I’m on a quest to find the oldest building—whether its a house, commercial building, church or whatever—in North Omaha. Of course, the Florence Mill and the Bank of Florence are the reigning champs. However, I’m finding glimmers and glimpses of other old places that I want to shine a light on.
The oldest neighborhoods in the North Omaha community are Florence and the Near North Side, which is immediately north of North Downtown and south of Pratt Street. Other outlying houses and buildings may exist, but are largely hidden by the newer developments around them.
Here are ten of the oldest buildings in North Omaha, with the oldest one at the end. Note that there is no other order to what’s listed here. I’m originally publishing this in July 2015—look for updates in the future.
Home #1: 2902 North 25th Street
Built in 1870, this house in Kountze Place has 1900 square feet with 6 rooms and 2 bathrooms. Built in the Victorian style, originally it would have had Eastlake features, including ornate porch detailing and flourishes around the home.
Home #2: 1117 North 20th Street
Home #3: 3030 Evans Street
This 1886 brick house was built in a frontier vernacular style. It has almost 2,000 square feet in two stories, with an eight-foot-tall ceiling in a block basement. There are four bedrooms in the home, with a central chimney. It sits on a long, narrow lot.
Home #4: 1818 North 26th Street
This 132-year-old home was built long before the Trans-Mississippi Exposition in North Omaha. Its a single story with three bedrooms in 688 square feet It was built in 1883.
Home #4: 1814 North 26th Street
Built in 1888, this three bedroom home is a younger sibling to its neighbor (above). It has three bedrooms on a full-size basement, all within 868 square feet. It is 127-years-old.
Home #5: 2617 Parker Street
Built in 1883, this 132-year-old home is a brick-two-story with three bedrooms. It has Victorian flourishes on a long and narrow lot. The house has more than 1,400 square feet.
Home #6: 2537 Patrick Avenue
This is a 131-year-old brick house. Built in 1885, it has three bedrooms in more than 1,500 square feet.
Home #7: 1120 North 20th Street
This house is among the very oldest houses in North Omaha at 140-years-old. This home was built in 1875, and straddles the edge of North Omaha and North Downtown.
Home #8: 1102 North 24th Street
Built in 1883, this is a four-bedroom house. It has more than 1,600 square feet with an unfinished basement, and sits on a large lot. UPDATE: This house was demolished in 2015.
Home #9: 8314 North 31st Street
Home #10: 8621 North 31st Street
By far the oldest home in my survey comes from a neighborhood renowned for its age. The Florence area was settled long before Omaha, with the Mormons establishing a town here called Cutler’s Park in 1846. While little is left from that time, in 1856 the town of Florence was platted. This house, located just off North 30th Street, was built in 1859. At just below 800 square feet, is has two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a combined kitchen/dining room/living room. That’s it. Oh, and a cool little porch. An interesting fact is that the basement is bigger than the rest of the house. Hmm…
- The Near North Omaha neighborhood, located between Locust and Cuming, 16th and 30th, was originally platted as country estates for politicians. They built a few large homes and small mansions along 16th and further north, but left the rest of the community for residential and commercial development.
- Much of Near North Omaha was in-filled with apartments and duplexes starting in the 1890s and extending into the late 1920s.
- A massive tornado swept through Near North Omaha in 1913 that demolished many old homes.
- Starting in the 1960s, there was a program by the City of Omaha to demolish dilapidated or ill-kept multi-family homes in North Omaha. This led to many older buildings being town down.
- Much of the commercial area along North 24th was demolished by rioting in the 1960s and 70s. These buildings included old storefronts and apartments.
- The Fort Omaha campus has several old houses, including the General George Crook House built in 1879.