Did you know about the barbeque house trend from the summer of 1950? I had never heard of such a glorious thing until very recently. Did it ever take off, I wonder? The prospect of having my own barbeque house, which I very well might clandestinely re-fashion into a writing room, has delighted for days. The idea of producing, as though by magic, a book, a little Omaha book, in a barbeque house of my own was so compelling that I could not resist these frequent daydreams.
There I was, just typing away in my screened-in mystery clubhouse, outfitted in my Hayley Mills camp blouse…easily within grasp was a chilled, blue aluminum tumbler with a pink striped paper straw and the exotic sounds of Les Baxter came wafting in through the leafy folds of the screen. Passion Flower and Purple Hyacinth Bean vines would braid and weave to their hearts’ content up and down that little barbeque house. Mr. Cassette swayed steadily in the near distance, relishing an afternoon in the sun by way of a worn rope hammock wrapped pine to pine. Without a moment’s delay I rushed from our furthest back thicket secret sitting area where I had evidently drifted off in the warm sunlight, back up to my study and registered Barbeque House on a long scroll, my lifelong In High Order List.
But just for today, let us pretend that I am typing this article from that wee mossy, viney, shaded barbeque house under a tree. If you can picture it, I had just taken my magnifying glass from my backpack and was placing it next to my typewriter. I retrieved a small pad of paper, complete with the day’s detective survey notes id est: Stalker Commentary. I was set, so to speak. So let me introduce The Aspiring To, The Covetous Of, The Yearning For: 912 South 84th Street.
My idea was to start a new My Omaha Obsession short series on great real estate in town while I finish this book. I’m already up at three am hunting for these dream places anyway, so why not share. This particular chapter on 912 has a wee bit of history thrown in because I simply could not stop myself. I wanted to serve up only the pure, unadulterated properties that I’ve come across and some semi-pure as well. 912 South 84th Street fits the bill tidily. Wrong word. Desirously. 912 South 84th Street fits the bill Desirously. One look at these photos, let alone a sneak tour of the place, and anyone would assuredly Feel the 1950s. Mr. Cassette would love to some day return to a Ranch Home in Loveland and this one meets our every demand. It is simply a dreamgirl. In this fine case, the bathrooms have Not been fiddled with. The kitchen has been remuddled but not to an offensive degree as it still upholds her shape. And Miss Cassette has always been vulnerable to the ways of the “kitchen office desk.”
Disclaimer: My Omaha Obsession is not a real estate company and does not represent any home or property you will ever see here. Miss Cassette certainly is not in the business of selling real estate, although I should be. I am always staking out homes and tipping friends off to marvelous Omaha locales. And Lord knows the majority of summaries on these real estate sites are lacking. Just know that I am not working for someone and no realtors will be sending me “ideas” for my articles. Please contact the real estate agent or company for status, condition and more information. Miss Cassette offers no guarantee to the accuracy or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for errors, omissions or any losses arising from its display or use. Comments from fellow readers should be viewed as opinions and may not reflect the accuracy of the listing details, condition or status of the home. Homes and buildings shown on My Omaha Obsession may no longer be for sale and is up to interested parties to investigate the current status. Once again, Miss Cassette is not the agent, owner or photographer. If a realtor, owner or photographer want credit for these images or is upset that My Omaha Obsession is promoting the sale of your property (head scratcher), please email me directly. If this property has sold and you no longer want the address posted for personal reasons, please email me directly.
Let us delay no longer. I can’t wait to show you what I have found.
LOCATION: 912 South 84th Street
PROPERTY TYPE: Single family residence
Stone exterior, Hip roof, 2 beds, 3 baths, 3 fireplaces (!), 2 garages
YEAR BUILT: 1950
SQUARE FEET: 3,405 sqft (2,605 above ground)
LOT SIZE: 0.25 – 0.5 acres
Main Floor: Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen, Sun Room, Den/Study, Master Bedroom, Master Bath, Bedroom
Walk-Up Attic (must know more!)
Mary Beth Flanagan
CBSHOME Real Estate 159 Dodge
SUMMARY: taken from CBS Home:
“This ranch home is absolutely phenomenal. Custom-built, with every room having its own character. The house is carpeted, but underneath the carpet are pristine inch and a half wood floors. Four-season sunroom looks out onto a lush backyard and spacious deck. Home has been pre-inspected and is in good condition – seller to make no repairs. All appliances stay. You won’t want to miss this one!”
From the Douglas County Assessor site:
Greenacres Addition LOT 2 BLOCK 1
Property Type: Single Family, Ranch
Total Rooms: 14
Fairly vague floor plan taken from the Douglas County Assessor site.
From Zillow: $299,000
Price cut: -$26,000 (8/8)
I must know more about the decadence of this amazing entryway wallpaper. Miss Cassette is obsessed with these ornamental doorbell chimes. For the love of ding-dong-dash!
Sweet glory be. Some of you may scoff at this 1980s (guessing?) carpet and the realtor did make a point to say that there is a gorgeous wood floor under here but I think I might leave it. For this pale blue carpeting and pale peach drapery reminds me of my dear grandmother.
Notice the MCM wrought-iron vertical panel, a sort of room divider near the front entryway. If you can peek out that nearest widow, you can see the wrought-iron detailing extends out onto the front porch. INcredible.
There is a better viewing of this wrought-iron MCM feature. Wholly enamored and sold at this point.
Expectation of Life.
Copper lighting as magnificent as Johnny’s Cafe. Is that a Dutch door, I spy? I am willing to overlook that sneaking track lighting to find that the history of homeowners kept these authentic features.
What is this odd, little, amazing laundry room? I want this to be grasscloth paper.
Just let us look and not speak….okay I must speak. Do you see the frosted glass snow covered tree scene and little deerie on the shower door? Does anyone among us understand my love of metallic wallpaper? How can this bathroom survive with 1950’s gray and burgundy through the 90s? Were the homeowners the living saints of bathroom tile purity?
Fireplace number two, in the study, with worshipped wood paneling, with hidden door, I have fainted.
Classic MCM Ranch corner window.
This should be in a movie. Wait…is this a movie set? Is peach or robin’s egg blue tile waiting for us under that carpeting?
Metallic, almost Asian wood cut print wallpaper. Leaf or shell shaped mirror sconces. How? Thank you.
Mr. Cassette and I have always wanted a white on white on white master bedroom.
Periwinkle and burgundy tile with pale pink MCM brushstroke wallpaper. I have been seized.
Another fantastic 1950s hanging light, stone fireplace (number three!), featuring a Polynesian or African graphic carpet with Tiki bar. Definitely a remnant of the 50s Exotica Party Room movement.
Authentic 1950 linoleum weaved floor with period perfect formica yellow table and sink. Just look at that sink. Her legs!
Classic wood paneled rumpus room complete with linoleum. This one is doing double duty as a workshop. Are those barkcloth curtains I see?
The traditional U-shaped rear yard area.
What is that built-in stone feature?
A Brief History of the Area
Nearby subdivision, Broadmoor Heights was introduced to Omaha in January of 1949 (platted in November of 1948). The developers, the Golden Valley Cooperative Association, launched the selection of lots at the Elks Club, the “culmination of three years of dreaming and planning.” The Broadmoor Heights “housing development area lies from the southern boundary of Indian Hills Golf Course to south of Jackson Street between 84th and 90th Streets”—it comprised about forty acres. Building was to begin that spring, with twenty-five homes to be completed by the end of 1949. There were a total of 167 lots in Broadmoor Heights.
Image taken from Reconnaissance Level Survey For: Selected Mid-Century Modern Neighborhoods, the Omaha Historic Building Survey of 2010 prepared by the Nebraska State Historical Society, Omaha City Planning Department and Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture. You would love this book. Find it at the library! From my research into the story on Mysteries of Omaha: 8120 Pacific Street, we detectives know that this whole area was previously farmland, specifically dairy.
OWH archives: April of 1950
Just south of Broadmoor Heights, I found clues indicating the incarnation of the Greenacres Addition in April of 1950. There were early hints at a potential “shopping section” in Greenacres–my favorite Countryside Village, wasn’t officially announced to the public until October of 1952. The Greenacres Addition was promoted as the “soon to be site” of Christ the King Catholic Church and School at 88th and Pacific Streets. Construction wouldn’t actually begin until spring of 1953. Greenacres sewer and water was in by October of 1950 and roads were being laid later that fall. “Greenacres the latest subdivision within Loveland,” as it was marketed, had very few articles naming the developers as the Greenacres Development Company. I wouldn’t be sure until later. One advertisement that I particularly loved was: “Cold Weather and A Cheery Fire: in the fireplace of this lovely Greenacres Rancho is a perfect spot to pass the winter. Tile bath with colored fixtures. Double attached garage, beautifully decorated. It’s just completed. Close to Loveland School and the future high school**. He is the one you will LOVE TO SPEND THE HOLIDAYS IN.”
**Westside High School was that future school.
Indian Hills Village was the last addition in this area to be platted in October of 1957. I could go on and on about this fine area but will intentionally keep it brief today due to yawning I can hear in the way back. I will say that the Leo A. Daly Company designed and developed this beautiful area with some of the most impressive MCM homes in this town nestled among its 63 acres. More on this later.
This 1955 photo allows one to see how desolate 84th and Pacific was at the time. Road construction along Pacific Street across from the new Saint Andrews Episcopal Church, being built at 84th and Pacific Streets. (Photo courtesy of the Bostwick-Frohardt/KM3TV Photography Collection at The Durham Museum Photo Archive).
Rise of the Ranch
Although introduced in the 1930s, the Ranch House architectural style rose to prominence in the late 1940s, early 1950s. Founded on the Spanish “Rancho” of the Southwest, the Ranch House also called the California Ranch, Rambler, Rambling Ranch, American Ranch, Texas Ranch, Western Ranch is often credited to Cliff May and other architects from the San Francisco Bay area. Thought to have been the perfect reflection of the post war 1950s American Lifestyle, the Ranch offered a confidence, modernity, informality not previously experienced in housing as well as a new focal point on the out-of-doors. Built“close-to-the-ground,” no steps, emphasis on large windows, breezeways, a private patio, focus on backyards and the idea of the Outdoor Oasis were all new domestic features for Americans. Can you imagine the impact this had in Omaha? Previously the well to do had lived in Downtown Omaha, then Midtown, where weight had always been placed on the street-oriented front porch and all socializing occurred on the front porch or front rooms of one’s home . Streetcars and horse and buggy required that people lived close together and preferably by their place of business. The spread-out, comfortable Ranch no doubt arose from the increasing use of automobiles and the desire for space in the city. The changing times created a new guard value: Privacy and the concept of the Backyard Getaway. (Think of my simple man’s barbeque house.) Rear-yard elaborations to include a built-in grill, French doors or sliding doors were suddenly as important as other interior features. If a front porch was included, it was quite shallow—generally a passageway only.
The Developer, the Builder and the Realtor
I would have an admittedly difficult time tracking the Greenacres Development Company. I was able to find the name of Laurance H. Meyers and wife, later revealed to be Virginia. Originally I thought they were the original landowners but in June of 1950 the Byron Reed Company sold a large chunk of Greenacres to “Laurance H. Meyers and w.” I later determined that this was the origin of Countryside Village. But was Byron Reed Company behind the development of Greenacres? In 1950 the company was in its 94th year of business and I found their longstanding, prominent name mentioned frequently in the sale of Greenacres lots.
It wasn’t until I found this mention below from the OWH April 20, 1950 edition, about the Greenacres replat did I have a better hook to hang my Byron Reed theory on.
Around this time period I started seeing the name Ted Hicks repeatedly in ads for Greenacres.
“Must quit writing now or Ted will go broke.” Straight from a 1950s film!
I found the Theodore C. Hicks or “Ted Hicks” character had incorporated along with Andy Andresen, and Elmer Corzine in 1947 to operate a real estate, building, loan and insurance business: the Home Realty Company. By 1950 Ted started anew and had become the Ted Hicks Company selling a large amount of real estate in Loveland.
His office was at 5003 Leavenworth, but a door away (to the east) from my favorite Omaha Lace Laundry at 5007 Leavenworth. As with changing addresses in Omaha, the 5003 bay has now been absorbed into 5007. 5001 is the daycare on the corner of 50th and Leavenworth. Sorry–not really related and here Mr. Cassette has said I should aim for newfound brevity but I just couldn’t help myself, friends. You know how I love my Omaha Lace Laundry neon sign.
In an article from August of 1948, I first found the Larry Myers character of this story. I would come to believe that this was actually Laurance H. Meyers. Larry had already built several homes in the Loveland District “west of Omaha” and apparently found his inspiration for the Ranch style “from a home in Los Angeles’ Brentwood neighborhood.” If you are a celebrity and architecture-nut like Miss Cassette you already know this area of LA. Larry Myers was a local builder-contractor in town, known to draw his own plans.
By 1950 he was being called an architect but I am not sure if this is entirely correct. His homes were known for their “California-ish touches,” as the OWH called them, such as spacious, open back porches, satin finished knotty pine paneled dens, and ceiling beams in the living room. Myers particularly liked stone exteriors and louvered and glassed in breezeways between house and two car garage. Mr. Myers used his entrances to create a short hall, employed French doors leading from the dining room to a sun porch, stone fireplaces (even in the basement), his kitchens were equipped with adjoining dinettes, he was fond of Dutch doors and designed full basements for even more family space to include a built in bar. Gleaming copper light fixtures. Sounding familiar? The Byron Reed Company apparently purchased and sold his properties in District 66 and I found the Ted Hicks name as well. Many ads read, “Another Larry Myers Rambler” in the Greenacres Addition. It is a fair bet that Myers might have built 912 South 84th.
Larry Myers and his wife would later develop and manage Countryside Village.
Before we carry on with our high adventure, let us address the sigh from the very depths. Remember newcomers, you do not need to power through in one visit. We will still be here later if you must attend to your mending of socks or cleaning of gutters.
A Brief History of the Home and Owners
I believe the first owner of 912 South 84th Street to be Mr. and Mrs. Frank Lippold. As this was intended to be a short piece, I will confide in you, dear reader, that I did not visit the Douglas County Deeds Office to make Absolute Obsessive 100% Sure. If there was a previous owner, they lived in 912 South 84th Street for only a very short time. Presumably the Douglas County Deeds office and the realtor are correct when they state the home was built in 1950. Frank Lippold was a well-known insurance man in Omaha, working for the Lincoln Liberty Life Insurance Company since 1929. Mr. and Mrs. were featured frequently in the newspapers—with my personal interest in Mrs. Lippold having hosted many special luncheon meetings at the Hilltop House for her various social circles. Please see I Wish I Could Have Gone To: Hilltop House for more on this fabulous place. But I am willing to wager that the Lippolds built the focal point of my attention at 912, judging from their interest in building new homes and their passion for the Ranch Style.
1965 Frank Lippold agent for Lincoln Liberty Life Insurance.
Without knowing them personally, Miss Cassette is going to assume that the Lippolds admired great architecture and venture (by all records) had excellent taste in homes. Allow me to spin you down a quick rabbit hole of some of the Lippolds properties. I had promised Mr. Cassette that I wouldn’t reach My Compulsion Phase with this article, so please, let’s keep this next rabbit run under your hat. On that note, I am not sure if the Lippold family actually lived in all of these beauties or if they owned multiple properties that they rented out. Regardless, they were on a Ranch building spree, which I approve of wholeheartedly.
In 1939 the Lippolds owned 5404 Grant Street. This gal was built in 1936.
By 1947, they lived at 2517 North 55th Street. I believe they then built and moved into our 912 South 84th Street from 1950-1952.
In 1955 Frank Lippold built 9319 Capitol Avenue, another MCM Ranch.
The Lippolds lived at 3907 North 52nd Street in 1956. I recall they might have built this also. Frankly, my Lippold Ranch Stalker Notes are indecipherable at this point.
In 1959 Lippold built 1218 South 117th Street for $14,748. Many years later the couple would eventually move to Hancock, Iowa.
According to the OWH archives, this real estate transfer listing of Jan 2, 1952, revealed the Lippolds sold Lot 2 Block 1 of Greenacres to Ralph V. Ross and wife. For a while I questioned if this lot had a Ranch House on it yet. Had it not been assigned an address yet? But many times these early transfer lists did not include exact addresses. Of interest, in July of 1952, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Lippold left for Detroit Lakes, Minnesota and were to be the guests of Ralph Ross when they arrived. Evidently they were friends. The more I learned about the Rosses, I would later understand the couples came from the same societal ring.
By June of 1953 the Greenacres Addition only had nine empty lots remaining.
Ralph V. Ross owned some sort of manufacturing business and might have worked for the utilities district as well. I am not sure of that second point. He went into business in 1928. Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Ross were mentioned frequently in the Omaha society pages—dances and dinners at the Blackstone Hotel and I promise you, I pored over every one of their “cocktail suppers at the Ross home.” Announcements were made in early fall when the couple would close their cottage on Detroit Lake in Minnesota. They were that kind of Society People. In print, Ross was most known for his contributions and dedication as a Benson High School coach. Golf, tennis, football, Coach Ross gave tirelessly to the athletes at Benson High from 1928-1948.
Another passion of Ralph Ross’ was collecting hubcaps that he found out on 84th Street in front of our Ranch. Can you imagine his haul?
Great little story from March of 1973.
According to the OWH archives, Coach Ralph Ross died in January of 1975.
It was not easy to look over the next owner. J. Robert Bohacek or Dr. Joseph Bohacek, as he was known, was a well regarded dentist in Omaha. He attended Creighton Prep, Creighton University and would go on to their Creighton School of Dentistry, where he later became an Associate Professor in the Endodontic Department for 18 years. Joseph’s father was also a dentist– Dr. Joseph Bohacek (Sr.) was also a graduate of Creighton School of Dentistry and a former instructor there as was his brother, Dr. Frank Bohacek who died at the age of 21.
1952 photo of a dental patient, flanked by two dental staff members after receiving work at Creighton University Dental School. (Photo courtesy of the Bostwick-Frohardt/KM3TV Photography Collection at The Durham Museum Photo Archive).
The good doctor in 1967.
Interestingly, I found that Dr. Bohacek had also attained a portion of his medical credentials at the Naval Dental Graduate School in Bethesda, Maryland. As it turned out, Bohacek had long served in the military during World War II in Naval Aviation and was a Reserve Officer during Korea and Vietnam. He retired as a Captain DC after 25 years of active duty.
June of 1957 found Dr. Bohacek and his wife, Kathleen, along with their three children, moving to San Diego for the US Navy Dental Corps. I believe the couple had a fourth child. Dr. Bohacek would come back to Creighton to give lectures on Endodontics, eventually taking a position on their staff and having a local practice.
Possibly my favorite photo of this article, is Dr. Bohacek watering his January garden at 912 South 84th Street back in 1981. I am sad to announce that Dr. Bohacek passed away just April 1 of this year, 2017. His wife, Kathleen had died before him. I made an assumption that his children must have their own homes or no longer live in Omaha and that is why this perfect Ranch is on the market dropping to a lower price. Surely you have already noticed what Lippold, Ross and Bohacek collectively accomplished was to preserve a 1950’s container. It seems that that is worth something.
If you were with me at this very moment, seated side by side in my small Writing-Barbeque House, I believe that you would agree that it looks Inevitable. Mr. Cassette and Miss Cassette simply must buy 912 South 84th Street. But even if you had your doubts, because you know that I am throwing myself into our 1941 rehab dreams, you could have no reservations that this is a finely preserved time capsule of a Ranch, made all the lovelier because of her history of meticulous, preservation-minded owners. Go have a peek and let us know about it. To this lovely 1950’s girl, we must now pause and pay tribute.
I welcome your feedback and comments on 912 South 84th Street, Greenacres, the California Ranch, the families involved. To comment or read others’ comments, please scroll to the end of this page. Unfortunately, due to overwhelming response, I am no longer able to answer emails at this time as I work on my book. You can keep up with my latest investigations by “following” myomahaobsession. You will get sent email updates every time I have written a new article. Also join My Omaha Obsession on Facebook for more fun conversation with fellow obsessives. Thank you Omaha friends.
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