Italian Gardens Restaurant Restoration Donation

Please Help LUMI Restore One Of Kansas City’s Most Iconic Neon Signs.

Finally, Italian Gardens neon calls LUMI home. Since our beginning in 2017, we’ve set our LUMI sights on this iconic and historically significant sign, which until now remained out of reach. LUMI is indebted to Kansas City attorney and LUMI board member Brian F. McCallister for helping us acquire and pay for this neon classic. Significant, additional funding (as well as manual rescue labor) by LUMI President Nick Vedros and LUMI board member Nick Yoss also helped make this acquisition a reality.

Now, LUMI is asking for your help. Safely stored for now, our 97th neon acquisition is in desperate need of extensive, professional restoration. Former Italian Gardens President John David DiCapo is generously leading our fundraising charge with his $1,000 donation. Please join John’s lead with your contribution, large or small, to support this worthy effort to relight a beloved Kansas City icon.

Italian Gardens Restaurant Restoration Donation

Personal Info

Billing Details

Donation Total: $25.00

First opened in 1925 as Il Trovatore by Johnny Bondon and his nephew Frank Lipari at 13th and Walnut Streets, Italian Gardens  at 1110 Baltimore Avenue in 1933 where it served and entertained presidents, politicians, prize fighters, movie stars, and of course, loyal Kansas City patrons for 78 years. From the early 50s on, most were greeted by Kansas City “civic leader extraordinaire” Carl J. DiCapo, nephew to Johnny Bondon, father to John David DiCapo and longtime proprietor of the restaurant. Italian Gardens closed in 2003 and with your help, will never be forgotten.

Coming to Pennway Point. Once restored, Italian Gardens will stand among the brightest stars on LUMI’s neon alley at Pennway Point, Kansas City’s newest entertainment venue, home to the Kansas City Wheel. There, it will entertain and enlighten visitors to its prominent place in Kansas City history.

Remember, no one at LUMI is paid. We are all volunteers. The LUMI Neon Museum is a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. Tax-deductible contributions help rescue, restore, display and preserve iconic neon signs from Kansas City and surrounding regions.

Keep the fond memories coming. Just mention Italian Gardens to friends and families and you’ll hear them reminisce about the days of going out to dinner downtown, or where one dined after senior prom, or their days of frequent and friendly business lunches at “the Gardens.” For visitors, it was often the highlight of their trip to the big city.

Donate now. Restoring the Italian Gardens neon not only helps us restore a cool old neon sign—it solidifies our mission to connect a classic art form with Kansas City history. As we say, each LUMI sign has a story, and we intend to tell each one.

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