Omaha Landmarks Part 1 (Self Guided), Omaha

The city of Omaha has a large number of old buildings either designated as Omaha Landmarks or included in the National Register of Historic Places. Many of these buildings have been converted to residential or office space and are private property and for this reason entry is not always permitted.
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Omaha Landmarks Part 1 Map

Guide Name: Omaha Landmarks Part 1
Guide Location: USA » Omaha (See other walking tours in Omaha)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 17
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Author: AlexanderA
1
Omaha Central High School

1) Omaha Central High School

Omaha Central High School, or Omaha High School, was founded in 1859. The current building was designed by John Latenser, Sr. and built between 1900 and 1912. It is the oldest active high school building in the city. With an enrollment of around 2,500 students, today Central High School is the largest school in the state.

Central is a four-year high school with a traditional college preparatory curriculum, an honors and advanced placement program, and a diverse student body which includes international students from all over the world. Co-curricular activities such as athletics, clubs, honor societies, student government, drama, art, musical groups, speech, and debate are offered. Central High School is also a candidate for the IB Diploma Programme.

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Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Civic Auditorium

2) Civic Auditorium

The Omaha Civic Auditorium is a multi-purpose convention center in Omaha, Nebraska. Opened in 1954, it surpassed the Ak-Sar-Ben Coliseum as the largest convention/entertainment complex in the city, until the completion of Qwest Center Omaha in 2003. The Civic Auditorium arena currently seats up to 9,300 people for sporting events and up to 10,960 for concerts. Today, it is home to the Omaha Beef indoor football team. It is also used for trade shows, concerts, smaller conventions, and local graduations. One of Elvis Presley's final concerts was held at the Civic Auditorium on June 19, 1977. The Civic Auditorium Music Hall, located on the east side of Omaha Civic Auditorium is used for concerts. Mancuso Hall is a large-events venue used for parties, trade shows, concerts, banquets, and conventions, among other events. 25,000 square feet (2300 m²) of space, Mancuso Hall seats 2,500 for concerts and 1,500 for banquets.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Trinity Cathedral

3) Trinity Cathedral

Trinity Cathedral is located at 113 N. 18th Street. Nebraska's first Episcopal parish, Trinity was established in 1856, and became the state's first Episcopal cathedral in 1872. Designed by noted English architect Henry G. Harrison in 1880, the Cathedral was consecrated on November 15, 1883. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

Built in the late Late Gothic Revival style with rock-faced masonry walls and stone tracery over more than 43 stained glass lancet windows. The church is almost entirely of bluestone from Illinois in a design that is nearly cruciform with an entry tower extending outward. The exterior of the building has more than six stone crosses at varying points of its roof line. The interior features Gothic design throughout, including aisles, nave, transept, choir, and a clerestory. The church includes a noted carved oak bishop's throne and dean's stall.

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Sight description based on wikipedia
4
J. L. Brandeis and Sons Store Building

4) J. L. Brandeis and Sons Store Building

The J. L. Brandeis and Sons Store Building is located at 210 South 16th Street in downtown Omaha. It was the headquarters location of the Brandeis Department Store chain. It currently holds apartments and condos. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The original eight stories were constructed in 1906 and were designed by architect John Latenser, Sr. in Neo-Renaissance style. The structure cost 1 million to build. Two more stories were later added to the building in 1921.

In early 2008, the building was purchased by Townsend Inc, of Overland Park, Kansas and was converted to a high-end mixed use residential and commercial space. The building was divided into three subdivisions; the lowest floor, The Pavilion, has area reserved for commercial space, the management offices, and security. There is also a refurbished food court with local and national food vendors, flat screen televisions, and a fountain. Floor two houses a fitness center and movie theater for building residents. Floors two to seven are reserved for high-end apartments, The Renata. Floors eight and nine consist of luxury condominiums that are separate and secure from the apartments, The Enclave. The building also features an on-site concierge and heated underground parking. The tenth floor at the top of the building was originally a gorgeous ballroom and now is converted into one bedroom apartments.

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5
First National Bank Building

5) First National Bank Building

The First National Bank Building was built in 1917 in Renaissance style. The building has a U shape and its structure is made of steel. This was the first high-rise building in Omaha and also the original building for the First National Bank. During the renovations from the year 2000, most of the office space was converted to condominiums. Presently the first floor is a lobby for residents of the building. There is a separate partition for restaurants and a separate entrance for the offices from the second and third floor. Floors four through fourteen house condominiums. Since June 25, 1982 this building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
6
Farnam Building

6) Farnam Building

The Farnam Building is located at 1613 Farnam Street in Downtown Omaha. It is a seven-story, 110-foot-tall (34 m), historic building that was constructed in 1929. It is adjacent to the First National Bank Building to the east, and Farnam Plaza, an eight-story building that houses the Opera Omaha offices, to the west.

The building had been important fixture in Omaha's downtown business community since the 1930s. Northup-Jones restaurant was located on the first level and was frequented by Omaha's financial and lawyer community. The building was renovated in 2000, and was converted from office space to 30 two- and three-bedroom residential apartments. The first floor is commercial space and contains a restaurant, a convenience store, and a post office.

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7
Omaha National Bank Building

7) Omaha National Bank Building

The Omaha National Bank Building was built in 1888-89 at 1650 Farnam Street. Built in the Italian Renaissance style, the building was saved from demolition by a rehabilitation in 1978. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, the building was originally known as the New York Life Insurance Building; it was renamed in 1906. Originally occupied by the New York Life Insurance Company, the building was purchased by the Kountze Brothers's Omaha National Bank in 1909.

Constructed in 1888-89, the building was designed in the Renaissance Revival style by the New York City architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White. The firm designed an identical office tower, the New York Life Building (Kansas City, Missouri), and was Omaha's first ten-story structure. Omaha National Bank merged with another bank and moved out of the building in 1972. After being vacated it was slated for demolition. However, the building was rehabilitated in 1978 and converted to office space. Today, called The Omaha Building, it is home to the law firm of Kutak Rock.

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8
Douglas County Courthouse

8) Douglas County Courthouse

The present Douglas County Courthouse is located at 1701 Farnam Street. Built in 1912, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Notable events at the courthouse include two lynchings and the city's first Civil Rights Era sit-in protest. Five years after it was opened, the building was almost destroyed by mob violence in the Omaha Race Riot of 1919.

The 1912 building was designed in the French Renaissance Revival style by local architect John Latenser, Sr.. Decorative stonework covers the structure's exterior, and the building serves as a prominent landmark in Downtown Omaha. Built south of the old courthouse, the building is six stories tall along Harney Street and five stories along Farnam. While the exterior walls are covered with unembellished Bedford stone, the interior halls have mosaic floors and marble wainscotings. Hardwood covers the interior of most offices, and vaults preserve county records. There were county offices on the main floor, second and third floors, and courtrooms on the fourth floor. The Douglas County Jail was on the fifth floor.

In September 1919, following Red Summer and racial riots in numerous industrial cities, a mob of thousands of men from South Omaha surrounded and attacked the Courthouse seeking to lynch an African-American worker named Willy Brown (accused of assaulting a white woman). Young men broke windows and climbed the outside of the building. After a few hours, thousands more gathered and they set the courthouse on fire to force the police to hand over the suspect.

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9
Woodmen Tower

9) Woodmen Tower

Woodmen of the World is a fraternal organization based in Omaha, Nebraska, United States, that operates a large privately held insurance company for its members. The organization was founded in 1890 in Omaha, Nebraska, by Joseph Cullen Root. The organization owned a 19-story tower at 14th and Farnam streets and was the tallest building between Chicago and the West coast when it was dedicated in 1912. Today, Woodmen of the World provides financial solutions to approximately 800,000 members in the US. These include life insurance and annuities, cancer insurance, and access to mutual funds, 529 College Savings Plans and other financial services. Members are also eligible to receive a wide array of fraternal benefits. Another aspect of the organization's patriotic mission is the annual In Honor and Remembrance program, which pays tribute to the heroes and vict
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10
On The Wings of Angels

10) On The Wings of Angels

The sculpture commemorates the tragedy on 9/11. It features more than 300 bronze hands of citizens of Omaha, as they show their heartfelt feelings about the tragedy. The project was created by Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society, more than 300 Omaha citizens, Mayor Mike Fahey and architect Littleton Alston. An individual mold was made that represented the hand of each volunteer that participated in the project. The molds served to create the bronze hands. All the hands form a sphere that is placed in a sixteen-foot metallic sculpture. Its budget consisted of $55,000, which they gathered from donations.
11
Astro Theater

11) Astro Theater

The Astro Theater, located at 2001 Farnam Street, originally opened as The Riviera and is currently known as the Rose Blumkin Performing Arts Center or The Rose. Built in 1926 in a combination of both Moorish and Classical styles, the building was rehabilitated in 1986. Originally noted for lavish stage shows combined with movies, the Riviera was regarded as one of the most elegant entertainment facilities in the Midwest.

John Eberson, a nationally notable architect, built the theater as an example of the "atmospheric" theater popular during the 1920s. In a style created by Eberson, these atmospheric theaters simulated romantic outdoor Mediterranean courtyards with a night sky above, including twinkling stars and drifting clouds. The exterior of the building features a large copper domed tower, flanked by two smaller towers of similar detailing. The diamond-patterned brick facades contain oriel windows, elaborate cornices, glazed terra-cotta tile copings, and a series of free-standing columns which support griffins. Creighton University sold the Astro Theater to Rose Blumkin of the Nebraska Furniture Mart on June 24, 1981. In the early 1990s it was renovated and transformed into the Rose Blumkin Performing Arts Center and currently serves as the home of the Emmy Gifford Children's Theater.

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12
Omaha Public Library

12) Omaha Public Library

This building is the site of the original Omaha Public Library. It was built in 1891 by architect Thomas Kimbal in Second Renaissance Revival style. The place where the building is standing as well as a collection of books, manuscripts and coins were donated by Byron Reed, a real estate broker. The library operated until February 16, 1977. When it closed, special attention was given to preserving the exterior masonry wall roundels, the copper roof and the interior iron staircase. The building was accepted as an Omaha Landmark in October 1978 and the same year it was included in the National Register of Historic Places. In 1982 the building was renovated and transformed into an office building named “Omaha Library Plaza”.
13
Keeline Building

13) Keeline Building

The Keeline building has seven storeys and was built in 1911. It was designed in Georgian Revival style by architect John Latenser, Sr. The Keeline building was completed just before the Douglas County Courthouse nearby. It is said that the building represents “the prosperous commercial development in Omaha during this period.” It was included in the National Register of Historic Places on March 9, 2000. In January 2008, the building was for sale. It was suggested that it be used as office space or be converted to residential space.
14
Redick Tower

14) Redick Tower

The Redick Tower is located at 1504 Harney Street in Downtown Omaha. The eleven-story tower was building in 1930 in the Art Deco style. Originally opening as an office building, with retail on the street level, the building is currently undergoing renovations to become a full service, luxury hotel named, "Hotel Deco". The Redick family were Omaha pioneers who owned the land where the building was constructed.

Originally designed to house offices, commercial space, and automobile parking facilities, the Redick Tower was built of reinforced concrete with a brick and terra-cotta exterior. Designed by Omaha architect Joseph G. McArthur, the Parsons Construction Company completed the building within a year. In 1989 the building was converted into a luxury hotel, which closed in 2009. As of 2011 the building is under revonvations to become only the second Four diamond hotel in Omaha, after the downtown Hilton Hotel. The hotel is on schedule to open in late spring 2011 in time for Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting.

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15
Orpheum Theater

15) Orpheum Theater

The Orpheum Theater is located at 409 South 16th Street and hosts programs best served by a more theatrical setting, including the Broadway Across America-Omaha series and Opera Omaha. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 2,600-seat proscenium theater was originally built in 1927 as a vaudeville house after John A. Creighton, a local philanthropist, donated a large amount of money towards its construction. It was a movie theater from the 1940s through 1975, when it received a $2 million renovation.

The Orpheum underwent a $10 million renovation in 2002. In 2004, the Orpheum Theater Skylink was added for increased convenience and accessibility to the Orpheum. The 200-foot-long elevated, enclosed and climate-controlled walkway connects the OPPD parking garage to the Orpheum Theater.
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16
Aquila Court Building

16) Aquila Court Building

The Aquila Court Building, or Magnolia Hotel, is located at 1615 Howard Street. Built in 1923, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Designed by architectural firm Holabird and Roach for capitalists Charles and Raymond Cook of Chicago, the Aquila Court Building was built in a "U" shape and designed after the Bargello in Italy. The faces of George and Aquila Cook were emblazoned on the front of the building. A mixed-use building from its inception, the building's interior courtyard featured extensive landscape gardening. The original garden design resembled an Italian formal garden with stone paths, pools with goldfish, canals and numerous plants.

A four-story building, the original design included court-level commercial space and studio apartments, as well as office space. The building has undergone several major renovations. In 1972 the gardens were removed and completely covered with marble slabs and fountains. In 1996 it was renovated by the Sheraton corporation and in 2006 by the Magnolia Hotels chain.

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17
Flatiron Hotel

17) Flatiron Hotel

The Flatiron Hotel, located at 1722 St. Mary's Avenue, was designed by architect George Prinz and originally constructed in 1912 as an office building, in 1914 it was renovated for use as a hotel. Today the building serves as office and commercial space, as well as housing an upscale restaurant, Flatiron Cafe, in downtown Omaha. The Flatiron Hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.

Drawing upon the original Flatiron Building in New York City, Augustus F. Kountze, a local banker and landowner, had the building erected as commercial and office space in 1912. The building, designed in the Georgian Revival style, is one of Omaha's most distinctive buildings. It has four-stories with a circular tower at the point of the triangle, and is highlighted by decorative brickwork. There is limestone trim around the entire building, with a brown brick exterior on the whole building.

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Walking Tours in Omaha, Nebraska

Create Your Own Walk in Omaha

Create Your Own Walk in Omaha

Creating your own self-guided walk in Omaha is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Places of Worship in Omaha

Places of Worship in Omaha

Omaha is known as one of the cities with the most impressive and interesting churches, which are situated in downtown Omaha. The religious sites will help you to understand the city’s architecture, its religious history and even the way in which parishes were built. Take this tour to discover Omaha’s most significant religious sites.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.1 km
Omaha Museums and Art Galleries Tour

Omaha Museums and Art Galleries Tour

Omaha is the largest city in the State of Nebraska. The city has many preserved old buildings, some of them museums. During this tour you will visit some of the most interesting museums and art galleries in the city. You will get acquainted with the history and art of the city and also will get to see some of the most beautiful works of art in the world.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km
Omaha Historic Florence Walk

Omaha Historic Florence Walk

Florence is the oldest community in Omaha; it is the place where the first structures and buildings in the State of Nebraska were built. The community has many sites of historical value. The first inhabitants of Florence were the Mormons who founded Winter Quarters and Cutler's Park. Take this tour to visit some of the most important places in Florence.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 km
Omaha Landmarks Part 2

Omaha Landmarks Part 2

This is a second landmark tour in Omaha, which contains some more interesting places that are definitely worth seeing. One of the most interesting places to visit along this tour is the Heartland of America Park, so make sure to make the most of it.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska. Known for its pioneer history, museums and cultural centers Omaha is home to nationally and regionally significant landmarks. The city has more than a dozen historic districts, interesting commercial, religious and educational sights which attract a lot of tourists to Omaha City.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 km