wichita, Kansas, are offering to give away the 20-by-20-foot building for free, as long as the recipient is able to safely move it to the final destination.
“As the ones to start it all 102 years ago, our family business would like to do our part to preserve this history and source of good memories,” said Jamie Richardson, vice president at White Castle and fourth-generation family member.
The Castle-themed building has recently been noticed on social media and various news outlets, many wondering if it was in fact an early White Castle. Given its aesthetic similarities to original White Castle restaurants and its location near Wichita, where White Castle was founded prior to moving its operations to Columbus, Ohio, in 1934, it’s understandable why people would think it could have been part of the pioneer fast-food chain. However, descendants of White Castle’s founder Billy Ingram have confirmed this particular diner was not a genuine White Castle.
“We can confirm that this was not a White Castle,” added Richardson. “Nevertheless, we have great reverence for all that the fast-food industry has done to serve up hot, tasty and affordable food across generations, and this building is a part of that important history.”
That is why White Castle is inviting any museums or historical societies interested in the building to contact White Castle’s home office at its historic preservation hotline at 614-559-2687. Should their joint proposal be selected by the current owners, White Castle will invest in transporting the building to its final destination.
And in a gesture of goodwill to competitors, Richardson said, “To McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King and others, as the creator of our great industry we would be honored to get this building to one of your headquarters as a tribute to our shared humble beginnings and the positive impact we’ve had on our team members and the communities we serve.”