FLORENCE BOULEVARD NEIGHBORHOOD TOUR Sunday, October 5, 2014 Noon – 5:00 p.m.
Sponsored by AIA Omaha and a Turnback Tax North Omaha Historical grant
Friendly, local, delicious • Lunch & Dinner from 11am / Full bar • Party room & catering • Sunday Brunch 10am-2pm 9229 Mormon Bridge Plaza Omaha, NE 68152 402-884-2288 TusseysCasualGrill.com
TOUR RULES & GUIDELINES . Admission is by ticket only, no exceptions. . Be aware that all of the tour sites are not ADA accessible. Needs of those with mobility impairments will be accommodated within the physical limits of the buildings and the availability of tour volunteers to provide assistance. . Do not block driveways or alleyways. . Respect the ownerâ€™s property. If a door is shut, do not open it. If a drawer is closed, do not open it. . No smoking, eating or drinking in any of the properties. . No photography, unless approved by the homeowner. . No pets. . Only use restrooms in specified locations. Restrooms for patrons are available at the Miller Park Pavilion. . Booties may be required to be worn in some of the tour locations. In consideration of the permission granted the tour participant to enter the home and premises on the tour, the tour participant hereby agrees to enter the tour homes and premises at his or her own risk and hereby releases the respective property owner and Restoration Exchange Omaha from any and all claims or causes of action due to injury to person or property that may arise during the tour. Architects can earn five AIA CEUs for signing in at all sites.
TOUR SITES: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
4802 Florence Boulevard 4811 Florence Boulevard 4823 Florence Boulevard 6129 Florence Boulevard 6140 Florence Boulevard 6141 Florence Boulevard 6531 Florence Boulevard 6532 Florence Boulevard Miller Park Pavilion
NEARBY SITES LISTED AS OMAHA LANDMARKS, ON THE NATIONAL REGISTER, OR ARE CONTRIBUTING STRUCTURES WORTHY OF LANDMARK STATUS THAT YOU CAN DRIVE BY: A B C D E F G H I J
Pearl Memorial Methodist Church - 2319 Ogden Street Minne Lusa Boulevard Henry B. Neef House - 2884 Iowa Street Mt. Olive Lutheran - 7301 North 28th Street The Keirle House - 3017 Mormon Street Notre Dame Academy - 3501 State Street Mormon Bridge Toll House - 3010 Willit Street Bank of Florence - 8502 North 30th Street The Florence Depot - 9000 North 30th Street The Florence Mill - 9102 North 30th Street
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BIKE & LANDMARK MAP
LANDMARK IMMEDIATE ROUTE (4 MILES)
ALTERNATIVE ROUTE (11 MILES)
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HISTORIC FLORENCE BOULEVARD Stakes Set in 1892 Florence Boulevard, a key component of the city’s historic park and boulevard system, dates back to 1892. After three years of planning and a number of false starts, Omaha’s city engineer set the stakes for Florence Boulevard on October 10 of that year. The event marked the beginning of the city’s boulevard system. The initial stretch of parkway was constructed north from Ames Avenue to near Parker Tract (later known as Miller Park). In 1897, the section of the boulevard along 19th and 20th streets between Chicago Street and Ames Avenue was placed under the jurisdiction of the Park Commissioners. This roadway was improved through the addition of land and landscaping, but the existing linear road configuration wasn’t altered. In 1912, it was reported that Florence Boulevard was the first roadway in Omaha to be fully lit with electric lamps.
The Prettiest Mile Following the bluff line along the Missouri River, Florence Boulevard was laid out to provide scenic views of the river valley. Immediately upon its opening, the route became popular for recreational drives - first by carriage and bicycle, then later by automobile. Because of its scenic, level course and the fact that the roadbed was not broken up by street railway track, the boulevard was described as “the only suitable driveway in the city” in 1895. Later, lined by tall sycamores and attractive homes, a length of Florence Boulevard near Miller Park became known as “The Prettiest Mile.” Today, many of the families who live along the boulevard are doing their part to preserve The Prettiest Mile.
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4802 FLORENCE BOULEVARD GILLETTE HOME BUILT: CIRCA 1907 ��� PAST OWNER THOMAS HAZEN’S SON, EDDIE, WAS A BASEBALL PLAYER IN THE MAJOR LEAGUES DURING THE 1920S. IT’S SAID THAT EDDIE LEARNED TO PLAY BASEBALL ON OMAHA’S SANDLOTS.
ARCHITECTURAL STYLE This Prairie style home with Craftsman details features a gabled roof with exposed roof rafter tails and triangular knee braces at the roof and wall junction. It’s made of a white or grey pressed brick and has a small centered front porch with typical square porch support. There is some debate regarding the construction date of the home. If it were built in 1900, it would be a very early example of these Prairie and Craftsman details that were common from 1905 to 1930. It’s likely that the home was built around 1907. The current owner has furnished the home with antique items from his grandmother. A 1919 Singer sewing machine that’s housed in a beautiful case serves as a table in the entry.
HISTORY The property was originally owned by Sarah Octa Patrick, an early Omaha pioneer. Soon after their arrival in Omaha in 1855, Patrick and her husband moved north of the city and established their home on land Mr. Patrick farmed until his death in 1882. It’s suggested that Charles C. Parmele, a banker who was active in local and state politics, was the original home owner, although there are no records that suggest he ever lived there. In 1905, George T. Morton purchased the property from Parmele. Morton ran for a seat in the House of Representatives in 1904. He sold the lot to William P. and Annie Mumaugh in 1907. The Mumaughs likely built the home around 1907 and were the original owners.
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One of the home’s subsequent owners was Thomas Hazen, a prominent Omaha real estate dealer. His son, Eddie, was a baseball player and played in the major leagues during the 1920s. It’s said that Eddie learned to play baseball on Omaha’s sandlots.
IMPROVEMENTS The current owner repainted the interior, refinished the wood floors, resurfaced and painted the front porch and steps, and improved the existing carriage house. He replaced all of the home’s windows, the roof, the gutters and the HVAC units. An in-ground pool and an irrigation system was added. The plumbing has been upgraded, and the electrical upgrading is still in progress.
4811 FLORENCE BOULEVARD JOHN HOME BUILT: 1924 ��� PAST HOME OWNER, ARLEE A. ANDRE, IS RESPONSIBLE FOR CREATING THE ORIGINAL RECIPES FOR THE YELLOW, WHITE, CHOCOLATE, AND ANGEL FOOD DUNCAN HINES CAKE MIXES.
ARCHITECTURAL STYLE This brick eclectic style Colonial Revival home features a gabled roof, three small arched top dormers and a side porch. As is common with Colonial Revival homes, there is a small portico that forms a semicircle entry porch supported by four rounded columns. The original porch roof had a balustrade - also in a semicircle - that matched the upper and lower balustrade on the attached side of the porch. This home has segmental unbroken pediments above each first-story window that do not protrude. This type of architecture was common from 1880 to 1955. Most examples take characteristics from original Colonial homes from a much earlier period. The current owners have been told the Italianate tile on the fireplace surround is one of a kind. It’s also believed that Rome Miller, who built the Rome Hotel in downtown Omaha as well as his own home at 4823 Fontenelle Boulevard, used to keep his horses in the stable that’s still on the property.
HISTORY As early as the 1870s, the land where 4811 Florence Boulevard sits was owned by John I. Redick, a land speculator and one of Omaha’s first lawyers. In 1921, Charles W. and Lyda B. Martin — along with J.H. Weidenfeller — platted nine lots in this area. In 1924, they built 4811 Florence Boulevard. The Martins lived in the home for four years before selling it to the Murray E. Randall family in 1928. Subsequent . 10 .
owners included Cecil F. Simmons, Arlee A. Andre, Noel C. Fuglei and David McCord. Andre, a cereal chemist for Nebraska Consolidated Mills in Omaha, is known for creating the original recipes for the yellow, white, chocolate and angel food Duncan Hines cake mixes.
IMPROVEMENTS The current owners removed seven layers of wallpaper from the dining room and stair area, replaced all 34 of the homeâ€™s windows and added a built-in bookshelf to the dining room. Outside, they added a large vegetable garden and a series of perennial gardens on the propertyâ€™s south side. A former owner whose hobby is woodworking added cabinets to the living room. The woodwork that had been painted previously has been given a new faux wood finish by the current owners.
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4823 FLORENCE BOULEVARD MOSELY HOME BUILT: 1898 ��� THIS HOME ONCE SERVED AS THE WA-KA-NA SANATORIUM AND LABRATORY, A FACILITY THAT PROVIDED ALTERNATIVE MEDICINAL TREATMENTS TO RESIDENTS.
ARCHITECTURAL STYLE This is a late example of the Gothic Revival form. It features a steep, pitched side gabled roof with paired cross gables (only about five percent of Gothic Revival homes are of the paired cross gable variety). The home features a full-length porch that at one time likely included flattened gothic arches supporting the roof. The pitched roof of the porch is more typical of a Colonial Revival home. All of the home’s woodwork, stairs, fireplace and ceiling beams are original. A set of granite steps leading from the back of the property down to the river is said to exist, but the current homeowner has not found them as of yet.
HISTORY As early as the 1870s, this property was owned by John I. Redick, a land speculator and one of Omaha’s first lawyers. In 1898, Rome Miller, the proprietor of Omaha’s Rome Hotel, built this home on the corner of Grand Avenue and Florence Boulevard. The rest of the area south was not developed until Charles W. and Lyda B. Martin, along with J.H Weidenfeller -- who co-owned Martin & Co., a very successful real estate and insurance business at the time -- platted nine lots there in 1921. Charles and Lyda lived in the Rome Miller home, in the years before they platted the Lyda B. Martin’s Addition. In 1924, Lysla Abbott, a local attorney, purchased the home and lived there until 1928. Abbott was well known at the turn of the century regarding local controversies surrounding gambling establishments in Omaha – at times involving the governor. . 12 .
The home changed hands several times before it was purchased in 1936 to serve as the new home of the Waka-na sanatorium and laboratory, a facility that provided alternative medicinal treatments to residents.
IMPROVEMENTS The kitchen has been gutted and replaced with new cabinets, granite countertops, new appliances and an island. All of the shag carpeting on the main floor was removed, and the flooring underneath was refinished. The homeâ€™s 4.5 bathrooms have been updated, and seven bedrooms spread out over three floors have been painted or decorated. The front porch area was replaced, and its renovation continues. A closet in the dining room is being replaced with a custom-built cabinet/breakfront to reflect what was originally there.
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6129 FLORENCE BOULEVARD WOOD HOME BUILT: CIRCA 1914 ��� IT IS RUMORED THIS HOME IS ONE OF SEVERAL ON THE BOULEVARD THAT HAD CONNECTIONS TO BOOTLEGGING. A DOOR IN THE BASEMENT OF THIS HOME ONCE OPENED ONTO A TUNNEL LEADING TOWARD THE RIVER.
ARCHITECTURAL STYLE This brick Prairie style home features a low-pitched hipped roof and an asymmetrical layout with three gabled dormers on the third floor. It has a distinct porte cochere over the driveway with matching square support columns for the front porch. The roof-to-wall junction has a wide eave overhang that is boxed.
HISTORY This property was originally owned by James Monroe Parker, one of the businessmen who helped found the town of Florence. Laura D. Cackley and her husband, Edward, purchased the property at 6129 Florence Boulevard in 1911 and are said to have built the home around 1914. Edward owned Cackley Bros., a successful wine and liquor house located on North 16th Street. One of the home’s subsequent owners, Edward Burke, was a retired World War I lieutenant, a one-time president of the Omaha School Board and a Democratic congressman and senator. When Edward and his wife, Netti, decided to relocate to west Omaha in 1937, a newspaper ad seeking to sell the property began with the following line: “Get me an offer on my Omaha home,” wired Senator Burke, “as it is too large for my present needs.” The home is one of several on the boulevard that is said to have had connections to bootlegging. A door in the basement opened onto a tunnel that led toward the river,
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which ran directly behind the home. Earlier Lewis and Clark maps show the property as a campground area. Florence Lake, which has been filled in, once sat behind the home to the east.
IMPROVEMENTS When the current owner’s son — who was in the military — was killed, he needed a project to help him work through his grief and purchased this fixer-upper. Prior to his purchase, the property served as a home for foster children. All rooms and areas have been lovingly renovated or updated. Sixtyplus windows, the roof and all the plumbing and electrical have been replaced. Additionally, an updated kitchen was installed and the floors were refinished.
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6140 FLORENCE BOULEVARD GUSTFASON/ GNADER HOME BUILT: CIRCA 1912 ��� THIS HOME IS RUMORED TO BE HAUNTED BY THE GHOST OF A YOUNG GIRL WHO DIED ON THE PROPERTY.
ARCHITECTURAL STYLE This Craftsman style American foursquare home features a front-gabled, moderately-pitched roof. Its full-width front porch is supported by square Craftsman columns and a shed roof, which mimics a small shed roof over the secondstory windows. Craftsman details include triangular knee braces at the roof and wall junction and exposed rafter tails under the overhanging open eaves.
HISTORY This property was originally owned by James Monroe Parker, one of the businessmen who helped found the town of Florence. In 1911, the land was sold to Alva M. Smith, owner of the Smith-Lockwood Manufacturing Co. Douglas County Assessor records show the home was built in 1912, but an examination of city directories suggests that it may have been built slightly later than that. The Smith-Lockwood company manufactured “men’s furnishings of quality” as well as belts, suspenders and ties. Other owners of 6140 Florence Boulevard included Austin L. Vickery - a local banker for United States National Bank, and William L. Henderson - a local amateur golfer who was involved in many local tournaments. Rumor has it that the ghost of a young girl who died there still lingers.
IMPROVEMENTS The current owner removed the carriage house and original garage and replaced them with a more functional garage . 16 .
and workshop. The back porch was extended and wraps around the home to the south. Salvaged bricks from the original Florence Boulevard were used to build an extended patio west of the porch area. The front porch was repaired and the flooring refinished. Inside, the kitchen was renovated and extended, and a pass through to the dining area was added. The dining room floor, which had dropped more than six inches, was raised. A bleached wood was used to cover ceiling plaster that could not be repaired, and the wood ceiling beams were replaced. The upstairs bath was remodeled, and a second bath was added to the refinished basement. Electrical and plumbing updates were also completed.
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6141 FLORENCE BOULEVARD BRENNER HOME BUILT: CIRCA 1915 ��� POLITICAL MOB BOSS, THOMAS DENNISON, ONCE OWNED THIS HOME. DENNISON IS CONNECTED TO THE RACE RIOT OF 1919.
ARCHITECTURAL STYLE This brick home is an example of the Prairie style with a low-pitched hipped roof and a symmetrical layout with three hipped dormers on the third floor. It features a porte cochere with a distinct arched opening that’s reflected in the entryway and porch openings. These arched openings are reflective of the Mission style, which is also seen in the red roof tiles. The roof-to-wall junction has a wide eave overhang that is boxed.
HISTORY This property was originally owned by James Monroe Parker, one of the businessmen who helped found the town of Florence. It was purchased by Fred M. and Nella H. Crane in 1914, who built the home around 1915. The Cranes lived there for five years before it was purchased by Thomas Dennison, also known as the “Old Grey Wolf.” Dennison was a political mob boss who had strong connections to the government, police and various businessmen that enabled him to operate outside the law. He is connected to the Race Riot of 1919, which led to the lynching of Will Brown at the Omaha Courthouse. Many acts of theft and vandalism occurred at the home during Dennison’s occupancy until 1922. Rumor has it that two murders took place on the premises, but no written evidence to support this claim could be found. The Cranes repurchased the house in 1922 and lived there until 1928, when they sold it to their daughter-in-law. She lived in the home until she sold it to the Church of the . 18 .
Blessed Sacrament in about 1941, at which point it served as a parsonage for the congregationâ€™s pastors.
IMPROVEMENTS The current owners have named their home â€œThe Rectoryâ€? as a nod to the religious part of its past. The original wood floors are intact under new carpet, new heating and air units were added, and the kitchen was renovated. When a cabinet on the west wall was removed, a set of stairs leading to the second floor was uncovered. A wall at the main stair was removed to allow natural light from the library and the stair to fill the entry hall. The front room fireplace mantel was rebuilt, and the plaster walls have been repaired or replaced with drywall and painted.
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6531 FLORENCE BOULEVARD RUYF HOME BUILT: 1915 ��� THE CURRENT OWNER GREW UP IN IN THIS HOUSE, HER HUSBAND PROPOSED TO HER IN ITS FRONT ROOM, AND HER WEDDING WAS HELD IN ITS SIDE YARD.
ARCHITECTURAL STYLE This American Foursquare or Prairie Box style home features many Craftsman style elements common from 1905 to 1930. It has a hipped roof with gabled dormers and is sided with stucco. A full-length front porch with a gable over the entryway has been enclosed and is supported with common square columns. The open floor plan, second-floor bedrooms and Craftsman style woodwork are typical of the Prairie Foursquare style. The home’s woodwork and fireplace surround are original, unpainted and in beautiful condition. The upstairs bath features the original pedestal base cast iron tub, and all the doors have the original glass doorknobs.
HISTORY This property was originally owned by James Monroe Parker, one of the businessmen who helped found the town of Florence. It changed hands several times and was eventually sold to Augusta Ernestine Harnsberger, a resident of Ashland, Nebraska and member of one of that community’s most prominent families at the time. She married F. Arthur Jones in 1914. The couple was likely the builder and original owner of the home, although records indicate they didn’t live there. The Jones family sold the home in 1921, and the property changed hands frequently until 1965, when the current owner’s father purchased it. The current owner grew up in
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the home, her husband proposed to her in its front room, and her wedding was held in its side yard. Her wedding dress, now on display in the front room, serves as a reminder of that special day.
IMPROVEMENTS The current owners uncovered the wood floors in the kitchen, added a downstairs bath where the pantry used to be, removed 1970s accents from throughout the house, and added antique furniture that was stored in the attic as well as pieces from an old neighborhood friendâ€™s estate. They also found the original lighting fixtures in the attic and have reinstalled them in the living and dining rooms. Restoration Exchange Omaha helped the couple locate vintage bulbs for the fixtures. A kitchen remodel is first on the list of projects they hope to complete in the future.
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6532 FLORENCE BOULEVARD WESTBROOK HOME BUILT: 1916-1917 ��� PAST OWNER, DR. ALVA SHERMAN PINTO CAME TO OMAHA IN 1892 TO STUDY AT CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY. IN 1921 HE WAS NAMED OMAHA’S HEALTH COMMISSIONER .
ARCHITECTURAL STYLE This Craftsman American Foursquare home features a low-pitched hipped roof with a center ridge, one gabled dormer on the front and low overhanging boxed eaves with exposed roof beams at the roof and wall junction. A full-width front porch is supported by square Craftsman columns. The home’s coffered ceiling and woodwork are original and in superior condition. The fireplace is the focus of the living room, and original French doors close off the main floor sunroom. One of the owners was a bricklayer, and this skill is reflected in the stonework in the backyard and patio area. A full sidewalk leads from the home’s back door to the back door of its neighbor to the north.
HISTORY The property at 6532 Florence Boulevard was originally owned by James Monroe Parker, who arrived in the area with his banking partners in the early 1850s to help establish the town of Florence. They built the Bank of Florence ‒ one of the oldest remaining structures in present-day Omaha ‒in 1856, and Parker became its first president, living on the bank’s second floor. The 6532 Florence Boulevard property switched hands several times before coming into the possession of George Ross, who built the home and completed it in the mid-teens. One of the home’s most interesting owners, Dr. Alva Sherman Pinto, came to Omaha in 1892 to study at Creighton University. Dr. Pinto was named as Omaha’s . 22 .
health commissioner in 1921 and proclaimed that Omaha was â€œthe cleanest city on the map.â€? He was specifically worried about rats and flies and the health problems they caused. A story in a 1926 issue of the Omaha WorldHerald suggests that Dr. Pinto purposely allowed himself to be bitten by a mosquito in an experiment to help him understand the cause of yellow fever.
IMPROVEMENTS The current owner removed dated wallpaper and painted the walls in contemporary colors. In the kitchen, he left the unique custom cabinets untouched but added a backsplash and new countertops. In the basement, the wood paneling was painted with a muted green color.
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2707 REDICK AVENUE MILLER PARK PAVILION BUILT: 1908 ��� FROM 1897-1898, MORE THAN 35,000 TREES WERE PLANTED IN THE PARK. IT’S SAID DR. GEORGE L. MILLER WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR PLANTING BIRCH TREES ALONG THE PARK’S CURVING DRIVES.
Early on in Omaha’s history, city leaders understood the connection between vibrant, urban green space and the community’s future prosperity. A Parks Commission was formed that allowed the city to purchase and develop land as parks. Dr. George L. Miller, a prominent land owner, founder of the Omaha Herald and Miller Park’s namesake, served as the commission’s first president. During the late 19th century, James M. Parker – a founder of the Florence Bank – owned a large tract of land just south of Florence. This area, which became known as the Parker Estate, was seen as an ideal area for new residential developments. In 1891, the city purchased the land for Miller Park for $75,000. Unlike the Fontenelle and Riverview park sites, which were purchased for their scenic beauty, the 78-acre tract consisted of a level cornfield cut by several ravines. Because the site offered no commanding views or other interesting natural attributes, some city officials objected to the purchase. These objections were overruled for a number of reasons, including the property’s location near the Florence Boulevard route and the prospect of low improvement costs. The prominent landscape architect H.W.S. Cleveland, hired by the Park Commission to design a system of parks and boulevards throughout the community, prepared the park’s design. In 1893 and 1894, the land was leveled. A lagoon with a small peninsula was constructed near the center of the park site, close to what would become the park’s pavilion. Between 1897 and 1898, more than 35,000 trees were planted in the park. It’s said that Dr. Miller was . 24 .
responsible for planting birch trees along the park’s curving drives. The Miller Park Pavilion was built in 1908. The H-shaped building’s wide porch facing eastward provides a view of the park’s lagoon. Improvements to the park continued into the second decade of the 20th century with the design of a golf course within the park site. The nine-hole course, laid out in 1912, features wide fairways lined with tall trees. It was renamed Steve Hogan Golf Course in 2009. Mr. Hogan served as manager of the course from 1990 until he passed away in November of 2008. He created Hogan’s Junior Golf Heroes Program, which positively influenced numerous children.
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Formed in July 2013 through the merger of Landmarks Inc., Omaha Urban Neighborhoods and Restore Omaha, Restoration Exchange Omaha is a 501 (c) 3 organization that seeks to become the premier preservation force dedicated to educating and motivating the local community to restore, preserve and rehabilitate older homes, properties and districts. Through productive partnerships and creative alliances, Restoration Exchange Omaha’s strategy is to: · Educate through tours, the Restore Omaha Conference, hands-on workshops and lectures. · Advocate by nominating and saving homes, buildings and historic districts, as well as working closely with local and state government officials, Landmark Commission(s) and the public to create laws and policies that favor historic preservation. · Invigorate by being a resource for those wanting to redo their older property through publications and an online resource directory.
Join us! Visit restorationexchange.org or e-mail us at email@example.com to find out how you can get involved as a member, a donor or as a volunteer.
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THANK YOU FOR HELPING MAKING THE TOUR POSSIBLE DONORS Turnback Tax North Omaha Historical Grant AIA Omaha
RDG Planning & Design
Minne Lusa House – Beth Richards and Sharon Olson
VOLUNTEERS Nicole Malone – Tour Chair Judy Alderman
Wayne Andersen Adam Andrews Teresa Gleason Jackie Hoyt
Martin Janousek Sharon Olson Deb Peterson
Beth Richards Bill Stott
UNO Students – Michael Helgerson, Casey Hughes and Tiffany Kelly
Plus those who helped staff the homes today.
PHOTOGRAPHY UNL Student John Ficenec
And especially to our home owners for sharing their restored properties with us!
OUR 2015 FALL NEIGHBORHOOD TOUR SITE Hanscom Park
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COMING FEBRUARY/ MARCH 2015 FEATURING
BERNICE RADLE & JASON WILSON, BUFFALO, NEW YORK URBAN PLANNERS. PRESERVATIONISTS. DEVELOPERS.
Published on Oct 6, 2014
Featuring the history and images of eight homes along "Omaha Prettiest Mile" as well as information on Miller Park's Pavilion and the surro...