Tucked away in North Omaha is a historic neighborhood that gets little attention. However, the people who’ve lived there have vibrant memories and meaningful stories that lasted a lifetime. The Central Park neighborhood extends from North 33rd to North 48th Streets, from Ames Avenue to Sorenson Parkway. Located west of the town of Saratoga, it was never an incorporated town like its neighbors in Irvington or Benson. A lot of the oral histories of the area talked about it being a rural community, surrounded by farms and fields, orchards and more. Rising from cornfields and hills, the Central Park neighborhood has a long history starting in the 1880s. Here are details I could find about the neighborhood.
North Omaha is screaming full of history, and the new 24th and Lake Historic District is a tremendous example of how that’s so. After its first developments in the 1870s, this intersection evolved to become a hotbed of the African American community; as well as the heart of the Jewish community; a farm supply area; and much, much more. In 2016, 38 buildings were included in a new listing on the National Register of Historic Places. This article is an introduction to the powerful, poignant past of a large jewel in North Omaha’s historical crown.
“Proud, powerful and transforming.” Asked to think of words to describe the Minne Lusa neighborhood, these came to my mind immediately. I was sitting with a friend in Omaha recently, talking about the changes in North O, and they asked me what I thought of it. I easily remembered summers riding bikes up and down Minne Lusa Boulevard, going to the Viking Ship regularly, eating ice cream and buying cassette tapes at Four Aces Pawn Shop. Even as a kid, I thought the neighborhood was special, with its giant houses on the boulevard and polite houses up and down the blocks, all with an overall feeling of respectful suburbanity. The following is a short history of the neighborhood that I write out of admiration for Minne Lusa’s beauty, my memories, and the people who fill the homes today.
The Long School neighborhood is located in North Omaha from Hamilton Street on the south to Erskine on the North; North 24th on the east and the North Freeway on the west, and it has a total of 30 blocks. Houses started getting built in the neighborhood as early as the 1860s. However, it wasn’t until Long School was built that things really got underway. This is a history of the neighborhood.
Immediately after World War II, there was a rush of soldiers flush with government money that allowed them to buy homes and build families right away. A lot of North Omaha finished in-filling during this period, with houses constructed in just a few months and selling a lot quicker than that. Spread across a few streets in the Miller Park neighborhood, one set of these homes created an architecturally distinct area that should be designated as a historic district and preserved quickly.
Judges, teachers, decorated veterans, actors and singers, an Olympian and a Heisman Trophy winner are among its alumni. This is a short history of Omaha Technical High School.
Located at 1400 Evans Street in North Omaha, the Tidy House Products Company was one of many small industries scattered throughout the community. A successful company, Tidy House had several products that helped you keep a tidy house. They included Perfex household cleaner, Dexol bleach, GlossTex laundry detergent, and Shina Dish dishwashing liquid. The company […]
The fine Second Italianate Renaissance Style home built by Nebraska Territory governor Alvin Saunders was located in North Omaha at 1510 Sherman Avenue / 2008 North 16th Street. Learn more about it in this article.
For more than 15 years, the Environmental Protection Agency has been fighting lead poisoning in North Omaha as part of a citywide environmental cleanup focused on the 27-square-miles east of 72nd Street.
A history of the Ernie Chambers Court aka Strehlow Terrace Apartments in North Omaha, Nebraska.
Now seen as the front door to Omaha, Cuming Street has also served as the city’s farthest edge; as the growing, mighty muscles of industry and business; and as its dirty, neglected backside. This article highlights the history of Cuming Street, from its beginnings through to present day.
Located at 809 Carter Lake Drive North, Municipal Beach was a success, and for decades on every good swimming day all summer long a thousand people swamped Omaha’s Municipal Beach to enjoy sun, fun and good times. It was located there from 1919 through to the 1950s, enjoying massive popularity, an influx of money from the US federal government, and a place in many older peoples’ memories still today.
These are historic neighborhoods in North Omaha, including their establishment, locations and links.
The Miller Park in North Omaha has a long history. There is no single right way to write about it, and if, after you’re done reading this entire article, you disagree with the way I’ve written this history, I invite you to write your own version. To start with, it is important to […]
Built: 1875 estimated Address: 1504 North 19th Street Architecture: Eastlake Style Demolished: 1900 estimated When Omaha was first starting up in the 1850s and 1860s, it was built with wood. Wood-frame stores, hotels, homes and boarding houses were all over. There were some soddies, too. One of the first people to help the city move […]
The North Omaha Radar Station has a long history. Located at 11000 North 72nd Street, it was built in 1950 as the Omaha Air Force Station. With exactly 40 acres on the intersection of North 72nd and McKinley Drive, it was part of a Cold War-focused radar network and was officially closed in 1968. That […]
In its first 75 years, North Omaha was home to no fewer than four Jewish synagogues, six Catholic parishes and 50 Protestant congregations. These churches reflected the community’s diversity, including ethnic churches where only Italian, German, Norwegian, Danish and other languages were spoke. Within 25 years of Omaha’s founding, there were also several Black churches in the neighborhood north of downtown. Following is a history of churches in North Omaha.
This is the story of the Florence-area country escape of the Brandies family called Arlena Lodge…
With the old country ties in mind, one lawyer in Omaha took it upon himself to bring some fellow Irishmen back to Omaha to stump for “Cowboy” Jim Dahlman, Omaha’s corrupt longtime mayor who was controlled by local boss Tom Dennison. Did his tireless campaigning get him a seat in the Nebraska State Legislature? Was there dirty money involved in building his palatial home?
The Walnut Hill neighborhood is one of the most historically distinguished in North Omaha.
Located immediately north of Mercer Park, the Walnut Hill Reservoir is bound by Hamilton Street and the Walnut Hill neighborhood on the west, North 38th Street on the east, Nicholas Street on the south, and Mercer Park Drive on the east. Walnut Hill is cut in half by the curvy Park Road, which extends from Mercer Boulevard and Lincoln Boulevard. “Walnut Hill Reservoir” is chiseled into a concrete panel between the steps at North 38th Street.
Before Gottlieb Storz, a few other entrepreneurs tried their hand at brewing beer in North Omaha. Afterwards though, Storz dominated. For more than 75 years, his family ran Omaha’s beer industry, and even though the brewery closed in the 1970s, it left a major mark on the city that still stands today. This is a […]
There is a lot of misunderstanding about what happens at Hummel Park. A lot of it comes from racism, a lot from ignorance, and the rest of it from active imaginations. Before we start examining the allegations about the park, let’s look at the actual, factual history of Hummel Park. The Real History of Hummel […]
The J. J. Brown Mansion belonged to one of Omaha’s early industrialists, and became one of Omaha’s first hospitals. Discover it’s story…
This is the story of A. J. Poppleton’s North Omaha estate called Elizabeth Place.
The most famous mansion built in North Omaha is probably the Mayne Mansion, also known as the Redick Mansion. Clifton E. Mayne was a pioneer real estate investor and salesman in the city. In the 1870s, a farmer built a little house along Saunders Street leading north out of Omaha. He sold ten acres and his little farmhouse to Mayne in 1885.
While it has absolutely no active movie theaters today, the North Omaha community has been home to at least 20 (!) movie theaters over the last century. This is a short history of those theaters. Its really incomplete, as information has been hard for me to find.
Despite its reputation, North Omaha has always been a place for extravagance, embellishment and architectural celebration. Dozens of homes are remarkable today for their illustration of various housing designs that aren’t present throughout the rest of the city, and they deserve to be highlighted. Following are descriptions of popular architectural styles in North Omaha. Eastlake […]
Once upon a time, North Omaha was littered with large mansions and estates. This article summarizes some of them.
The place where I grew up, Omaha’s Miller Park neighborhood, rushes through my imagination a lot. I want to see it acknowledged, appreciated and accentuated every day. This article is my acknowledgment of the past and contribution to the future.
A guest article by Karen Clopton explores the history of the Prince Hall Masons and their century-old Druid Hall in North Omaha, Nebraska.
This is a guest post by Linda Williams, an architecture student in Omaha.
One of the places that sparks my imagination greatly is when my varying interests overlap, and that’s why today’s post on BANTU particularly excites me. From the pioneering Civil Rights efforts of Dr. Matthew Ricketts In the 1910s and 1920s, Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) was active in Omaha, led by young Malcolm […]
North 24th Street in North Omaha, Nebraska, used to be a regular street of dreams. Home to immigrants and entrepreneurs, it hosted generations of families that made it. Then in the 1960s, several riots struck at the heart of the community. It hasn’t recovered in the 50 years since.
Florence Boulevard in North Omaha has a historic treasure trove packed with homes, businesses, churches and more.
The Florence Water Works was once home to one of the most magnificent buildings in the entire city of Omaha. Despite being obliterated in the 1950s, the water around it keeps wetting the whistle…
Long before becoming a decrepit pipeline for the neglect of old North Omaha, North 16th Street had a history almost as long as the city itself.
I am fascinated by the history of North Omaha, Nebraska. After spending a decade growing up near 24th and Fort, I was infused with the rich history of the community by many of the adults who made my teenage life rich and successful. Stemming from that fascination, I have researched and written more than 200 […]