There is no chance for creeping on North 89th Circle without a tinge of house-stalking shame. If you are not endowed with thick skin or wearing a very good disguise, don’t even think about turning off of Burt Street. But here I am to entice. The nonchalance of the entrance. The taunting NO OUTLET sign. An irresistible glimpse of the historic white mansion in the distance. Is it really that big or a deception like the Disneyland Small World buildings? The bewitching drive, lined with comely trees. Those historic street lanterns, standing as guards from another time. A limited sprinkling of Mid-century modern houses eased into the folds off the private drive. Year after year, it remains everything we look for in mysterious, hidden-in-plain-view tuckaways. But what did it all mean? It was a tempting puzzler, for sure.
Two of the lovely “gas lanterns” of North 89th.
I started my 89th Circle Lurk-About back in 2017. After turning down the road, I remember being immediately aware of my own detective’s lack of coverage. Now where were my Lee Radziwill 70’s sunglasses as I white-knuckled the wheel? Although the trees and shrubbery are immense, it is actually a short, albeit, overwhelming length of a drive. The shading area is altogether intimate and enveloping. The brave amongst you have already found, once you sneak along the path of 89th Circle, there is no turning back and you are immediately partaking in a very close and personal environment. Be prepared. Everyone living on this quiet, sun-dappled lane will observe your passing and there is no real preparation for the display, unless you have that type of pleasant and self-possessed poker face. And then there is the unfortunate business of the cul-de-sac, forcing you to circle and once again steer through their close association for a second time. The paving itself has a casual air, sans sidewalk, much like the adventurous, winding streets in Westside High area. The front lawns and gardens of the Mid-century ranches are arranged in a gracious familiar manner, with the perfect homes poised directly behind. Curiously close quarters but warm. Each MCM design appeared to utilize the bulk of their parcel’s square footage on the residential structure itself and the imagined spacious backyard gardens. If I can equate the proximity of building placement, it would not be unlike a drive through Tomlinson Woods where the homes sit right up next to your Peeping Peggy car.
My first passion was, of course, the grand southern mansion at 830 North 89th Circle. She was so arresting that I lovingly named her the Elephant in the Room, only meaning that she obviously held all the clues to 89th Circle. I have yet to stand directly before her and take a photo straight-on. I would shake too much. She is the first home on the western side, well positioned amongst the trees. There are large, rolling green lots to her north and south; I would find this was by design. Her grand stairs come right down to the street as she greets her guests in the old school manner. I surmised she had been there long before the surrounding ranches and that her glory seemingly predated all of the development for blocks around.
The lovely 830 South 89th Circle from the street at a southwestern angle. The building behind might be a garage, a guest house or an outbuilding of some sort. Maybe it’s an old barbeque house or summer kitchen? This view is but a snippet of the empty southern lot adjacent to 830 North 89th Circle. If you back peddle to the first photo of this article, you can see that this park like setting extends all the way out to Burt Street.
830 South 89th Circle also has a servant’s home to the north. More on that later.
Likewise I was breathless for her standout Mid-century, flat-roofed, show-stopping neighbor at 831 North 89th Circle, directly to the east. A true work of art.
831 North 89th Circle. 2017 photo borrowed from P.J. Morgan Real Estate. Front elevation faces west. The juxtaposition of these two strong homes, culturally from two very different eras was a powerful Omaha statement we don’t often hear (see) and an architectural delight.
The whole 89th Circle of homes, but more so, The Feel of the locale was obsessive worthy. I would return many times those years ago to sense the space and take photos, often cringing as I did so. I am surely not the only one. It all sounds rather vulgar to type it out, but I think most of you understand my devotion to the soul and sensation of the built environment. I would file away my infatuation.
Very recently I received a letter from My Omaha Obsession friend, local “Old Omaha” realtor, Tim Reeder. I was pleased to read of one of my favorite homes going up for sale and quite intrigued with both the history he proposed and questioned. I knew that you would love this as well. He wrote:
Hello again!!! I’m writing to ask if you know anything about Lamplighter Lane (north 89th Circ). I’m preparing to market an incredible Mid-century modern on that block. Absolutely amazing and historic in its own right. A John Hyde home, I was told he built for himself. What these clients are telling me is that this home is on what was once called Lamplighter Lane. They say the home across the street was the original Peony Park Mansion and their home is the sight of the original stables. The street is still adorned with the original gas lanterns. This all sounds about right, and you likely know what street I’m talking about but this was new to me. I’m trying to find information about it. The original lanterns are amazing, and you just know there is something special here, and I’m dying to know it.
I did know exactly which street and home Tim was speaking of and I quickly wrote back: “It sounds like we’ve got a mystery on our hands!” Of course it took no coaxing for me to take up the sleuthing task at hand. While Tim and his Old Home team readies to market and list the gorgeous 831 North 89th Circle, I returned to my infatuation file on 89th Circle thinking I could aid in setting the story straight. At the very least it would be fun to learn more.
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 Tim Reeder nor will I be paid for my efforts. 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.
Early 831 North 89th Circle Clues
It did not take long to find the 2017 listing for 831 North 89th Circle, which I had stashed away long ago. From the 2017 sale: “One-of-a-kind modern home in District 66 on private .67 acre lot. Recently featured on Dwell.com. This home boasts a gorgeous 2-story great room with new floor-to-ceiling windows & unique steel flooring. Main floor features reclaimed hardwood maple from bowling alley. Stunning curved staircase leads to loft. Beautiful master suite with fireplace, 2 walk-in closets, double vanity & direct access to patio. Separate guest quarters. 4 fireplaces. Game room with hot tub & wet bar. Truly a rare find!” The following photos are from the 2017 P. J. Morgan listing. Steady your nerves, friends. These are stunning.
A built-in planter and flag stone entry? Did I forget to mention the stone wall, that floating from rods stairwell and the space pendant lights? A MCM paradise. I was willing to let the Sansevieria in cinderblocks slide. I was sold.
Did the kitchen and this master bedroom feature the reclaimed bowling alley floor? It sure looked like it.
I would consult Virginia Savage McAlester’s Field Guide to American Houses to brush up on the Contemporary architectural style, although we reviewed it pretty heavily in the 6617 Cuming Street investigation. The Contemporary rose to fame in the mid forties. The 831 home offered all the signifiers of a Contemporary in glorious orchestration—a flat roof, with long, wide, continuous overhanging eaves, roof beams exposed, built with natural materials (wood, stone, brick), broad expanses of uninterrupted wall surface, entry door obscured, asymmetrical, walls of large windows. As far as showpieces go, she was more than ready for her closeup. Boasting four bedrooms and four and a half baths at 4,048 sqft, I knew this Mid-century dream was built to house a growing family Stylishly.
Back in 2009 AIA Omaha Architects’ Home Tour featured local architect, Michael P. Hamilton’s residence. At that time the Hamiltons lived at our 831 North 89th Circle obsession. The website summarized their findings, somewhat similar to what the current owners were reporting.
“House designed in 1960 by architect John Hyde Jr. for the founder of Peony Park. This house was originally built as a lodge for horse trails that existed on his estate. Later in the 60’s his adjacent property was developed as residential at the same time Regency was being developed. There still remains a hitching post out front. In the 80’s the house had some additions and renovations making it larger. The current owner, architect Michael P. Hamilton, is remodeling/modernizing the house in an effort to bring the various additions into a cohesive structure. As Michael and his wife Candace were searching for flooring material they thought about an old popular bowling alley and music venue called the Ranch Bowl, which at the time was slated for demolition for a wall mart. They contracted with Wall Mart to remove the maple bowling lanes and used that wood as their primary flooring material in the bedrooms. The west elevation is being screened using 2”x2” cedar for shading and to unite the disparate additions.”
It was interesting to read and learn of the Ranch Bowl flooring, Hamilton’s amazing addition of the cedar shading façade and the Peony Park storyline. As far as renovations go, the couple did a remarkable job of keeping with the intention of the Mid-century look. Bravo. I took notes on their added history.
Something Like a Beginning
The Douglas County Assessor had the big white southern Romantic at 830 North 89th Circle listed as being constructed in 1900. The Contemporary at 831 North Circle was noted to have been built in 1960. Both parcels are in the Stoneham Estates addition. I knew I would have to travel a long road back in order to get to the bottom of the story, figuring the older home had surely been a part of another subdivision or possibly rural country held under Omaha Lands. Those who have gathered with me for a long time already know 89th Circle was not called 89th Circle and not even 89th Street. There was no Burt Street out in these parts, no real hope of finding any actual addresses when you wind back to 1900 or even 1945. It wasn’t until I desperately cracked open my favorite local book Born Rich: A Historical Book of Omaha by Margaret Patricia Killian that I would read, “North of Dodge in the 90th Street area were the homes of Henry Monsky, Al Kochers and Bert Murphy.” Digging into each of those names, I would finally fall into the dark hole of the Bert Murphy estate. I type this report from that very hole and I don’t ever want to crawl out.
Seeing as my favorite County Assessor, Deeds Office and Omaha Public Libraries are closed, I would have to ask favors from some of trusted public employee friends. (I hate not being able to scuttle about and do my own dirty work.) Susanna, my galpal at the Deeds office, was essential in providing backing for my crazy hunches, plat maps, deeds and ultimately solidifying many of my mystery questions. (Thank you, Susanna!) That being said, because this is such a daunting and twisting tale, I have decided to break this investigation into two parts. This first part will be tidbits of the foundation just to help establish the 831 North 89th Circle property for our purposes here today.
The Country Home
The large pillared mansion, now carrying the address of 830 North 89th Circle was originally ten acres large, extending west to 90th Street. The ten acres were included in the Pierson’s Subdivision, platted back in 1886. Anton Hospe bought his ten acres, originally Lot 3 of Pierson’s from none other than John L. Pierson back in 1889.
Photo by Google. Camera is facing south on 89th Circle. 830 North 89th is featured on the rise of the hill to the west.
Anton Hospe was Omaha Famous—a pioneer art and music dealer in early Omaha. The A. Hospe & Company was large, successful business, located at 101 South 10th Street and was nationally known. The name would transition to Hospe Music Warehouse and when I was a girl, traces of his empire remained in the Hospe’s Mister Music business. Do you remember it on Dodge? Anton was literally a charter member of everything important in these parts. But for our focus today, the Hospe brood were looking for a summer country home to offset their in-town home. You know how I obsess about this concept of the West Omaha Country Home. Ten acres was a nice romp-about and was thought to give city dwellers a “sense” of the country without too much commotion. One could even engage in a little farming and raising of animals for a deeper commune with nature. The Hospes confidently christened their country home, Pappio View, for it overlooked the Papio. The home was known for its view and one can only imagine how far the Hospes could see across early Omaha without the Mid-century ranches, mature trees and powerlines blocking their view to the east. The country home looked nothing like it does today, although it was large and gracious and the site of many a tea party, wedding and billiards competition. You know me—I will give you all of the salacious details in Part Two.
When he died in 1928 at the age of 73, Anton Hospe had been in business for 54 years.
Long after the Hospes removed for other parts, their house and farm would go down in infamy when it became site of a prohibition hooch house and chicken dinner country club. It would be named and renamed. Now we all are familiar with this phenomenon from our Rose Lodge investigation. It was fascinating and I can’t wait to dish on the gallons of gin, secret doors and informants. But let’s stay on the path for here is where I began to figure things out. “The Members Only Club” of scandal was “located near Peony farm on what was formerly known as the Anton Hospe farm. It is near Ninetieth Street and a quarter mile south of the Lincoln highway or a quarter mile north of Dodge Street road.”
The Fog of Peony Park
I have been trying to figure out how the past owners of 831 North 89th Circle made the Peony Park link and here is what I’ve discovered. Brothers Godfrey, Jerry and Joe Malec and family members created Peony Park, a local amusement park but first they operated a gas station on Lincoln Highway. The brothers purposely picked this locale to be near Carl Rosenfield’s (sometimes Rosenfeld) Peony Gardens. Likewise called Peony Farm, people would drive from all over to catch a gander of the lovely farm and its colorful peonies. The Peony Farm property was very near Anton Hospe’s ten acres on the hill but Rosenfield’s did not extend quite that far west, from my detective work.
Post card showing how flat the Peony Farm was—unlike the 89th Circle location.
Years later the Malec family would open Peony Park on Cass Street, (early on called Underwood), thought to be across the street from Peony Farm. I would trail eldest, Godrey “Bob” and his boys (through genealogy sites and draft registration cards) and it appears that they actually resided on the Peony Park grounds at “78th and Underwood.” I found another Malec family living across from the park at 8305 Cass. In 1972 Charles Malec lived at 206 South 89th Street—possible link to the conundrum. Toil as I might, at the end of the day, I could find no Malec or Rosenfield association with Lot 3’s ten acres or history of owners in Pierson’s Subdivision where 89th Circle now exists.
The hilltop acreage would change hands a couple of times. It wasn’t until Bert Murphy bought the country home in 1925, that the property once again became Legend. Bert and his father owned a very successful automobile company. A Single Man throughout his life, well-loved and well-respected, Bert would immediately refashion and expand the house to what we now know as the large white mansion on 89th Circle. As all wealthy country lovers did, Bert named his estate “Stoneham” and friends, I’m no genius, but I’m going to wager that is how the acreage came to be re-platted as Stoneham Estates. That was my favorite clue. Much more on the fabulous Murphys in Part Two.
The Street Confusion
According to Tim Reeder, the current owners of 831 North 89th Circle are of the belief 89th Circle was once named “Lamplighter Lane.” Another favorite book, the Streets of Omaha says “Lamplighter Drive” runs east-west. Our focal point runs north-south. From my survey Lamplighter Drive is way up north by McKinley Street. There is no mention of Lamplighter Lane. But there is also no listing in the book for 89th Circle but I believe the book came out before the circle transitioned from 89th Street. Likewise the Omaha World Herald archives do not mention Lamplighter Lane. Of course I tried any and all spellings like a madwoman. The 89th Circle original estate was called 90th and Dodge and later was mentioned as 89th Street. Additionally Bert Murphy’s Stoneham held a Burt Street address. Burt Street runs east-west and is the road one travels to get to 89th Circle. Formally and legally, 89th Circle was never known as Lamplighter, that I could find, but that doesn’t mean that the Hospes or any family to follow didn’t name it as such. I think that would be perfectly lovely, if so. The point of all this, I suppose it the realization that 89th Circle was once a private drive to Stoneham. If it still feels like one is intruding onto a bit of personal property or a picnic setting uninvited, that is because this was once a truly intimate setting. The road serves as an impressive, breathless viewing of the white house from Burt Street. If the gas lanterns were original, can you imagine the welcoming, warm sight after a long drive from downtown Omaha?
Stoneham Estates 2020 aerial. Photo borrowed from the Douglas-Omaha GIS page. Top of the photo is north.
I would review all of the archives on Bert Murphy and his obsession with horses. It was a strong, lifelong love. From what I studied of his property, his stables were at the northern most end of the now cul-de-sac. A review of the Douglas and Omaha GIS aerials shows what look to be stables in that area . 910 North 89th Circle appears situated where the original stables might have been. When one considers the once famous long distance view from the large southern mansion at 831 North 89th Circle, why would anyone put stables or outbuilding in front of that view? I don’t know many people who would put a barn or stables right in front of their home. It does make sense that the horses were kept on the northern end and brought round to the hitching post for Bert and friends. But for the owners to carry on this storyline, I wondered if the stables had possibly been at the 831 North 89th Circle site back in the Hospe days? Anything is possible but I just couldn’t imagine them blocking their “Pappio View.”
1938 aerial borrowed from the DOGIS page. Top of photo is north. The stables or some outbuildings were featured on the northern most part of the property at about 910 North 89th Circle. Sorry their photos didn’t exactly line up. Tis a pity but I’m sure you can make it out. I put blue arrows by the 830 North 89th large house and what I estimate are stables. The other image shows the addresses of where the other newer homes would be located.
1941 aerial borrowed from the DOGIS page. A bit more visible. Still no stable in the 831 North 89 position.
The Arthur Pinkertons
When Bert Murphy died, his favorite nieces inherited his beloved Stoneham. Niece Natalie Gunlock Brown and her husband Eugene Brown would move into the palatial 830 North 89th Circle where they would live for many years. They soon set about to dividing and selling the parcels off as “Stoneham Estates,” as was Bert’s wish. I would find record of Bert, himself, advertising the “high and sightly land” back in 1955. “This fine tract of ground is the east part of the Bert Murphy home place.” Arthur and Myrle Pinkerton showed the earliest interest. Now as fellow detectives, I am sure you can recognize the divinely named Pinkertons. If only one of them had been a detective!
Arthur Wheeler Pinkerton was a well-known, second generation Omaha insurance man. He was born in 1911 to parents Augustine and Martha Wheeler Pinkerton. He graduated from Central High School and graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1933. He was made a master Mason of the Masonic Temple by 1938, for those who like that intrigue; his father, “August” Pinkerton, had also been a veteran Mason of Omaha as well as for Old Omaha insurance. In 1895 he formed Pinkerton-Madden-Burford, operating as PMB Insurance Company. After serving in the Army during World War II, Arthur would build his one-man insurance agency into Nebraska’s largest.
Arthur Pinkerton in 1952. He’s got that cute 50’s businessman look that I do adore. By 1948 Arthur had been elected president of the Omaha Association of Insurance Agents.
Pinkerton married Myrle Newbranch Hokanson in 1945. (Also spelled Merle). The couple wed in Acapulco, Mexico. At the time of the marriage, wife Myrle Newbranch Hobokan Pinkerton (I love those strong surnames) had two little daughters from a previous marriage and was a self proclaimed horse-lover and art-lover—she would say, “Two kinds of a nut!” Daughters Jeanie (sometimes Jeannie or Jeanne) and Nancy were adopted by Arthur right away and made the papers as much as their folks. By the way Mr. Pinkerton was president of the Mid-Continent Horse Show held at Ak-Sar-Ben and little Jeanie also rode show horses through her young life—it was more than a family pastime. The horse obsession was strong in this house. I couldn’t help but wonder if they were the ones to install the mysterious horse hitch in front of their drive?
The horse hitch as it appears today in front of 831 North 89th Circle. A possible Pinkerton addition symbolizing their affinity for horses. Photo borrowed from Tim Reeder.
The Pinkertons were a stylish lot and no stranger to building houses and lavish living. I would find back in 1954 the family built 1617 South 90th Street with Architectural Engineer Jack Jackson; they immediately hired Mildred Draper for interior design and decoration. This was a great looking home when it was originally built. But in June of 1958 the Pinkertons moved from their 90th Street creation for a temporary home at 8413 Brentwood Road. The deed would reveal that Pinkerton bought his new empty lot in April of 1958 from the Murphy relatives. It would be a long while until other Omahans followed suit.
Oddly it wasn’t until August of 1959, that the Pinkertons’ purchase of future lot 831 North 89th Circle was listed in the World-Herald.
The John F. Hyde, Jr. Question
The Pinkertons had settled on their Stoneham Estates lot when the massive Stoneham was the only house on the street. They would have to dazzle in its shadow. In this time frame an original John Hyde Design was a prestigious communique. John Frederick Hyde was a well-known Omaha architect; many of his homes are found throughout historic neighborhoods in Omaha, primarily Fairacres and standout ranches in West Omaha. As hoighty as his designs whistled to well-to-do Omahans, Hyde was an elusive character. According to the Nebraska State Historical Society, “John F. Hyde, Jr. was a member of the American Institute of Architects from 1954-1974, but never supplied biographical or professional information to the organization for publication in any of their directories. His resume thus far, therefore, is derived almost exclusively from directory listings and building permits.”
Architect John Hyde, Jr. Photo borrowed from the Nebraska Historical Society website.
His sparse listing of works on their website did not mention the 831 North 89th Circle home– in fact, from 1951-1965 there were no Omaha listings to his credit. I would later find a newspaper article that interviewed the Pinkertons, where they made a point to mention Hyde as their architect. I would find from a genealogy site that John Hyde, Jr. built 515 South 96th Street in 1955 as his personal residence. He won awards in both 1955 and 1970. Curiously this address is listed on the historical society website as having been built in 1966. I add this information here because that answers the question of 831 North 89th Circle being built as Hyde’s personal residence. It was not.
The John Hyde residence at 515 South 96th Street. Still a glory to behold.
The New 831 North 89th Street
I was surprised to find the Pinkertons had moved into the home of our obsession at 831 North 89th Circle by April of 1959. Of course it was known as 831 North 89th Street at that time. This means that the build date logged with the city is one year off. The family noted they were still finishing up the home. This begs the question—when is a house ever finished?
Photo borrowed from the OWH archives. April 2, 1959 Pinkertons move in but still building.
By the time the society home page was covering the awe inspiring Pinkerton home in 1960, the Contemporary spread had already hosted many social gatherings, a bridal shower and a theft. A most perfect article was titled “House Planned for Setting: Wedded to Woodland Living Room Two Stories High.” I include each desirous word here as it reveals many new clues. David A. Sadler, probably my favorite house-writer from mid-century Omaha, revealed the auspicious event to a hungry, curious public. All historic and ghostly photos borrowed from the OWH archives. August of 1960.
“The new home of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Pinkerton at 831 North Eighty-ninth Street was designed to appear wedded to its wooded setting. Surrounded by multilevel patios, it is a well-integrated combination of planes and curves, high and low sections. The living room has a two-story-high ceiling with soaring windows in keeping with the height. To support the high, flat roof, John Hyde, Jr. architect, used steel beams, relieving the outer walls of all load. The roof was erected before the walls. Living room ceiling joists, boxed in wood, cross overhead.
The exterior is of wood siding in two shades of gray and in a multicolor brick made to simulate used brick. Patios are paved in concrete, with brick trim.
“Mrs. Arthur Pinkerton on patio…Soaring windows light the living room.”
“Foyer…Planter seems to grow from floor.”
The house is entered through a slate-floored foyer in which is built a low planter. A curved stairway is cantilevered from a stonewall. Free ends of the oak planks of the open stair are supported by iron rods. The stair leads to a balcony above the living room. Here Nancy Pinkerton has her bedroom, with an off-white carpet and walls, white furniture and built-in bookshelves.
“Living room ceiling is two stories up…Balcony at left is a bedroom.”
“The living room also has off-white walls. Long draperies of Belgian linen are blue and green. A stone corner fireplace has a black metal chimney breast and flanking bookshelves. The dining area, an extension of the living room, is between the foyer and the kitchen.”
“Kitchen range…surmounted by extra large hood.”
“Relatively small, it makes use of a harvest table and a built-in sideboard. The kitchen has a muted-gold floor covering in a mosaic pattern; white countertops flecked with gold and ash cabinets. Walls are in white glazed brick and Japanese print paper of soft gold with a wood green overprint. A large fluted hood is above the range. Hidden features include pull-out shelves for canned goods. The kitchen is at the front of the house, with a picture window providing a view of a brick courtyard.”
Jeanie Pinkerton, 12, has a first-floor bedroom that reflects her interest as an equestrienne. The wallpaper has a barn door pattern in white and robin’s egg blue. The carpet is robin’s egg blue. Her first pair of show riding boots were used in making table lamps. There is a built-in trophy case.
“Master bedroom…Fireplace a must.” Note the fabuloso paintings of the two girls and the space-age tv.
“As in a previous house of the Pinkertons, the master bedroom has a fireplace. In the present case, it is a metal prefabricated fireplace hung on a brick section of wall. Carpet, walls and draperies are sauterne color. Bedroom furniture includes two desks flanking the bed. The living room section of the house can be seen across a patio from the bedroom wing. The adjoining bathroom has twin lavatories set in a marble counter under a picture window. There are shutters at the widows. A door opens on patio. The A. S. Battiato Construction Company built the house.”
Pinkerton Fascination Point One
I smiled to realize another obsession of mine can be weaved into this tale. This is deserving of its own story but it seems apropos to include now. Stanley J. How & Associates, Architects completed the Pinkerton & Company Office Building in 1961. Our man Arthur Pinkerton was certainly on a Mid-century Modern roll. This great Pinkerton Office Building is located at 8014 West Dodge Road, although it now looks quite different.
Pinkerton & Company Office Building (1961), 8014 West Dodge Road. Photo borrowed from the Stanley J. How & Associates, Architects. The great Stanley John How, Jr. was featured in my Swanson Towers investigation, if you would like to learn more about him.
How 8014 West Dodge Road appears today. Geez Louise. Now that is a facelift and a half.
Pinkerton Fascination Point Two
As an aside for those who loved the soaps as I did when I was child—little Nancy Pinkerton Peabody would grow up to become an actress. She was best known for her portrayal of Dorian Lord, a villainess character we loved to hate on One Life to Live. As I said it was not hard to find her, along with her sister, in the papers while growing up.
Photo borrowed from the OWH archives. June of 1961. “A favorite acting daughter of the Omaha and Cleveland Playhouses finally has secured a niche for herself in New York show business. She is Nancy Pinkerton, 21, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur W. Pinkerton. Nancy, who only had worked in one Westside High School play, became Omaha director Kendrick Wilson’s “Reluctant Debutante” in 1958. Later she turned professional with the Cleveland players that year. She had been signed to “Search for Tomorrow” an early soap opera.
The Pinkertons’ Last Hurrah
I was glad to find the Pinkerton residence had been selected as one of the eleven decorator homes for the “Daisy Parade,” sponsored by Duchesne Boutique as a benefit for Duchesne Academy in May of 1970. I liked to imagine that they received the public and got some attention for their Omaha contribution.“The sophistication of the Arthur W. Pinkertons’ contemporary home at 831 North Eighty-ninth Street is mellowed by the warmth of beloved family possessions and a delightful informal setting amid gardens, patio and terraces.” William Votava, N.S.I.D. was listed as the Pinkertons’ decorator. Whether it was a matter of downsizing once the girls had moved away or some other cause, the Pinkertons listed their Wedded to the Woodland home for sale in 1977. By October of 1978 the Pinkerton couple had moved to a new apartment at Latvian Village West, a teenage obsession apartment complex of Miss Cassette’s. Perhaps it felt good to let go of a such a large property and settle into an apartment but it seemed kind of sad. Incredible flat-roofed Contemporary aside, the Pinkertons were the first to establish the “neighborhood” of this once renowned country estate. The other ranches were built between 1962 and 1969.
New occupants of the Contemporary home, subsequent to the Pinkertons, were the Dale Cockerills, who had recently returned to Omaha from Hastings with their youngest daughter, Karen. 831 North 89th Circle would go on to host many families through the decades. I am sure most everyone one of them felt as I did when I first laid eyes on her. A True Work of Art nestled into the fold of the trees and shrubs.
The Sale and Look Book
This Saturday Tim Reeder, Old Home Expert, will begin showing the breathtaking Pinkerton Contemporary. For a sneak peek of the latest photos of this Cool Customer, check out the following images captured by Tim’s team. If you are One Of Those looking to buy a Mid-century Modern house, this is most definitely the Dream Home you’ve been waiting for. Call up Tim Reeder at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate (402-612-3833) to book a tour. Of course when you buy this Contemporary Gem, we will want a full report! Dream big, obsessors and stay tuned. This story now has a sequel, which is really more of a prequel. Check it out at Mysteries of Omaha: 830 North 89th Circle.
I welcome your feedback and comments on the beautiful 831 North 89th Circle, the Stoneham house, the Pinkertons and the whole area. This is only a small part of the story and we’d all love to hear your input and secret clues.
You can keep up with my latest investigations by joining my email group. Click on “Contact” then look for “Sign me up for the Newsletter!” Enter your email address. You will get sent email updates every time I have written a new article. Also feel free to join My Omaha Obsession on Facebook. Thank you, Omaha friends. Miss Cassette
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