OMAHA Architecture

General discussion on all things Omaha.

Moderators: Coyote, Omaha Cowboy, Brad, nebugeater

User avatar
RockHarbor
Human Relations
Posts: 879
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 7:42 am
Location: Omaha

OMAHA Architecture

Postby RockHarbor » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:39 am

This thread is simply to discuss Omaha architecture – from the striking skyscraper downtown, to the historic & stylish apartment block in Midtown, to the warm, inviting strip mall in the suburb. What's your favorites in this town? What aren't your favorites? I love discussing architecture & design, and I don’t feel there is enough discussion about this city’s architecture. This is the perfect place for it, I guess. So, I’ll start – of course.

Of course, I desire to see Omaha’s modern architecture quality continue to increase. As far as modern, downtown buildings go, our 1969 Woodmen Tower & 1972 First National Bank are nice, clean examples of “International Style” architecture from that era. The Woodmen Tower has become an iconic & loved tower in the region, which is unusual for a mere box. Yet, I feel the closest modern building to actually being “notable” in Omaha is our Tower at First National Center (Leo A. Daly, 2001).

When the 1200 Landmark Center was first announced & built in 1989 (or so), I was very ecstatic about its blue glass & top w/ some flair. However, I don’t favor it the same nowadays, with a broader sense of architecture & deeper sense of design. Over the last few days, I’ve been contemplating on how to best explain what I feel. I’ve had great discussion on the “1200 Landmark Center” thread. But, I’ve said enough there, and the convo seems over. Plus, I’ve been thinking how Google Earth images can help me w/ further clarity. So, I’ve put some slides together labeled with letters. Here’s a step-by-step explanation of why you won’t hear/see me applauding our 1200 Landmark Center, although I still like the building in some ways. These are the aspects I now think about, when I look at it.

A) The 1200 Landmark Center on our skyline. It works fine in Omaha. Architecturally, most other major buildings around it are simple as well.

B) The 1200 Landmark Center inserted into Downtown Sioux Falls. It works even better, and is even more exciting in that town, imo. Being a smaller city, the buildings are shorter & simpler than Omaha’s. So, the tower is even more a “stand out.”

C) The building always gives me a slight feel of Gothic design (although I don’t feel it is meant to be Gothic -- so therefore, it feels meaningless to me). In Gothic design, arched windows & doorways are lined-up and evenly-spaced from each other. In modern design reflecting Gothic, triangular-peaked windows often replace the arches – as seen on this new church. Therefore, I feel it is 100% understandable the 1200 Landmark Center's top gives me an impression of modern Gothic design.

D) I decided to compare our 1200 Landmark Center with two notable buildings that have historic/ Gothic influences: Houston’s 1982 Republic Bank (left) and Pittsburgh’s PPG Place (right). See the quality in design compared to our simplistic building? I’ll explain the red circles in a moment.

E) Our 1200 Landmark Center compared with two Gothic-influenced skyscrapers that are not notable buildings, yet are still noticeably higher quality in design: St. Louis’s Metro Square (left) and Tampa’s tallest skyscraper (right). See the difference between Omaha’s building & the other skyscrapers?

F) Looking at the building, being a visualizer, I’ve been aware for a long time that the taller you stretch the tower, the more ridiculous & silly that top gets. Those 4 triangles just cannot work on a taller, glass box tower. They only work the shorter the building, imo.

G) The 1200 Landmark Center gives me somewhat an impression that it is incomplete being a solo tower, that it needs matching “sister” buildings to compliment it. It is the same feeling I would have if Houston’s building was built w/ one gabled section (see red circle, slide D), or if Pittsburgh’s PPG complex had the circled building standing alone (see red circle, slide D). It would feel incomplete & odd. The Landmark Center's adjoining data center relieves some of that pressure, imo. Still, I would like the 1200 Landmark Center design better with complimentary, matching structures echoing those same roof lines. (They wouldn't all fit downtown on a city block, but as a complex in the suburbs, for example.)

H) Better yet, I would like that particular roof design better on a bit shorter, longer buildings. That would feel better to me & make more sense design-wise. Not only do Gothic buildings usually have lower heights & greater lengths, they also have a line of arches/triangles that are usually greater than a count of four. Apart from Gothic-feeling peaks, even roof lines that zigzag (such as on schools from the 60’s, or Crossroads Mall from the 60’s) are seen on shorter, longer buildings.

Many of you are happy with Omaha's Landmark Center, and that is great. Understandable: It’s a very nice office building, and some of the nicest office space in Downtown Omaha. But, that’s why I’m not a huge fan of it nowadays… But, architecture is a form of art, and like art, it is objective.
Attachments
OmahaLandmarkCenter.jpg
OmahaLandmarkCenter.jpg (224.65 KiB) Viewed 1301 times
SouixFallsskyline.jpg
SouixFallsskyline.jpg (190.74 KiB) Viewed 1301 times
ModernGothic.jpg
ModernGothic.jpg (195.62 KiB) Viewed 1301 times
Last edited by RockHarbor on Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:17 am, edited 15 times in total.
"Crossroads Village" down the street from "Aksarben Village?" Does "Crossroads" have any meaning to people 20 and under? "Dodge At 72nd" is a type name I like better, drawing from the excitement of the iconic, special Omaha intersection. My $.02.

User avatar
RockHarbor
Human Relations
Posts: 879
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 7:42 am
Location: Omaha

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby RockHarbor » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:45 am

More files...
Attachments
HoustonOmahaPittsburgh.jpg
HoustonOmahaPittsburgh.jpg (168.25 KiB) Viewed 1301 times
StLouisOmahaTampa.jpg
StLouisOmahaTampa.jpg (167.75 KiB) Viewed 1301 times
towerstretched.jpg
towerstretched.jpg (161.78 KiB) Viewed 1301 times
"Crossroads Village" down the street from "Aksarben Village?" Does "Crossroads" have any meaning to people 20 and under? "Dodge At 72nd" is a type name I like better, drawing from the excitement of the iconic, special Omaha intersection. My $.02.

User avatar
RockHarbor
Human Relations
Posts: 879
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 7:42 am
Location: Omaha

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby RockHarbor » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:46 am

Last file... Just a quick, vague impression...
Attachments
ComplexExamples_edited-1.jpg
ComplexExamples_edited-1.jpg (173.25 KiB) Viewed 1301 times
Last edited by RockHarbor on Sat Feb 18, 2017 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Crossroads Village" down the street from "Aksarben Village?" Does "Crossroads" have any meaning to people 20 and under? "Dodge At 72nd" is a type name I like better, drawing from the excitement of the iconic, special Omaha intersection. My $.02.

User avatar
PotatoeEatsFish
Library Board
Posts: 416
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:59 pm

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby PotatoeEatsFish » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:31 am

My favorite buildings in Omaha are:
-Oprpheum Tower
-The one with the green roof next to the Orpheum
-Landmark Center
-UP Center
-Central High
-Mutual of Omaha
-The Blackstone Hotel

My least favorites:
-The Woodmen.
I got that Milf $

User avatar
RockHarbor
Human Relations
Posts: 879
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 7:42 am
Location: Omaha

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby RockHarbor » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:27 pm

PotatoeEatsFish wrote:My favorite buildings in Omaha are:
-Oprpheum Tower
-The one with the green roof next to the Orpheum
-Landmark Center
-UP Center
-Central High
-Mutual of Omaha
-The Blackstone Hotel

My least favorites:
-The Woodmen.


Interesting, hearing your take...

I see eye-to-eye with many buildings on your list. I love any of Omaha's (or any city's) historic buildings -- especially the two historic banks, one red and one white, with the twin, blocky sections seen on the fronts. The Orpheum Tower is beautiful. Boy, that Blackstone Hotel -- what a unique historic beauty. In fact, I think the adjacent Keiwit building exterior remodel was inspired, because it has the vertical sections that are white on the facade, too.

The Mutual of Omaha building: It is so unusual, I think, that we have an Art Deco building with large black, vertical slabs incorporated into it -- almost like the monolith on 2001. It works, though. Who doesn't like it? It's exciting when you pull into town, seeing that prolific building on a hill to the west.

The UP building: I like it in many ways -- partly because the green "high-tech cube" was popular for awhile, and Omaha got one. I slightly have a beef with the little, off-center cage at the top. It also feels a little odd to me, like this "gigantic cube" was plopped in our city's downtown. But, it isn't too out of proportion, and I feel it still works fine. I do like it overall -- especially the touch of green glass downtown.

Now, do you not like the Woodmen simply because you're not a fan of "International Style" architecture in general? Do boxy skyscrapers seem too old-looking & dull to you? Or, is it you just don't like the Woodmen Tower itself? Perhaps it is the lettering on it? (I have to say, I think that lettering helped make the tower iconic in the region, but I don't ever see lettering like that on other skyscrapers. I don't think it is very tasteful. In fact, when I see the Omaha skyline used in advertisements, and the Woodmen's lettering is erased, I like it better, I think.)

I'm a fan of International Style architecture. I'm glad almost all cities got some boxy, crisp skyscrapers in that era -- including Omaha. To me, the Woodmen's Tower beauty is appreciated when viewing base, tower, and top -- and how they all correlate. It also gave our skyline a true thrust, and the FNC Tower just continued that tradition. (Compared to some cities, like Memphis & Phoenix, Omaha really has thrust.)

Along with the Woodmen, our 1972 First National Bank is appreciated by myself more when I see the loss at Indianapolis' 1970's Indiana National Bank: http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/37794274.jpg The tower & base correlated beautifully & perfectly at one time, like they do on Omaha's buildings of that era, but now the Indiana tower's exterior is all remodeled in silvery & black glass, yet the base is left the same. It kinda clashes now, although they attempted to match the new tower with the old base in some ways. An exterior remodel almost always disappoints, imo. Therefore, I just feel, even when a skyscraper looks old & dated, you should not mess with the exterior design. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... _U.S.A.jpg

Thanks for your thoughts & input. I'm still trying to figure out the building you mentioned with the green roof next to the Orpheum. I keep thinking of green roof tile, but I can't find it on Google Earth. Is it right next to the Orpheum, or nearby? Thanks.
Attachments
Omaha11.jpg
Omaha11.jpg (201.2 KiB) Viewed 1248 times
Omaha22.jpg
Omaha22.jpg (176.21 KiB) Viewed 1248 times
Last edited by RockHarbor on Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Crossroads Village" down the street from "Aksarben Village?" Does "Crossroads" have any meaning to people 20 and under? "Dodge At 72nd" is a type name I like better, drawing from the excitement of the iconic, special Omaha intersection. My $.02.

User avatar
PotatoeEatsFish
Library Board
Posts: 416
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:59 pm

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby PotatoeEatsFish » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:45 pm

I have several problems with the woodmen. The base is too large for the size of the tower and very bland. The tower itself isn't a square, it's a rectangle which just seems odd if you see both sides. The lettering is also a big problem I have with it. I've seen pictures without the lettering and it looks a whole lot better. I actually love a lot of the international style buildings (like Old First National Tower).
I got that Milf $

User avatar
RockHarbor
Human Relations
Posts: 879
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 7:42 am
Location: Omaha

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby RockHarbor » Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:35 pm

PotatoeEatsFish wrote:I have several problems with the woodmen. The base is too large for the size of the tower and very bland. The tower itself isn't a square, it's a rectangle which just seems odd if you see both sides. The lettering is also a big problem I have with it. I've seen pictures without the lettering and it looks a whole lot better. I actually love a lot of the international style buildings (like Old First National Tower).


We see eye-to-eye on the lettering. However, if the lettering were removed, I do think something would feel strangely missing from Omaha. After all these years, it's part of the character of the city...I feel. Yet, I'm ready for a freshened-up look for Omaha -- something excitingly different. And, if they removed all the letters, and the company possibly put their circular logo at the top (on all 4 corners on each side), I would like it better.

Do you feel the base is too big because you feel it should only project out equally on all sides of the tower? I personally like the pillared, rectangular-shaped base myself, decked in white marble (from Vermont, I think), and how the tower stands to one side of it. That was common design in that era (i.e. The bank in Indiana stood at one side of the base, too.). I feel it all -- base, body, top -- compliments each other very well, personally.

I like the blocky, rectangular shape, personally -- just as I like Des Moines' rectangular Ruan Center, and Denver's Republic Plaza. I find it interesting that they allowed the skinnier side of the Woodmen to face the river. Yet, I still feel it works fine. Coming around the I-80/I-480 curve, I'm glad to see the broad side of the tower to the north.

Most International Style buildings that are black & white, that have the pin-striped vertical windows, like our Woodmen Tower, don't have the horizontal, thick band of windows wrapped around the top & bottom of the tower -- like our Woodmen Tower. That gives it extra character & personality, I think.

Not all Omahans like the Woodmen, though, and you're one of them. I understand. Interesting... I like hearing all the different opinions.

Speaking of black & white, striped older buildings, what do people think of this major building at I-80 & 'L', built in 1975? (I have plenty of personal photos of it that I can attach. Here's a quick aerial from Google Earth). It's dated, but I think it's a very likable suburban building from the 70's. From the aerial, you can see the building consists of two twin sections, yet one is set the other direction and slightly off-center from the other(almost in a 'T' shape), and bridged by a narrow section -- making it all one building. Some of the building has the bottom floor exposed, while the rest of the building is nestled in the land. The way the supports/pillars slant outward at the bottom is an architectural feature I think was smart. I overall like this building. I just wish there were more office buildings right around it.

Sometimes, Omaha surprises me. I find it surprising that big of a building was built there in the mid-70's. That's a lot of office space for the size Omaha was in 1975.
Attachments
180L.jpg
180L.jpg (204.23 KiB) Viewed 1199 times
Last edited by RockHarbor on Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Crossroads Village" down the street from "Aksarben Village?" Does "Crossroads" have any meaning to people 20 and under? "Dodge At 72nd" is a type name I like better, drawing from the excitement of the iconic, special Omaha intersection. My $.02.

User avatar
GetUrban
Parks & Recreation
Posts: 1896
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:07 pm
Location: Omaha

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby GetUrban » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:04 pm

It's funny, I consider myself very observant of architecture in general, but for my whole life I honestly never noticed that the Woodmen Tower is not square! I think my mind just finished the shape based on a quick glance and I automatically assumed it was square. Now it kind of bothers me. I've never thought the Woodmen was that great design-wise compared to some of the other buildings we have or once had, but I felt Omaha was fortunate to have the Woodmen, nonetheless. It seems almost every city over 200,000 in the whole country has a similar building from about the same era....Lincoln FNB, Topeka, Little Rock, DesMoines, New Orleans etc. The understated Woodmen reigned much too long as the dominant building in Omaha, mainly because of its relative height, more than awe-inspring architectural design.

Some of my favorite buildings in Omaha aren't necessarily the tallest:

Joslyn Museum with the Norman Foster addition
Durham Museum (Union Station)
The Omaha Building by Mckim, Mead & White
The Federal building at 15th & Dodge
The Nash Block (McKesson Robbins)
Central High
Douglas County Courthouse
Douglas County Corrections Center (don't laugh, but it always looks good on the news and is a good background building)
Holland Center
FNB Tower (just for its dominance of the skyline and detailing)
UP Building
Jobbers Canyon was my absolute favorite collection of buildings in Omaha
Old Market District
Gold Coast/Blackstone neighborhoods
Dundee/Happy Hollow/Memorial Park/Country Club neighborhoods
Missouri River Pedestrian Bridge (Bob Kerrey Bridge)

Omaha doesn't really have a lot of signature buildings by famous architects, but taken as a whole its a pretty good collection. Lincoln has us beat with Bertram Goodhue's State Capitol Building. That's right up there with the Chrysler Building or Empire State Building in NYC, in my opinion.
The Landmark Center is good, but mainly because of the detailing, if you look really close, more than it's overall impact on Omaha.

Some of the new infill buildings such as Plank in the OM and a few of the new infills in north downtown, Blackstone, and Paragon in Dundee are encouraging and notable too, because it helps re-establish strong districts with their own identity and brings back much needed urban density. That really gets me more excited than any new signature buildings, although those are nice too.
He said "They are some big, ugly red brick buildings"
...and then they were gone.

Busguy2010
Human Relations
Posts: 566
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:32 pm
Location: North Central Omaha

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby Busguy2010 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:38 am

GetUrban wrote:Joslyn Museum with the Norman Foster addition
Durham Museum (Union Station)
The Omaha Building by Mckim, Mead & White
The Federal building at 15th & Dodge
The Nash Block (McKesson Robbins)
Central High
Douglas County Courthouse
Douglas County Corrections Center (don't laugh, but it always looks good on the news and is a good background building)
Holland Center
FNB Tower (just for its dominance of the skyline and detailing)
UP Building
Jobbers Canyon was my absolute favorite collection of buildings in Omaha
Old Market District
Gold Coast/Blackstone neighborhoods
Dundee/Happy Hollow/Memorial Park/Country Club neighborhoods
Missouri River Pedestrian Bridge (Bob Kerrey Bridge)


You pretty much hit all the bases. Allow me to add:

Fort Omaha
Bemis Park (walk down Hawthorne Ave around Halloween, search Edward Zabriskie House)
Mercer Mansion
Joslyn castle
St Cecilia
South Omaha Business District
Field Club/Park Avenue/Hanscom Park

I will also note that if you are exploring neighborhoods from Google maps, a green or red terracotta roof is a sure fire sign of a high quality old home.
Last edited by Busguy2010 on Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
RockHarbor
Human Relations
Posts: 879
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 7:42 am
Location: Omaha

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby RockHarbor » Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:44 am

GetUrban: Thanks for your thoughts... I had to Google some of your buildings. Good list there...

I think when I was young, I thought the Woodmen was square, too -- if I remember right. It's understandable. It is enough of a rectangle, that I think that is noticeable when viewing the structure from an angle. But, it's not such a classic rectangle, that many people assume it is square. (To me, Denver's Republic Plaza is the perfect rectangle. Milwaukee's US Bank is a good rectangle, too.) One of the giveaways is the Woodmen lettering. It is the same on all 4 sides, yet there's quite a bit more open space on each side of the title on the broader sides. (See attached pic from Google Earth.) Yet, on the other side of the coin, I think that same lettering on all 4 sides is part of the reason people just assume the building is square.

One thing I learned on Google Earth just tonight was that the Woodmen Tower's base is not perfectly rectangular -- like I always thought it was. On the west & north side, there's a notch designed in it. I never knew that. (See attached pic.)

You really appreciate Omaha's older structures I know. Growing up, I hardly appreciated Omaha's (or any city's) historic buildings. But, now...I absolutely love them all. I wish Omaha still had some of the "historic gems" we lost. Thankfully, some are still here. But, we had some really striking ones, that we can only appreciate looking back in b&w pictures. And, of course, we all know the great loss of Jobber's Canyon -- your favorite.

Lincoln: Not only does the city proudly have work by B. Goodhue, it has a building downtown by I.M. Pei. I find that so unusual. Our capitol in Lincoln is something special... Of course, I agree.
Attachments
Woodmenbase1.jpg
Woodmenbase1.jpg (222.49 KiB) Viewed 1169 times
WoodmenTop1.jpg
WoodmenTop1.jpg (184.02 KiB) Viewed 1169 times
Last edited by RockHarbor on Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:17 am, edited 3 times in total.
"Crossroads Village" down the street from "Aksarben Village?" Does "Crossroads" have any meaning to people 20 and under? "Dodge At 72nd" is a type name I like better, drawing from the excitement of the iconic, special Omaha intersection. My $.02.

User avatar
RockHarbor
Human Relations
Posts: 879
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 7:42 am
Location: Omaha

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby RockHarbor » Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:56 am

Busguy2010 wrote:
GetUrban wrote:Joslyn Museum with the Norman Foster addition
Durham Museum (Union Station)
The Omaha Building by Mckim, Mead & White
The Federal building at 15th & Dodge
The Nash Block (McKesson Robbins)
Central High
Douglas County Courthouse
Douglas County Corrections Center (don't laugh, but it always looks good on the news and is a good background building)
Holland Center
FNB Tower (just for its dominance of the skyline and detailing)
UP Building
Jobbers Canyon was my absolute favorite collection of buildings in Omaha
Old Market District
Gold Coast/Blackstone neighborhoods
Dundee/Happy Hollow/Memorial Park/Country Club neighborhoods
Missouri River Pedestrian Bridge (Bob Kerrey Bridge)


You pretty much hit all the bases. Allow me to add:

Fort Omaha
Bemis Park (walk down Hawthorne Ave around Halloween, search Edward Zabriskie House)
Mercer Mansion
Joslyn castle
St Cecilia
South Omaha Business District
Field Club/Park Avenue/Hanscom Park


Good ones... South Omaha Business District has some great buildings. One old building has a neat architectural feature on a corner, I remember. I like how it is so colorful in that district now.

Fort Omaha: Where is that, btw? I hardly know anything (if anything) about Bemis Park or Hanscom Park. I'll have to check that out.

Joslyn Castle is always neat to see. I've been in there before. What an interior... In fact, I got some unique pictures of that place not too far back at Christmas. I live not too far from there. (It was actually skimmed by the Omaha tornado of 1913). Beyond Happy Hollow & Dundee & Field Club, one area that has some really neat old houses I've found is just north & west of 42nd & Center.
"Crossroads Village" down the street from "Aksarben Village?" Does "Crossroads" have any meaning to people 20 and under? "Dodge At 72nd" is a type name I like better, drawing from the excitement of the iconic, special Omaha intersection. My $.02.

Busguy2010
Human Relations
Posts: 566
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:32 pm
Location: North Central Omaha

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby Busguy2010 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:09 am

RockHarbor wrote:
Good ones... South Omaha Business District has some great buildings. One old building has a neat architectural feature on a corner, I remember. I like how it is so colorful in that district now.

Fort Omaha: Where is that, btw? I hardly know anything (if anything) about Bemis Park or Hanscom Park. I'll have to check that out.

Joslyn Castle is always neat to see. I've been in there before. What an interior... In fact, I got some unique pictures of that place not too far back at Christmas. I live not too far from there. (It was actually skimmed by the Omaha tornado of 1913). Beyond Happy Hollow & Dundee & Field Club, one area that has some really neat old houses I've found is just north & west of 42nd & Center.


Fort Omaha is at 30th and Fort. This is why Fort street is Fort street.

Bemis park was also hit by the tornado, being in close proximity to the Joslyn Castle.

We could go ahead and Include Minne Lusa.

Really pretty much any neighborhood established before the depression can be a great one to explore.

User avatar
RockHarbor
Human Relations
Posts: 879
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 7:42 am
Location: Omaha

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby RockHarbor » Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:26 am

Busguy2010 wrote:
RockHarbor wrote:
Good ones... South Omaha Business District has some great buildings. One old building has a neat architectural feature on a corner, I remember. I like how it is so colorful in that district now.

Fort Omaha: Where is that, btw? I hardly know anything (if anything) about Bemis Park or Hanscom Park. I'll have to check that out.

Joslyn Castle is always neat to see. I've been in there before. What an interior... In fact, I got some unique pictures of that place not too far back at Christmas. I live not too far from there. (It was actually skimmed by the Omaha tornado of 1913). Beyond Happy Hollow & Dundee & Field Club, one area that has some really neat old houses I've found is just north & west of 42nd & Center.


Fort Omaha is at 30th and Fort. This is why Fort street is Fort street.

Bemis park was also hit by the tornado, being in close proximity to the Joslyn Castle.

We could go ahead and Include Minne Lusa.

Really pretty much any neighborhood established before the depression can be a great one to explore.


Interesting! I never knew that. Ironically, I was wondering why Fort Street was called "Fort Street" not too far back. Now, what's Minne Lusa? I keep thinking "Mona Lisa" (the famous painting).

BTW, the historic neighborhood I brought up (by 42nd & Center) is called "Morton Meadows", according to Google Maps.

Speaking of neighborhood names, did you know that the orange, retro Indian Hills theater (that used to be at 87th & Dodge), was likely named that due to the adjacent neighborhood being called "Indian Hills Village?" I just noticed that on Google Maps. Because some of these older neighborhoods don't have designer entrances, you never know the name.

Speaking of that retro theater, that was unique architecture in Omaha that is sadly now gone. Here's a reminder pic: http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews ... .image.jpg And, awhile back, I was Googling it, and I learned that the same theater plan was also built in Denver & Minneapolis by the Cooper Foundation. One theater was called "Cooper Theater." Here's a pic & article: http://savedfromthepaperdrive.blogspot. ... eater.html
"Crossroads Village" down the street from "Aksarben Village?" Does "Crossroads" have any meaning to people 20 and under? "Dodge At 72nd" is a type name I like better, drawing from the excitement of the iconic, special Omaha intersection. My $.02.

User avatar
PotatoeEatsFish
Library Board
Posts: 416
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:59 pm

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby PotatoeEatsFish » Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:27 am

Image
Look at how good it is without the letters! Ugh...
In my opinion it makes a huge difference.
I would also add a garden on top of the base.

Also does anyone know whats in the top glass part?
It would be an amazing spot for an observation deck.
I got that Milf $

User avatar
GetUrban
Parks & Recreation
Posts: 1896
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:07 pm
Location: Omaha

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby GetUrban » Sat Feb 18, 2017 8:37 am

Busguy2010, Good additions. I totally forgot about St. Cecelia's. That definitely should be on the list. Joslyn Castle too.

Rock Harbor, I agree I.M. Pei's NBC bank in Lincoln is great. One of my favorite Late Modernist buildings in Nebraska. It is all exposed colored cast-in-place concrete. Very rare indeed.
Image

Pei Cobb Freed's work is amazing....such as the National Gallery in Washington D.C.
Image

Back to the Woodmen...I think I mainly didn't care enough to notice it isn't a square tower. It didn't really matter, since it basically looks the same on all four sides. Losing the letters doesn't make me like it any more or less. Bland is bland, I guess, but it's bland well done. I'm just glad we have a few other buildings competing with it on Omaha's skyline now.
He said "They are some big, ugly red brick buildings"
...and then they were gone.

User avatar
RockHarbor
Human Relations
Posts: 879
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 7:42 am
Location: Omaha

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby RockHarbor » Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:36 pm

PotatoeEatsFish wrote:Image
Look at how good it is without the letters! Ugh...
In my opinion it makes a huge difference.
I would also add a garden on top of the base.

Also does anyone know whats in the top glass part?
It would be an amazing spot for an observation deck.


I LOVE that! Thanks for posting it. I also have a b&w picture I bought in the Old Market that somebody took of the Woodmen in the early 70's (the tower standing over a brick building being torn down) w/out the lettering.

When Leo A. Daly designed the tower for Omaha, keep in mind, I'm sure he likely wasn't planning on the lettering (although I'm sure he knew that blank space at the top would be thee place for a company logo). To me, the beauty & clean lines of the tower are definitely affected by the lettering added later. That's why I'm excited when they are gone in a basic ad using the Omaha skyline. It just suddenly gives Omaha a new & fresh look, imo.

Although I'm used to the letters, and they are part of Omaha's scene & character, I think the lettering makes things look a bit quirky & chintzy -- maybe. In fact, I get this impression from those old letters (that have been there since 1975-ish), that the Woodmen's interior likely still has bathrooms with 60's tiles, and the windows all have shabby 80's drapes, and the women who have worked there from the start still have beehive hairdos. I'm kinda joking, but not ever updating your image can affect your image -- imo. I know Woodmen is a good company, though.

That garden idea on the base is neat. It would make Omaha look more "green" & hip (like Portland)! I totally would love that, too.

That top used to be a restaurant called "Top of the World." I think it went out of business in the 80's or 90's. I'm not sure what it is used for now. (That top thick band of horizontal windows is also a giveaway the tower is not perfectly square. On the broad side, there are 4 sections. On the narrower sides, there are 3 sections.)
"Crossroads Village" down the street from "Aksarben Village?" Does "Crossroads" have any meaning to people 20 and under? "Dodge At 72nd" is a type name I like better, drawing from the excitement of the iconic, special Omaha intersection. My $.02.

User avatar
RockHarbor
Human Relations
Posts: 879
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 7:42 am
Location: Omaha

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby RockHarbor » Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:12 pm

GetUrban wrote:Busguy2010, Good additions. I totally forgot about St. Cecelia's. That definitely should be on the list. Joslyn Castle too.

Rock Harbor, I agree I.M. Pei's NBC bank in Lincoln is great. One of my favorite Late Modernist buildings in Nebraska. It is all exposed colored cast-in-place concrete. Very rare indeed.
Image

Pei Cobb Freed's work is amazing....such as the National Gallery in Washington D.C.
Image

Back to the Woodmen...I think I mainly didn't care enough to notice it isn't a square tower. It didn't really matter, since it basically looks the same on all four sides. Losing the letters doesn't make me like it any more or less. Bland is bland, I guess, but it's bland well done. I'm just glad we have a few other buildings competing with it on Omaha's skyline now.


I so agree. I lived in Lincoln for 3 years or so, and worked downtown, and I used to walk through that I.M. Pei building on my lunch hour over & over. It just has a unique "balanced & projecting heavy concrete slab" feel about that I do like. It's sort of one of those "How does that stand up?!" kinda buildings that "wow" and raise brows.

Also, I love his gallery building in Washington DC, too. In fact, I was just thinking the other day how much I like buildings that are simply trapezoidal w/ a broad slant, because I was looking at a Canadian skyline, and it had a trapezoidal building (that I hadn't noticed before). It is such simple, yet powerful & satisfying, geometry, imo. Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Chicago are American cities that have a trapezoidal skyscraper off the top of my head. Here's L.A.'s: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_t ... nter03.jpg
............................................................................
The 1969 Woodmen Tower

I understand the comments of it being boring & bland. Growing up, I knew our skyline was so boring with just a "box" topping it. Yet, nowadays, I look at it as simply a nice, clean example (yet not necessarily a perfect textbook example) of International Style architecture that was considered stylish at the time. All (or most) cities wanted a boxy skyscraper in those decades. Omaha's tower has a little more character & personality than other boxes that were built around that time, so I appreciate that aspect about it. (And, that's why I feel it probably has "found a place in people's hearts" more than other boxy skyscrapers have out there. The dominance in the city & region for over 30 years is part of it, though. Yet, still: I don't feel locals felt anything as much for the long-dominating, boxy towers in the cities of Oklahoma.)

For example, compare it to Des Moines' Ruan Center: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruan_Cent ... -04-27.JPG (Built in 1974/75. Would you rather Omaha had a dark box like that? I like black steel skyscrapers, like Chicago has, and I like Des Moines' Ruan Center. But, I'm glad Omaha's box is white & more livelier. Also, as a whole, I don't feel citizens of Des Moines felt about their tower what Omaha felt about theirs.)

Compare it to Okla City's former tallest, boxy building: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_t ... htower.JPG (I like the fine lines and simplicity of this building. I've been up in the top before. Indianapolis has a similar skyscraper I also like. But, it still isn't as lively as the Woodmen Tower, imo.)

Compare it to Tulsa's tallest, the BOK Tower by Y.M.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_t ... ilding.jpg (In some ways, it is very similar to the Woodmen. Yet, it looks a bit more modern, imo. It also looks like the former WTC Towers in NYC -- also by Y.M.. In some ways, I like Tulsa's building. But, yet it looks slightly fake-y & cardboard-y to me. I think because the windows are not as recessed as on the Woodmen Tower.)

Compare it to Y.M.'s Century City Towers in L.A. (Built in 1975, they have a similar b & w pin-stripe and broad white band at the top as the Woodmen Tower. I love the simplicity & delicacy of those triangular twin towers. Yet, since Omaha's tower is solo & rectangular, I'm glad the Woodmen has the broad band of horizontal windows at the top & base of the tower, which helps make it livelier, imo.)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_t ... Towers.jpg

That's how I view the Woodmen Tower, and that's why I appreciate it. I feel Leo A. Daly put more in our "box" than other architects put in their box(es).

(By the way, an architectural critic said of the former, boxy 1974 WTC Towers in a New York architecture guide: "So banal...not even worthy of a bank headquarters in Omaha." I know Omaha had the reputation of being a "ho hum" city in America's heartland lacking any exciting modern architecture, but from that comment, I'm wondering if that critic had already eyed Omaha's boxy, simple Woodmen Tower & 1972 First National Bank before.)
.................................................................................

Speaking of trapezoidal geometry, Omaha's Central Park Towers are up next. http://www.lrattorneys.com/uploads/5/3/ ... 91.jpg?225 What do people think of them?
"Crossroads Village" down the street from "Aksarben Village?" Does "Crossroads" have any meaning to people 20 and under? "Dodge At 72nd" is a type name I like better, drawing from the excitement of the iconic, special Omaha intersection. My $.02.

User avatar
RockHarbor
Human Relations
Posts: 879
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 7:42 am
Location: Omaha

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby RockHarbor » Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:01 pm

Quick last entry squeezed in on my feelings of the 1200 Landmark Center...then no more of my manipulations of it. I've been thinking about this all day...

If the architect simply would have incorporated design elements of the pretty & blue, glass and eye-catching tower into the adjoining data center more, I would be happier. For example, if the long face of the data center along Farnam Street echoed the same row of triangular peaks, had the same glass facade & grid lines, and a long line of pillars at the base we see featured the tower, I would be happier w/ it. Or, since the tower is not that tall, maybe the row of triangular peaks would be a little too much on the data center, but the same glass facade and pillared base would still tie the two together nicely, imo. (See attached manipulation -- quickly done. After testing the ideas, I liked the data center w/out the long row of peaks better.)

This way, it would be more of a matching complex w/ a design theme that would feel more meaningful, imo. I'm not saying I would absolutely love it, but still, I would like it better. It would make more sense to me, personally, as a "tower + data center" complex.

As it is, I see this semi-matching, hefty & heavy data center sitting (like a long metal ship docked & anchored) next to a boxy, glass, airier tower with daring triangular glass peaks -- a row of spikes that traditionally give a Gothic touch, but these are not intended for a Gothic touch. If that doesn't mess w/ my senses enough, the data center & tower could be, or could not be, related, they look different enough and don't share one same design feature. (Although they both have the coloring of blues & grays... And, there's flapping features on the data center's roof, that sort of echo the tower's triangular peaks.) And, it all suddenly stops there. I feel: "That's it?" It just feels incomplete & disappointing & not meaningful to me -- or something.

IMO, quality design is not only about a great, satisfying visual effect, it is also about a design that feels satisfyingly coordinated & meaningful.

Anyways, on to the Central Park Plaza towers (or whatever somebody may bring up next).
Attachments
LCDataCenter22.jpg
LCDataCenter22.jpg (212.08 KiB) Viewed 1090 times
Last edited by RockHarbor on Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:19 am, edited 13 times in total.
"Crossroads Village" down the street from "Aksarben Village?" Does "Crossroads" have any meaning to people 20 and under? "Dodge At 72nd" is a type name I like better, drawing from the excitement of the iconic, special Omaha intersection. My $.02.

User avatar
RockHarbor
Human Relations
Posts: 879
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 7:42 am
Location: Omaha

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby RockHarbor » Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:34 pm

THE CENTRAL PARK TOWERS, Leo A. Daly,1982

The skyline of Omaha: Image Difficult to imagine our skyline now, imo, w/out those signature red/maroon towers as a focal point at the end of the park, the Woodmen Tower rising up behind them. A memorable, unique statement.

Love 'em. These mirror-image twin buildings aren't of complex geometry, but they don't have to be, to make a powerful statement in architecture. Why they work, imo?

A)The pin-stripe, vertical windows are complimentary with the Woodmen Tower's stripes in the background.
B) The red/maroon color and the double/twin block feature is not new in Omaha & is fully justified -- the red twins pay homage in a way, to the red historic bank behind them (which has double projecting twin blocks, and similar square windows).
C) They are a perfect focal point at the end of the Central Park Mall (now Gene Leahy Mall).
D) They suddenly gave Omaha a fresh, new image & look for the fun 1980's decade & beyond.
E) They even help bring Nebraska's proud "Go BIG RED!" colors into the Omaha skyline -- as red & white major, modern buildings are now mixed.

Perfecto (imo)!

http://media.gettyimages.com/videos/downtown-omaha-day-time-cityscape-featuring-first-national-tower-and-video-id186376773?s=640x640

Image

When they were new, when we were young: Image

That's just my take on them...
Attachments
CPP1.jpg
CPP1.jpg (214.3 KiB) Viewed 1097 times
CPP2.jpg
CPP2.jpg (192.26 KiB) Viewed 1097 times
Last edited by RockHarbor on Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:19 am, edited 10 times in total.
"Crossroads Village" down the street from "Aksarben Village?" Does "Crossroads" have any meaning to people 20 and under? "Dodge At 72nd" is a type name I like better, drawing from the excitement of the iconic, special Omaha intersection. My $.02.

buildomaha
Home Owners Association
Posts: 221
Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 7:06 pm

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby buildomaha » Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:54 pm

Speaking of Omaha architecture, who's gonna be our next corporate company to build a nice looking building to actually add something big to the skyline and WHEN? 8)

User avatar
RockHarbor
Human Relations
Posts: 879
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 7:42 am
Location: Omaha

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby RockHarbor » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:15 am

buildomaha wrote:Speaking of Omaha architecture, who's gonna be our next corporate company to build a nice looking building to actually add something big to the skyline and WHEN? 8)


:) Your guess is as good as mine. As far as a future "Omaha Skyline Booster" goes, I'm guessing our next "hero" is out there somewhere...
"Crossroads Village" down the street from "Aksarben Village?" Does "Crossroads" have any meaning to people 20 and under? "Dodge At 72nd" is a type name I like better, drawing from the excitement of the iconic, special Omaha intersection. My $.02.

User avatar
GetUrban
Parks & Recreation
Posts: 1896
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:07 pm
Location: Omaha

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby GetUrban » Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:11 pm

Sorry, I don't have much to say about the twins, that hasn't already been said. I don't think they're quite up to the caliber of architecture we need at such a prominent location in downtown, I'll leave it at that, but they can stay. One thing that bothers me about the twins is they apparently didn't meet the needs of a fast-growing Conagra or their aesthetic wishes, which in turn resulted in the destruction of Jobbers Canyon.

But, here's one of my favorite buildings in Omaha. It's a lower-profile building that not many people see very often, but I like the way it looks and how it breathed new life into the Metro Community College South Omaha campus...It's really well-detailed.
Image
Image
http://bvh.com/work/higher-education/connector-building/
Last edited by GetUrban on Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.
He said "They are some big, ugly red brick buildings"
...and then they were gone.

buildomaha
Home Owners Association
Posts: 221
Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 7:06 pm

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby buildomaha » Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:12 pm

Ok the red twins:
I think they provide a nice focal point for the end of the mall and they are architecturally interesting enough in shape to make up for the lack of any wow factor and significant details. Although the brick adds something other than grey and white and silver, I don't know if I appreciate it as much as other people. I agree with the point that the windows resemble the woodmen and it takes influence from other buildings in the city which is nice. I know in other topics it has been a controversy as to whether the plaza adds enough to the skyline (and to the typical photo you get when you search for Omaha on google) that they are worth being shrouded behind a new skyscraper on the current library spot. I'm kind of torn on that because I think Omaha shoots a little under its size when it comes to a skyline and would love a new big building, but I think there is a really good spot that wouldn't ruin the perfect concentrism of the mall and the twins on the lot next to UP...

buildomaha
Home Owners Association
Posts: 221
Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 7:06 pm

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby buildomaha » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:41 pm

RockHarbor wrote:
buildomaha wrote:Speaking of Omaha architecture, who's gonna be our next corporate company to build a nice looking building to actually add something big to the skyline and WHEN? 8)


:) Your guess is as good as mine. As far as a future "Omaha Skyline Booster" goes, I'm guessing our next "hero" is out there somewhere...


Many fingers are pointing to something happening decently soon and with new high rises going up in DSM soon, that will push the d*ck measuring skyline race forward...

User avatar
RockHarbor
Human Relations
Posts: 879
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 7:42 am
Location: Omaha

Re: OMAHA Architecture

Postby RockHarbor » Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:31 pm

BuildOmaha & GetUrban: I just saw these responses from you. I almost forgot about this thread. Metro: Wow!! I had no idea their South campus was so architecturally beautiful. Their North campus is sharp, too. Thanks for posting. The twins: I like the idea of Omaha getting new skyscrapers, but I just don't like the idea of one shrouding the Woodmen & twins from the vantage point of the park. It almost feels like it would if important, long-standing family members were covered up on a family photo, by newer family members....or something (to me). That view of Omaha from the park is almost like a "family photo" of Downtown's skyscrapers to me. If Omaha does get a new skyscraper, what will it look like? I don't want another "glass & steel/stucco & brick" creation here. Everything they've put up is nice, but we need a medium-size building with a "wow" factor, imo. For example, when I drive into Memphis, their needled skyscraper (the newest building on the skyline) is so visually striking & exciting. Now, that look might be outdated now, and maybe contemporary Omaha isn't a fanciful enough city to justify a needled building, but I want visual impact, something that makes a neat statement. The FNB is truly the one on the skyline that does that so far. If not a major statement, then I would love a crisp-lined, heavier & solid building like the Bancorp Tower in Minneapolis. It gives the impression of Omahans being hard-working & level-headed & not too eccentric....imo.
"Crossroads Village" down the street from "Aksarben Village?" Does "Crossroads" have any meaning to people 20 and under? "Dodge At 72nd" is a type name I like better, drawing from the excitement of the iconic, special Omaha intersection. My $.02.


Return to “General Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest