Downtown Revitalization: Omaha

March 6, 2014 19 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Metro Jacksonville takes a visit to one of the more successful downtown revitalization scenes in the country: Omaha, Nebraska.

Downtown Omaha

Downtown Omaha is the central business, government and social core of the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area. The boundaries are 20th Street on the west to the Missouri River on the east and the centerline of Leavenworth Street on the south to the centerline of Chicago Street on the north, also including the CenturyLink Center Omaha. Downtown sits on the Missouri River, with commanding views from the tallest skyscrapers.

Dating almost to the city's inception, downtown has been a popular location for the headquarters of a variety of companies. The Union Pacific Railroad has been headquartered in Omaha since its establishment in 1862. Once the location of 24 historical warehouses, Jobbers Canyon Historic District was the site of many import and export businesses necessary for the settlement and development of the American West. Today dozens of companies have their national and regional headquarters in downtown Omaha.

The area is home to more than 30 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, along with two historic districts. Downtown Omaha was also the site of the Jobbers Canyon Historic District, all 24 buildings of which were demolished in 1989, representing the largest single loss of buildings to date from the National Register.










More in Common Then You Know It

Tallest Building:

Jacksonville: Bank of America Tower - 617 feet
Omaha: One First National Center - 634 feet

Downtown River:

Jacksonville: St. Johns River
Omaha: Missouri River

19th Century Red Light Districts:

Jacksonville: The Row (more than 60 brothels)
Omaha: The Burnt District (more than 100 brothels and 1,600 sex workers)

The existence of prostitution on this scale was justified by the Christian community as a necessary evil; it was thought the district would help protect "good" women from sexual assault like a sewer that drains moral impurity from the Christian world.

The impact of these areas contributed to heavy corruption, terrible abuse of women and children, abortions, suicides, and 30% of the men in the city of Omaha had a sexually transmitted disease. These areas existed for over 20 years before they were successfully shut down.

Railroad Headquarters in Downtown:

Jacksonville: CSX Transportation
Omaha: Union Pacific

Urban Renewal Loss:

Jacksonville: LaVilla (Florida's first urban African-American District)
Omaha: Jobbers Canyon (largest National Register Historic District to be demolished)

Environmental Cleanup and Reuse:

Jacksonville: 44-acre Jacksonville Shipyards site waiting for a new use.
Omaha: 23-acre ASARCO smeltering plant site became a 23-acre riverfront park.

 PREV 1 2 3 4 5 NEXT