Some buildings have many, many lives, and the building at 4426 Florence Boulevard in the Saratoga neighborhood is one of them. Located on what was also called North 20th Street, this building has been home to dozens of businesses in many different fields. This is a history.
The building at 4426 Florence Boulevard is located in the Saratoga Belt Line Historic District. Built in 1926, it is a storefront and open space that has no basement. The City of Omaha Planning Department currently rates the building in poor condition.
In the 1920s the neighborhood around it was up-and-coming, with this specific spot part of the illustrious 1898 Trans-Mississippi Expo. After that cleaned up and left the blocks were platted, lots were sold, and hundreds of houses were built. In the age of streetcars and new-dangled popular cars, local residents needed nearby shopping and this little spot was built. Originally the building was a grocery store — but that changed quickly!
In the 1930s, the building was the site of Nine-Cent Cleaners, a dry cleaning store. Aside from operating a completely normal business, this store was attacked six times in the 1932 “dry cleaner wars” that ravished Omaha.
Billing’s Bun Bakery was located there from 1926 through 1934. A wholesale bakery, the store also sold to locals, too. Apparently a victim of the Great Depression, the building was empty for just a little while afterward.
In 1934 and 1935, the Gorton Drug Store was located there. It closed after its owner was robbed.
The Taylor Dairy was located there from 1935 to 1943. A small company, they sold a variety of dairy products including milk, butter and more. They added onto the building in 1940. However, in 1943 they went bankrupt and sold the entire operation.
The Boulevard Shop was located there in 1944. Selling used furniture, the store included wares for the whole house.
Weaver Pres-Kloth Company
From 1946 to 1973, it was home to the Weaver Pres-Kloth Company. T.B. Weaver was a South Dakota inventor who made a special cloth for ironing clothes at home better. He manufactured his products at the building and used it as his main base of operations for several decades, selling his cloths nationally and beyond. When his product became outdated the business was closed.
This is the interior of the building when it was the Weaver Pres-Kloth Company. Pictured in the bottom right corner is founder T.B. Weaver.
The Last 50 Years
In the 1970s, the Allen Brothers Glass Company was located at that address, operating a small manufacturing site for their “alternative glass” product. Called Tex-Sun and Cosmo-Tex, this product was made there for at least five years.
The Riverside Baptist Church used the space as a storefront church in the 1980s.
In the 2010s, White’s Hip Hop Shop was located there. As of 2021, its home to QT’s Corner Urban Accessories.
Today there is no commemorative plaque or other recognition of this building’s age or role in the community. In 2021, it was included in the City of Omaha’s designation of the neighborhood around it as the Saratoga Belt Line Historic District. There is no other historical information available for this building.