A little bird had tipped me to the soon-to-be demise of seven homes on Pacific Street extending from 84th to 87th. –that strip of mostly classic ranches on the south side, leading down to the lights at Countryside Village and Westside High. This news caught me surprised, as I had just been toodling in the area a week before. Long experience had shown me these Mid-Century Modern Ranches were, in fact, the District 66 Markers, kitted out with all of the adornment of post World War II America. If you concentrated, and half shut your eyes, the charming grouping of homes again formed into their once confident suburban silhouette. It is these reminders of the architectural history of Omaha that fill me with wonder and a special enchantment with the Loveland District.
Yes, it is true; a few of these homes had looked forlorn of late– a bit disarranged but only of a tousled sort. I told myself it was the grimy splashes of busy Pacific; I had assessed some of these gals to be rental homes, if only because of the outstanding number of cars often seen in the drives. Then again, part of the historic purpose of these huge, wide driveways was to host the Westside weekend keggers of the 80s and 90s, but what did I know of that? (That private tennis court for a midnight game, though!) Mr. Cassette claimed the one on the corner had looked a little hinky since his childhood and this was his stomping ground, after all. But the picture was much broader than our colorful speculation over coffee and these seven homes were just recent prey. Of the last decade, the low, broad, clean-cut, 1950s Ranches of District 66 had fallen under attack and were being scraped at an ever-quickening pace, in favor of the multitude of cascading, hipped roof Millennium Mansions.
It was not long before I discovered that this good stretch of Pacific was rapidly developing into one of the new focal points of the area. These seven, large parcels (all about an acre in size) had been acquired by a developer and were rumored to be razed, in order to build 18 single-family units bordering a new cul-de-sac. It was so strange…and here I though Mid-Century Modern was enjoying a comeback.
We drove slowly, inching down Pacific, for the view was shocking. Each home’s once expansive front sweep of lawn had been ravaged—all manner of shrub and tree wrenched from their proud posts. We parked the car and walked through the rubble. The scent of strong, old tree roots, pine needles, resin and freshly overturned soil was strong in the air. The Loveland canopy was nearly gone. It was possible to do a great deal of prowling around with a camera and Way-Past-Appropriate-Peering in windows–the way Miss Cassette has always dreamed it could be, minus the Apocalyptic emptiness and demolition tactics.
Friends, I will not write the long saga of the wonderful families and good times on this swath of Pacific, although we can all assume their experiences were shared bliss. We will skip the painful story of how the news of this latest financial folly was broken to the neighborhood. Eavesdropping at the Village Grinder will reveal a mixed bag of opinion and swivel-eyed looks. I had a very shrewd suspicion I would be booted out in the cold if I had any say in the matter beyond a pleasant, non-committal nodding. In my estimation it is this variance of local opinion that has allowed this large acquisition and project to get underway. But more on that later…
From what the My Omaha Obsession detective’s office can gather, SNC Investments LLC of 11823 Arbor Street #100, began buying up the lots one by one in the 2000s. The properties have now largely transitioned into the D & L Real Estate Group LLC name, under the same address. Royce Enterprises, Inc. is the developer, according to the recently uploaded preliminary plat application through the City of Omaha Planning Department. These plans are also being shared and discussed within the Nextdoor Loveland site.
Aerial map outlining the seven properties. Image from the plat application was uploaded by the City of Omaha Planning Department. The furthest east property, a stone ranch home at 8403 Pacific, is miraculously not included in the new acquisition and development.
On October 30, 2019 Royce Enterprises, Inc. filed a preliminary plat approval to the City of Omaha Planning Department for their new “Estates of Loveland.” This subdivision, within the Longview subdivision (confusingly within the Loveland District, which is also within District 66 bounds) will integrate a cul-de-sac and 18 single-family lots on the previous seven lots, extending 7.2 acres. There will be no direct access to Pacific Street from any of the 18 lots. “As designed, the proposed street may provide for a through-street connection to 81st Street at some time in the future.” This is very odd. They might have erroneously labeled it 81st Street when they meant 84th Street. We can only hope.
Of a curious note: Under Land Use and Planning, the applicant wrote, “ The project furthers the goal of the Concept element of the Master Plan regarding infill development, including encouraging ‘the development of infill housing which makes use of vacant land and existing under-utilized central city infrastructure’ and providing ‘good quality housing’ options in a ‘mix of patterns, types and styles.’” I find this a strange use of the concept of infill. Seven elongated properties in the Loveland area are normal use for this area. One had a massive tennis court for Pete’s Sake. I would argue that was the original purpose of Historic Loveland District—the hope of having a country estate. The draw of the Longview Addition was a Mid-Century Modern home on an equally large lot. These were the alluring particulars that drove families to the area. These are not vacant lots and for that matter, I can think of much better “under-utilized” spaces in town of which to design housing. It is hard to fathom why City Planning and the City Council would accept this misuse of the Master Plan concept.
On a considerable scale, these 18 single-family “high end homes” are projected to cost between $450,000-$850,000. One birdie told me the developer “lives on Loveland Drive and his back yard will abut the development.” I have also heard perhaps mistaken rumors that the Estates of Loveland “will be million dollar condos” and “that box-style of rowhouses with no green space.” Royce Enterprises, Inc. is behind the Papillion Commons, a 110-acre project, between 84th and 90th Streets and north of Nebraska Highway 370.
A study of the plat map below, let alone the logistics of 18 residences where there once were seven, hints these homes will most likely be built right out to the edges of these properties. Wedged to the envelope, so to speak. This most likely means a double garage will be the architectural focal point of the homes with little to no garden space. If the numbers are anywhere near correct, in order to get $450,000-$850,000 out of the buyers, potential homeowners will be expecting a lot of house—meaning these homes will have to pretty much touch one another at the property line. For more on this building technique, check out: https://myomahaobsession.com/2018/10/01/the-ballad-of-balla-machree/
Let’s be honest. Some neighbors are excited for the Estates of Loveland and offer up that these ranches on Pacific had looked bedraggled in the last decade. But I ask–would the properties have looked sagging and forlorn if single-family owners were given the chance to purchase and give them the loving care they deserved? I recognize that SNC Investments bought the homes fair and square. When a company strategizes to buy up a swath of parcels, meanwhile rents them out, lets them get run down, while slowly stockpiling their dream plat, of course this strip looked worn by Loveland District standards. This was all done legally but one could assume allowing the properties run down was all part of shaping public opinion. I am open to corrections.
I would review the Omaha permits site for demolition applications and find nothing as of yet. The exact date/s of demolition must remain a mystery for now. If anyone has architect’s renderings that you’d like to share with us, please do.
The Longview Homes
I have written often of the District 66 neighborhoods, to include the Longview Addition. Craving more about Loveland and the Longview Addition? –check out: The Real Estate Secret Agent: 8459 Woolworth Avenue. Theirs is a fine, sizeable assemblage of quality houses that have stood for decades and aged well. The proud owners have cared for these historic Mid-Century homes, well aware they possess a local character that is clearly Early Omaha Suburb. The expansive lawns, rolling countryside feel and mature trees are as much a part of this glorious community. Not downtown, not Dubai and certainly not 150th Street. The very integrity, maintenance, architecture and culture of this environment are what have brought many developers sniffing about, after all.
Map of the Longview Addition borrowed from the Douglas County Assessor’s site.
The first public showing of real estate in the Longview Addition was shortly after the end of World War II. In October of 1945 the T. H. Maenner Company encouraged Omahans to take a long Sunday drive out to “see Omaha’s finest suburban home district. The Longview Addition is located on Pacific Street from 84th west to 90th Street.”
1945 image borrowed from the OWH archives.
Within a month six lots had been sold and by 1946, homes were springing up on the winding roads of the countryside.
1946 image borrowed from the OWH archives.
By the time our great homes along Pacific Street were being built and sold, the lovely language of the hopeful 1950s ranches was “The Dream Homes of Longview,” “Ranch Beauties,” and “A Longview Rancho in Stone and Frame.” Aren’t those cool?
The residence on the eastern most side of the grouping at 8403 Pacific Street was not acquired for the new development. The perfect stone ranch, legally named “Lot 21, Block 1,” was constructed in 1953 and will remain a vestige to the old group. Please Carry On, 8403 Pacific! Photo from the Douglas County Assessor’s site.
Pretty photo from the Douglas County Assessor’s site. Current photo of load-out demo day by author. 8407 Pacific Street was logged as being built in 1953, but the World-Herald archives describe a “stone-faced rambler” was for sale by 1951. The Williams family was early short-term owners. At 1,530 square feet, the home has three large bedrooms, 2 baths and like most ranches, a massive fireplace. “Lot 20, Block 1,” was purchased by SNC LLC back in 2007.
8413 Pacific Street. Lot 19, Block 1 is a 1,305 square feet home of stone and frame. The Assessor lists it as built in 1954. It sits on a 1.04-acre lot. I also found error, in that the OWH archives reveal it was up and housing a family by 1951. The Willis Avery family called this split level or raised ranch beauty their home. A 1965 ad boasted of a marble fireplace, two master bedrooms, a pine kitchen with dining area, complete with built-ins, and a paneled rec room. I do love a good pine kitchen.
8415 Pacific Street, Lot 18, Block 1. The Michael Danze family sold their home to SNC Investments LLC in 2010. Built in 1954, this large five bedroom, 4-bath abode was early on the Richard Abel family residence. “This Loveland all brick, long, low and rambling ranch offers prestige and sought after convenience for the new purchaser. Beautifully landscaped and established premises reached from daylight basement with huge, finished recreation room. Five bedrooms plus cozy family room. Separate dining room. Rear living room accented by stone fireplace wall.”
My Favorite of the Bunch. I adore this house! I dream of this house. I only wish I could afford to move this big girl. 8417 Pacific Street, Lot 17, Block 1. Built in 1957, this gorgeous ranch offered 2,205 square feet, four bedrooms, four baths originally. 1962 marketing called this “a country estate in the heart of Loveland. “Seven nice rooms, plus a two-room apartment, a large family room, a separate den, a rec room and a hobby room.” My stars! It was sold to SNC Investments in 2011.
Lot 16, Block 1 was built in 1955. The 1,934 square foot home was that of the James Eastman family until they sold to SNC Investments in 2008.
8625 Pacific Street
Lot 15, Block 1. Built in 1954, this Rancho was once thought to be an impressive corner lot on the southeast side of 87th and Pacific. Westside High is across the street to the west. Of all the homes in this grouping, this is the one that Mr. Cassette and I longed to fix up the most. We knew exactly what to do with her! SNC Investments purchased in 2017, according to real estate records in the World-Herald.
1965 marketing snippet borrowed from the OWH archives. Better days.
1125 South 87th Street, Lot 14 Block 1, around the corner and to the south is a fantastic 1955 home. The trees and property are beautiful. A 1,446 square foot frame and brick rancho, she has three bedrooms, a fireplace with a formal dining room.
There are many reasons to shut the bathroom door and cry to oneself. The landscape is changing before our eyes. Local character, regional identity and charm once found in the new-built environment are largely gone. I was born decades after most places of quality and character were erected in this town, except for a handful of incredible, 1970s architects with a wonderful resume. Compared to my younger friends, I am lucky to have even seen the late 70s and 80s and still remember what was just here. Legislation, lobbyists and greedy developers have foisted a cheap, ugly degradation of architecture across the country. It’s not just Omaha. It is planned obsolescence, plain and simple. Architects, at least the ones who are true design stewards, wanting to create honorable buildings that stand the test of time, would appear to work in isolation, made to feel at odds within the short-term profit system.
We are part to blame. There is little resistance in Omaha to the fast and cheap method of building, at the loss of quality architecture and our shared history. When quick profits are the developer’s driving focus and landfill-quality materials are the current building norm, it is no wonder new development just doesn’t register with us after a few months. Those that have advocated, end up frustrated when they realize the powers that be all golf together. And let’s be honest, some of us are dazzled by anything New and Sparkly. We are easily swayed. The flat box-in-the-box-cartoon style urban structures and the awkward multi-roof McMansions of the suburbs offer an inauthentic, hollow experience that age all to swiftly. Soon the brick façade is dripping in that sad white stain they all end up with but by that time, an owner is ready to move on to the next trend. Honestly, aside from my feeble attempts, I don’t know how to get people interested in the importance of tradition when we are inundated in a self-indulgent, throw away culture. Our buildings reflect that empty pursuit.
The Loveland-District 66 neighbors who do care about their investment in the historical properties of this fine area to include their gorgeous Loveland Elementary School, have felt the pressure to create and apply for a local historic district status. Bravo! Not only will this aid to educate the community about the entire Loveland neighborhood, it will hopefully attract owners who long to rehabilitate these beautiful properties, ensuring continued cohesiveness and less of the assemblage, factory-built Millennial houses and school buildings of late.
The Omaha City Planning Department should not just process building applications willy-nilly, focusing on single buildings and single projects. Needs assessments and local surveying could help tremendously among area homeowners, potential first time buyers and current renters to guide Omaha away from building more unpopular, ungracious, soul-crushing structures. Couldn’t this start now? What about a needs assessment of the Loveland-District 66 area? What are the preferences of the locals who will have to live next to these buildings? When these large developments are being designed for a historic neighborhood such as Loveland, quality materials, beauty-enhancing characteristics, and traditional architecture should harmonize with the surroundings and reflect continuity. Need I add the tremendous loss of the “natural” environment over this last week. Some of those trees were sixty plus years old.
From investigating these stories I know Omaha has a long history of being shortsighted and firing up the wrecking ball. This comes top down. But we have an equally long history of regular and well-heeled citizens fighting for our old architecture and some semblance of taste when it comes to new development. Honestly there have been more strides in taste shaping than in saving buildings. The problem of the last fifteen years is the shift in landownership privacy– LLCs, shell companies and covert, plotting land grabs. No one sees it coming. Back in the 1950s everyone would know who was behind a new development and some good ol’ boys could discuss matters in a reasonable way at the club. Currently it is damn near impossible to stop these designs once in motion and that is the perfection of the LLC. It keeps everyone at bay. OPS and District 66 schools are also guilty. So it means that citizens rely on local government to work in our best interest. Considering the tax revenues, city jobs created, overall lack of savvy about the built environment and nonexistent respect of history, have proven we cannot trust these entities. We are where we are.
It has been suggested in other cities, where they have the same problems with overt uglification of new buildings, that City Council, City Planning, school boards, small business leaders, other government, developers, neighborhood associations and architects gather to look at photos and renderings of building styles. They gather together, study and discuss what they see. It sounds remedial but this elementary pictorial experience can be a tool to help those in power “see” what citizens truly like and want to see built around them. Could this get the discussion started? Loveland, you deserve better.
This is only a small part of the story. I welcome your feedback and comments on the Loveland area, the Estates of Loveland project, new buildings and old homes. Please feel free to leave a thought in Comments. I welcome you to poke around with your flashlight. Investigate. Hide in the shrubbery. Look under these rocks and down those alleyways. I am more than pleased to have you tiptoe about. By the time you head for home, I hope you have been fully Sherlocked and Satiated. Thank you, detective friends.
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I totally love your Omaha obsessions. I guess I have a bit of that same malady.
We’ve got it bad! Thanks, Bill.
I live in the Sunset Hills neighborhood a little west of all this and am very sad at what is being planned for not only this part of Pacific, but also for the former golf course over here (as are many of my neighbors). It’s too bad that developers come in and remove any character that these neighborhoods were built with. Soon everything will look the same and there will be no uniqueness left. I grew up in district 66 and there are some areas that I don’t even recognize anymore. It sickens me to see these older unique houses being torn down for ugly new homes that don’t fit in with the existing feel of the neighborhood. I was so happy to be able to move back to 66 as an adult but what I’ve been seeing in the last 5 years has been very disappointing.
Hello, I just heard about the Sunset Hills golf course recently. It is all too dismal. It is a headscratcher as to why they can’t build these enormous boxes all in one place or stack them up with an elevator. That way, anyone who wants to pay an exorbitant amount of money to live in an industrial particle board box with faux brick can all gather together and the developers can quit palming these uglies on our already well-planned, simple neighborhoods. Thank you for writing in.
What IS it about the OMAHA PSYCHE? The stockyards are gone but the butchers remain–the overall prevailing attitude is OLD is BAD, NEW is GOOD.
My attempt at the Omaha Psyche: The only way these kinds of developers can make their quick money is to jam out the highest volume of housing, in the smallest area, with the cheapest materials. It is kind of like our food now, a suggestion of flavor but ultimately nutrient deficient. Their buying market craves to be a part of something authentic but they want the new version of it or are not savvy enough to understand the low quality knock-off. The old, established neighborhoods have done the hard work and created the niche culture over generations, desired by the buyer. Chasing the neighborhood panache drives the developers’ predatory behavior because they need to ram their newest project into a solid, esteemed neighborhood in order to charge that high dollar.
Mr. Cassette’s attempt at the Omaha Psyche: “Omaha is ugly. We have destroyed everything good. Omahans are sheep. And are cheap.”
While certainly evident in Omaha, the problem is truly a national one. I absolutely agree that the average buyer is not savvy enough to distinguish between the quality construction of the past and the drywall/particle board construction of today. How did that come about? I blame clever marketing and advertising. It’s been going on for a long, long, time but has become more insidious over the past decade or so with the popularity of popular television programs focusing on home “improvement”.
These types of programs (I’m sure we can all think of a few) subtly brainwash (yes, brainwash) viewers into thinking that it is perfectly logical to pick up a sledgehammer and beat the holy crap out of a perfectly beautiful and useful 1950’s kitchen. Once the debris is unceremoniously tossed in a dumpster, the joyful homeowners can install NEW and FASHIONABLE cabinets and appliances — all of which will likely have a much shorter lifespan that the things they just got rid of. The producers typically play up this part as they don’t want you to keep original features or go shopping at a salvage store like Habitat’s ReStore (thanks to M, below, for saving material from the houses on Pacific). The idea is to make you discontent with what you already have so that you will go out and purchase NEW items and stimulate the American economy in the process.
There is also economic stimulus to be found in restoring and preserving history, but the producers of televised “info-tainment” don’t want you to choose that direction. It’s very sad, but that’s the story in a nutshell… people are easily directed and influenced by popular culture as created and presented by the media. Your thoughts, tastes and desires might really not be your own…
Architectural Observer, Spot On, as usual. You made an excellent point regarding these tv shows. Many friends have fallen prey and in touring real estate for a good and proper looksee, it is obvious many among us have been watching too much television and hitting Lowe’s. Now I’m all for DIY, but we cannot match the quality of the past. We end up remuddling. A.O., I am wondering if you have caught the fantastic show, Rehab Addict. I am a devotee. If you haven’t seen it, you are in for a thrill. Start at the beginning. The very beginning. I bought her book and I thank her in my book! She is of our heart.
Yes; both Nicole Curtis of Rehab Addict and Brett Waterman of Restored have done a great job at raising consciousness. While neither is a devout purist doing academically correct restoration, they represent the very best television offers in terms of respectful treatment of antique houses. Their programs, however, are just a tiny sliver of the televised home renovation “pie”.
Just imagine how quickly tastes and fashions would change if shiplap and “open concept” were to be banished from TV and replaced with nothing but programs educating people about history, architectural integrity, and how to distinguish quality from crap! It will never happen, of course, because our retail stores ( i.e. advertisers) are not set up to profit from such a profound shift in consciousness. So we continue to embrace mediocrity and the loss of our connection to the past… a loss to future generations of incalculable consequence.
Historically we see that losses to our infrastructure are most profound during times of relative economic prosperity. Economic downturns (such as the years of the Great Depression in the 30’s) force people to be more conservative and less able to constantly “update”. I suspect that the current thirst for destruction and re-building will be winding down in the not-too-distant future. If there is any silver lining to a depression, this is it.
I personally walked through each home and curated every last piece of wood and building material, light fixtures, sinks, Crystal knobbed doors, kitchen cabinets, and so much more from the landfill for Habitat ReStore.. the wallpaper tho, we couldn’t save the wallpaper… M.T.
Oh M, this makes me very happy!!! Thank you for your good work and for writing in.
It’s simple: Omaha is a town with too many engineers and not enough architects 🙂
I hate seeing the old go for the new. I might feel different if the new was designed and built with character. But everything I see is the same, cold uninviting and just ugly. And why destroy all the beautiful old trees that make the property. The city has hardly any green spaces . Very few parks.,just concrete and mor concrete. Shame on Omaha.. it’s truly heartbreaking.
I too am very concerned that these 18 lots won’t be able to accommodate the large trees befitting Loveland. With back yards exposed to Pacific Street and I would assume fencing, sans trees, will be a gruesome vision for drivers, pedestrians and those stalking from the Village Grinder.
There is little I can add to the sentiments you have already touched on in this piece of horrible news for my area of Omaha. And yes, I WILL excuse myself to the bathroom this evening to have a solitude moment to reflect and perhaps cry. Developers have absolutely no sense of heritage or history for any given area–they are driven by quick profits building sub-standard construction, then move on to their next conquest. I don’t even think I want to know what the “Estates of Loveland” will consist of; I think it’s fair to say we ALL have a good idea of what it will be: ANYTHING other than what existed originally. Cramped, tight confines with little if any green space clustered together in order to maximize the profits from a single acre of land. I envision something like the townhomes along 90th street near Harney on the east side of the road…packed in so tight, if you back out of your garage too far, you’ll land in the neighbor’s living room! Sorry; not for me nor for many fellow Omahans who share my dismay. My neighborhood near 94th & W. Dodge is already quickly being overtaken by McMansions, although plenty of yard space remains, thankfully. I have not sold my `54 ranch (yet) and rue the day I have no choice but to ‘give in’ and take a developer’s offer & move on. I know the day will come, but until then I stand my ground–both figuratively & literally. Offers abound in my mailbox constantly, which I happily share with the waste basket. Insulting figures real estate companies think I will jump at. My patooty I will! As much as I hate this news Miss Cassette, until now I was no aware of this turn of events and sincerely appreciate you sharing this. Your heart is in OUR corner Ma’am, and I for one love what you share with your readers! Now if you’ll excuse me, I need a hanky…….
Hello Mr. Fox, as per usual you have brought a smile, even on this woeful occasion. Somehow knowing that others feel as I do reminds me that there was a page, at some time, of which we all worked from. My mother is one who likes new. New, New, New. I am not talking bad about her. This is openly discussed as we have very differing views. I assess her upbringing drove her to this Need for New and shiny. As for Omaha, I believe the built environment demands diversity and new building does have a place. The building standards of the last thirty years must be raised. On the cheap building material and poor design is the problem. Quality overall is at a minimal drive-thru caliber. Also placement and scale. In my mother’s case, she had the sense to build Way Out There, where her type of aesthetic collects. I respect that.
My husband and I have been wanting to move to Omaha and I think we tried to look at one of those homes when listed for sale but couldn’t. It appears developers are given first chance on some homes. I’m dismayed at the direction Omaha is taking — developers not caring about preserving those ‘older’ buildings. There are entirely too many ‘boxes’ for sale there with no character and no land.
Living in Sunset Hills, I too, have seen the beginnings of the demolition of these homes. While I can understand the homes have lost their appeal due to their location on a highly trafficked thoroughfare, I do not understand the need to remove all of the trees! One would think some mature trees would provide a much needed buffer between the new homes planned for this development from busy Pacific Street. What a shame all around.
So appreciate the rsearch and perspectives. Hanging on, and headin to Restore for fixtures. xo 8403
Thank you for telling this sad story. I confess to being one of the homeowners who sold to the developer. Having to sell, knowing what would eventually become of the neighborhood, was painful even back when we were too consumed by family tragedy to give much thought to the values you eloquently defend in this piece. It is doubly so now that the dust has settled for my family and I daydream about what could have been. I had hoped, naively I suppose, that they would keep some trees.
Miss Cassette…Bravo to your ode to the Pacific Street Ranches. Not to add to the misery, but what do you think of the Children’s Hospital addition? Oh my! They have also approved a digital sign ala NYC Times Square!
Westside should take the property with eminent domain and put up a parking garage.
I live close by – 80th and Pacific. It breaks my heart to see the loss of the trees and these old homes. With TLC, those homes could have been wonderful homes again. As long as developers can make a buck, I don’t think the city gives one hoot what they approve. New homes could have been built, preserving the trees and the character of the neighborhood. But alas and alack, we’ll likely get a foreboding wall on Pacific Street, and houses jammed together on the lots. I’ve heard the great horned owls that live in our neighborhood hooting at twilight when they started destroying the trees; I think they are mourning the loss of their habitat….
Oh well, progress ! More homes ! Developer profit! More Tax Increment Financing !
I don’t live in that area, but I have often thought the homes along Pacific Street are some of the most character-filled and lovely homes around. The interesting and unique architecture and design, the lovely yards and big old trees…such homes as we could only dream of moving to someday. Instead, as more and more older homes are torn down to make way for little cheaply-made expensive boxy homes that all look the same, we will likely wind up in something shiny and new and lacking any heart. We don’t just need more houses and “modern” design in Omaha, we need homes. Places to have a life and a yard for kids and pets to play in. Places where neighbors speak to one another and life is slower and more focused on things of value and meaning. I understand progress has a place, and I truly hope development in some areas is beneficial, but it only will be if it’s an improvement. The loss of the trees is saddening, and I hope doesn’t affect the habitat of too many creatures. I’m sorry for those who live here who will have to look at whatever rises in their place. I hope soon something can be done to help people see the value of character and history and real architecture and design, and that not everything ought be torn down for the New. Thank you for your article, preserving the history and trying to share these important ideas. May many people read and benefit from your words.
Oh my! I just discovered your blog and I feel like I have known you forever! THANK YOU for doing this. You have put out for the world to see–and in such a pleasant and easy format–all that I have been thinking about, concerned about etc for years. I too have an Omaha obsession—and I have had it since I was a kid growing up in suburbia. And I love your mission–“the AUTHENTIC Omaha.” This situation with the ranches on Pacific/Loveland is heartbreaking –and not so much that we have lost some lovely mid-century ranches WHICH WE WILL NEVER HAVE AGAIN. But that there appears to be a real lack of leadership in the planning department and a real lack of community knowledge of or participation in the developers plans. I agree with you, this is not real in-fill. This is not anything that would go toward getting more people into the area to enjoy walkability, the shopping, Village Grinder and the schools. I fear these homes will be very high priced—and that’s great for some people–but absolutely shows no creativity or real smart development when there was this great opportunity. I cry! This spurs me on even more to be MORE involved and more curious about what is going on. In the end, I take some of the blame for this happening. After all, it is MY city too, not just the developers’. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO! I will be following, in touch and available to help in any way you want.
Heartbreaking to see and hear what becomes of those homes. The area has always been a part of what makes Omaha special. I drove a friend from out of state to the Westside Loveland area and was so proud of it. He loved the big old trees and large green lots. So many styles and sizes of homes. Some of them look like they should be in movies others you just sit and wonder how cozy they must be, or how grand the parties or history is. The golf course behind Sunset offered the area that something special and its sickening to hear what will become of it. Politics in Omaha have always been the good old boys club, who you know and golf with. Yes, its about making a quick buck to be spent at the country club, a trip, jewels, second home in Florida. Seems like preservation is not a priority. I used to live in Omaha and it became apparent family wasn’t a priority. Peony Park disappeared, Sunset Speedway, Shutting down of parts of Elmwood park for the college , moving Rosenblatt way out, downtown Mall being torn up, so many small businesses that were family places closed. Over the years more and more empty strip malls. Some of the great places to eat that were booming during the days of the horse races now all closed. Lost a lot of the charm, fun and history in the city. And now piling homes on top of each other and making more of the same. Thank God you still have Vala’s and family fun center and field club area , and dundee have tried to keep some charm.
You should follow up with this story. My kids go to Westside, I pass by it every day and I have yet to see any work being done this school year. The front loader has not moved in months.
C10-19-214, C12-19-215: Final Plat approval of ESTATES AT LOVELAND, a subdivision inside city limits, along with rezoning from R2 to R4. Southeast of 87th and Pacific Streets
There is an apron on the east side of the cul de sac, for future access to 84th Street.
As for the historic nature… in New York City, they use this definition:
“To become an individual landmark, a building must be: At least 30 years old. Have “a special character or special historical or aesthetic interest or value as part of the development, heritage, or cultural characteristics of the City, state, or nation””
Eye of the beholder and all that, but does mid-century suburbia deserve preservation?
I live over in Skylark, which is a bit more mixed-use thanks to Boardwalk.
What I would like to see in this development? Density. With Countryside Village directly north, it would make for a nice “Main Street” neighborhood (similar to Benson’s Maple Street). All three schools are within walking distance.
Given all that, expect more redevelopment in the neighborhood.
Have you search DOGIS for more corporate ownership of lots in the area?
Were I a doctor at Methodist, I’d consider this neighborhood, and update or replace a house that’s 60+ years old.
There are some huge lots nearby.