I was struck dumb and could only stare at them as they beckoned through the large picture windows, frozen, as it seemed, in a moment in time. The Mystery Mannequins of Midtown I had discovered some time before, further down the street, had inexplicably walked into the little storefront at 48th and Dodge and my word…they seemed to be getting comfortable on the catwalk. Humorously erotic, the dolls seemed to mock retail enterprise itself. They even ridiculed Dodge Street, Omaha’s proudest drive. Was this an installation piece, I wondered? An exploration and challenge of public space vs. private? Or was this someone’s tawdry, personal collection on display? The mind reeled with the possibilities. I wish I had a short film of that first encounter.
The mannequins in the window of 4801 Dodge set back on the southside of the popular thoroughfare. Both the lower, MCM storefront and the original home at the rear carry the same address. The gals in the windows always made me smile. Their daring, witty conviction suggested all sorts of things. An irreverence for the common shop, as if to poke at our middle class notions of commerce and audienceship. Certainly, that things on Dodge are rarely what they appear. I magnified the details here for our purposes. Do you see the St. Pauli Girl costuming, beer in hand, complete with a row of emptied beer bottles? The ol’ Stars and Stripes Forever bikini themed girl often spied in the front window on hands and knees was like an ode to institutional advertising and voyeurism at the same time. Always intriguing.
The gals at 4801 Dodge meant business….or did they? Interior of 4801 Dodge Street. You can click the images below for a closer look but I’ve got to warn you—these gals are buxom.
The one signaling out the eastern window of 4801. Like a beacon in the night…where is she now?
The question became– what were the mannequins doing in the windows of the little 4801 Dodge Street store and over time, maybe more interesting–was this an actual store? I am enamored with mannequins, and we’ll get into those particulars in a bit but the ones at 4801 Dodge, they were quite different. I am not sure of the nature of their mold or altogether the intention of their creator’s messaging—something hinting at the adult bookstore market or a kitch punk lingerie shop. Mr. Cassette labeled it “The Creepy Store” but I was drawn in like a magnet. The wares making up the shop were clean, random antiques, sometimes more or less thrift store finds, like you’d find at an interesting off-kilter garage sale or in the very back room of an antiques store on Leavenworth. The more I studied, there was subtle curation–surely an artist’s castoffs. There were no visible price tags. Those large picture windows begged the brave to come have a look-see but in doing so, all passersby of Dodge Street would know of one’s secret passion for the peculiar. It was a social test.
I think you all know by now I love strange stores that are never open and even odder, the “By Appointment Only” Ventures without a phone number or calling card. This conundrum of consumerism is a folly I churn over even more than mannequins. The once 4801 marquee out front was long ago emptied of a logo and has since been carted off; no signage in the windows; no hours posted with the little hands of the clock assuring us that the eager owner will be rushing right back to work. None of that signaling found here. In fact, a whiff of anti-capitalism. Or maybe that’s too strong. There was indifference. It reminded me of my girlfriend’s restaurant that was closed more often than not—the unlocked door was hinging on the mercurial whims of the owner. How curious the pandering and overt communication of 4801 Dodge’s “Come Hither” but the psychological marketplace is forever out of reach. The energy focused on the mannequins, the immersive detail given to their change of costumes and positioning was this man’s centering. I never doubted the curiosity shop owner was a man. His engrossment was palpable and that is why I looked and looked. I became obsessed with the whole thing– Mr. Closed Store Owner, his mannequins and the madness of it all. I believed I had spied naughty mannequins further down Dodge in another building to the east years earlier and that continued to needle at me since I started this journey. Were they the same Mystery Mannequins? To complicate matters, the 4801 Dodge mannequins disappeared this last weekend. There were (real) women inside cleaning the little shop and they were not in costumes. I knew it was time to try to bring to light what I had found.
I have always loved mannequins, especially the vintage ones. It is the theater and high art of window dressing of yesteryear that stays in my memory. The lighting. The curtain folds. The glamour and the psychology, separated by glass. Once inside the store, the visual merchandizing with its close proximity allowed me to take in their glass eyes and fringe of eyelashes. Their infinite height. Their hands! The posturing. The wigs. Their makeup. They’re dreamy suggestions, like strange approximations of a beautiful life. Perfectionism. Stoicism. These are my adult attempts to construct a context for those of you who might not have the same obsession. To be clear, as a child, they were like large Barbies…even better than a doll. But in my teen years, when I got into the arts and punk scene, I found a validating culture that celebrated the mannequin. Outsider and mainstream movies featured them, mannequins were on album art, in music videos, gallery installation pieces, photography, interior design, and personal home collections—mannequins were everywhere in the underground arts in the 1970s-90s. They were funny and strange and sexy. Commanding. I saw mannequins as art, in and of themselves, an elevated reflection of ourselves and our human trends and they, in turn, were used in countless art projects. While I didn’t yet own any dolls to pose with, I could see in the many photographs from the punk scene that we emulated the cold, emotionless, inhuman expression and stiff posing of these mannequins. Even in our hands. They were the perfect post-modern addition to any photo shoot or video–seamlessly futuristic or apocalyptic, dependent on how many black, coiled, telephone cords or garbage you could amass. I still fantasize about an implausible display I witnessed at Megan Terry’s Omaha Magic Theater involving a teetering stack of 1960s-1980s televisions, mannequin parts, flamingos and spray paint. Those creative adaptations made an impression on a young mind. As much as we idolized these lovely, unreal ladies, simultaneously exalted vintage and high end models could still found in the mainstream’s department stores and in the windows of fraternity houses. It seemed we all had a thing for these large dolls.
Why did it all end? A visit to the mall will find the hideous trend of clothes hanging loosely on a padded body with no head, no hands, no feet or a flat, featureless oval. As if the head removal will ease our public anxieties about ourselves and each other.
J.L. Brandeis & Sons spring window display. Bostwick, Louis (1868-1943) and Frohardt, Homer (1885-1972). The Durham Museum. 1922-03-15. Is she real?
Mannequins dressed in the latest ladies’ fashions in window displays at the Kilpatrick’s Store at 15th and Douglas. 1939: Bostwick, Louis (1868-1943) and Frohardt, Homer (1885-1972). Durham Museum.
Nebraska Clothing Company window display at 15th and Farnam streets. West Window, Christmas display. The banner on the horse reads “A NEWER NEBRASKA’S CHRISTMAS”. 1941. Bostwick, Louis (1868-1943) and Frohardt, Homer (1885-1972). Durham Museum.
‘La Boutique Mademoiselle’ at the Brandeis Store. 1958. Bostwick, Louis (1868-1943) and Frohardt, Homer (1885-1972). Durham Museum.
Two mannequins hold a large parasol in the clothing department of the Downtown Brandeis store, decorated for the Far East Fair. “Japanese Air Lines” 1965-1696. J.L. Brandeis and Sons. Bostwick, Louis (1868-1943) and Frohardt, Homer (1885-1972). Durham Museum.
Here we are in 1984 having fun with mannequins at the Brandeis Department Store at Crossroads Mall. (Faces blocked out for your protection.) My goodness. How did this older couple riding the Brandeis fountain escalator get into these photos? Although they are not mannequins, they certainly could be. Kiddies, good townspeople used to dress up to go to the stores—even in matching outfits. No tennis shoes. No t-shirts. And just look at the department…fancy, fancy, fancy by today’s standards. This was just simple Brandeis. We didn’t know how good we had it.
Another great one from 1984. Ethyl and Paul Lund.
And here’s David, Ken and Paul from 1986 with Ken’s doll head, Rhonda, that he seemed to take everywhere that year. She was great fun.
In those days it was not odd to find mannequins in full costume (or barely dressed for that matter) standing in the corner of a wild, thrashing party as if completely oblivious to the proceedings or squeezed in a friend’s backseat with a pony keg. When I got older, I adored dressing the mannequins and creating vignettes in my antiques store days. I toiled to get their shoes to stay on! Although I never owned a full-size mannequin doll, their lovely hands have always held my vintage jewelry collection and I have possessed several fetching heads over the years.
Here is a terrific image that my girlfriend, Sarah Sorrell High, captured in January of 2015 down at Cosmos Wigs at 1517 Farnam Street. They closed in 2016.
So I have a thing for mannequins and some of you do too. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these large, dress-up dolls and their significance to the arts. Let us move on.
A Wee Bit of History
From what I could find, the white house at 4801 Dodge was built in 1909 with about 1658 sq ft above ground. It is on the southwest corner lot of 48th and Dodge streets. The parcel is in the Sunset Addition neighborhood. The Reed Brothers Sunset Addition plat was filed in the fall of 1908 “west of the city limits and south of Dodge.” These lots were advertised as “high end residences” but “much lower than anything in Dundee.” 4801 Dodge was marketed in the spring of 1909 as a “six- room, new bungalow with sunroom for rent May 1,” leading me to believe that the Reeds potentially had it built for rental income.
4801 Dodge in May of 2023. Front gable home with some very nice architectural details. The brackets. Upper shingles. The foundation with loading dock on the east side added later.
East side of the house. Photo borrowed from the Douglas County Assessor site.
OWH archive. 1913 advertisement.
The little Mid-century Modern, stone covered storefront abutting Dodge Street was added to the house in 1952, allowing for 1467 additional commercial, square footage to the lot. I am not 100% of who built the accessory commercial unit, as they are now called, but this was a common, practical, measure for a family-owned and operated business. I love these storefront additions and look for these rooftops behind the frontages. There are tons of them in older parts of Omaha. What follows are three examples and one bonus mystery.
Accessory Commercial Unit Side-Ramble
Right across the way to the north is Associated Tax at 4800 Dodge Street. They are so wonderful! This is where Miss Cassette’s gets her taxes done and where we’ve had some jokes about the deviant mannequin collection. This is a very prominent addition. The house behind is lovely. It all connects through the ground floor.
Let’s hear it for Goldbergs in Dundee at 5008 Dodge Street. I love parking in the back, entering through the woody home and into the restaurant. Genius.
Oh and who could forget this Omaha treasure and its secret commercial enterprise. You say you’ve forgotten? 2226 Howard? Never forget! Here it is again, if you forgot about the little grocery store. If you’d like to study up: Mysteries of Omaha: 2226 Howard Street.
2004 aerial photo borrowed from the DOGIS site. Top of photo shows east-west running Dodge Street. 49th Street on the left hand side of photo and 48th Street on the far right. Notice how many of the south side of Dodge Street buildings have the original homes within the buildings. As you can see, the rooflines tell the tale. All except for 4807—details below! Sadly these have all been razed. I got some snaps behind the demo fencing when their time was near and could see all of those once glorious homes with large businesses attached to their front sides.
Photo of 4807 Dodge borrowed from the Douglas County Assessor site. 4801 Dodge is viewable just to the east.
Right next door to the west of 4801 Dodge is the even queerer 4807 Dodge. This once MCM cool turned beige cube structure was always a radio station in my memory. The Douglas County Assessor site revealed it being built in 1950, which seemed off, considering the Sunset Addition neighborhood. In 1952 4807 Dodge was advertised as a newly zoned “commercial” property by the Reed Brothers, as part of package deal with our 4801 Dodge. But get this, in that same year, Omaha Famous photographer Donald Jack bought 4807 Dodge for a photography studio within his dwelling and it looked like this. Ta-dah!
OWH archives. 4807 Dodge Street before its facelift. She was a yummy craftsman. Reportedly included a sunroom, three bedrooms and baths, zoned for commercial in 1952. Donald Jack and wife would embark on the ultra-cool renovation in 1959, apparently, for that is when I found an expensive building permit entered. The photographer kept his studio and home at that location until the 1970s. I must know—are the original bones inside?
Compact Midtown. You’ve got to love it. How 4807 and 4801 Dodge stack up at present. Under the Xs in the sky that we are not supposed to talk about.
The 4801 Rasp Connection
Back to 4801 Dodge. The storefront came to be in 1952 and, no doubt, realizing its new additional value, the Reeds advertised in conjunction with 4807 Dodge as “a scarce as hen’s teeth property,” a phrase which warmed the cockles of my heart. Later that year the Rasp Brothers Realtors bought 4801 Dodge and began operating their office from the lower level. Harvey, Erwin and Ardys, along with sisters Hazel and Helen. The only 4801 Dodge Street business descriptor I noted was the bold statement of—”drive-in parking, ” a rarity even for those days. A review of the east elevation of 4801 shows room for a number of cars in a pinch. I figured the Rasps owned many apartments and houses in the area and this MCM addition served as their real estate offices but the further I dug, I realized the Rasps were true Omaha real estate pioneers. Not only did I find their name tied to the building of countless houses in town from the teens on, they owned many, many properties and surely made their bread and butter from renting to seemingly everyone in town.
OWH archives. 1920s Rasp Brothers, Inc. advertisement.
East elevation of the classic MCM lines, meets overhang of the once front porch.
On the blog’s Facebook page, My Omaha Obsessive friend, Joan Field, noted that her childhood friend, Pam Rasp, had lived in the 4801 Dodge Street house and that Pam’s father worked in the office below. This just in from My Omaha Obsession friend, Nils Erickson. He also stated this was the home of Pam and Cindy Rasp. Apparently their “dad and brothers built the bump out from the house’s basement for Rasp Brothers Realty.” I could not find confirmation that the Rasps built the addition. (If any Rasp family member would be willing to contribute historic photos of these buildings or share any family stories for this investigation, we would all love it!)
I would find the Rasps utilizing this office for their family real estate business until 1975 when the Megeath Office Supply moved in–another big Omaha name. Megeath Office Supply had been in business since 1866. Staggering. In 1995 Megeath Office Suppliers sold 4801 Dodge to a Mr. Glenn S. Jensen. Now this is where it gets interesting. File this name away as he will become the Silent Mr. Big of this whole area.
The Jackson Hewitt Tax Service rented the 4801 Dodge Street office building from the Jensen family. This was the last known conspicuous business to most people’s memory.
Down the Road Apiece: Old and New
I draw your attention to this scrumptious historic photo I found.
Camera faces southwest corner of 46th and Dodge Streets. Businesses pictured are Nebraska Custom Kitchens, George D. Fraser Gas-Heating-Air Conditioning, TeleRadio Technicians, J.J. Welter Upholstery, Dependable Printing, and West Dodge Garage. A billboard for Roberts cottage cheese is above the garage. A bus bench is advertising Union Outfitting Company on 16th and Jackson. Publisher: The Durham Museum. Creator: Bostwick, Louis (1868-1943) and Frohardt, Homer (1885-1972). Date: May 1950.
Just for perspective, these three photos show the current state of affairs of 46th and Dodge. Currently the Child Saving Institute (building shown on the east side of 46th Street in yellow) bought up these eight lots (from Dodge to Douglas) and have future plans for them, obviously. UNMC/Med Center is shown to the far south. The 46 Dodge Apartments were introduced in 2019, a large housing plan to include 300 apartment units on five floors, above a three-story parking garage, thought to be the bedrooms of the worker bees at UNMC. Kansas City-based developer Gary Hassenflu reported his project would cost $52-million. The city planning department said the city council approved the project unanimously and awarded the project tax-incremental funding but then Hassenflu abruptly halted his project. By 2022 Child Saving Institute had acquired the, by then, scraped clean lots.
I am putting a pin in the merger of scraped parcels just for posterity sake: 4601 Dodge, 4609 Dodge, 4615 Dodge, 4617 Dodge, 110 South 46 Street, 4610 Douglas, 4618 Douglas.
Copious notes, friends. Lots to juggle here. I have photos of all of the buildings and houses that were on these eight lots but we will save those for another time. What I want you to focus in on is the very cool building shown prior–the West Dodge Garage. It will all link up, I promise.
Magnified! The West Dodge Garage at 4615 Dodge as seen in 1950, would become Mr. Glenn Jensen’s inauguration to the neighborhood in 1972 under the auspices of Jensen Service Garage. Remember that cunning arched window next to the West Dodge Garage mural. It will come up again.
The Jensens Come to Dodge
Sadly these great little building along Dodge Street and south side block of Douglas Street are all gone now but I am sure you will remember them with this refresher.
These are photos I took back in 2017. House on the far left is 4609 Dodge and this white building at 4613 (sometimes called 4615) Dodge, the once West Dodge Garage, were shown in the earlier historic photo. 4613/4615 became the new business location for Mr. Glenn Jensen of Jensen Service Garage back in 1972. This service garage was doing a solid business into the 2000s. In total he ran his Omaha auto business for 65 years, obviously not all at this location.
Edward Stanley built the one-story, 3000 sq ft, brick building at 4613/4615 Dodge in 1914. From what I could find it was always zoned as industrial, and soon after became the Dundee Auto and Tire Repair Service shop. Oddly, and maybe that’s where the additional address got muddled in, the auto shop appeared to occasionally morph into Stanley Grocer. By and large the building mostly served the auto repairs.
Thank you, Disappearing Past, for handmade signs and human imperfection. You made me smile.
When a person traveled between and behind these buildings, entering from a series of winding alleys, either from 46th Street, Dodge or Douglas, one found a menagerie of cool hideaways and almost courtyards that served as parking lots for the various businesses with Dodge-facing storefronts. As tidy as it all was, there was also evidence of grilling and hanging out—hence the courtyard. There were serpentine annexes and additions that were created over the years to give these little mom and pops more leg room. It made me wonder what it all looked like back in the 1920s and 1930s.
Jensen Auto Service south side entrance from Douglas Street. Image taken May 16, 2017.
Some yummy brickwork on the front of the building and I always love antique garage doors.
Eastern wall of 4613/4615. Evidence of the earlier window bricked-in from the West Dodge Garage photo.
1993 aerial image borrowed from the DOGIS site for those who love details. This reveals the various entrances to the shared courtyard area. Also the massive collection of cars being worked on or otherwise at the Jensen Service. Also viewable are the large buildings once standing at 4601 Dodge and 110 South 46th Street.
Directly to the west of the garage, sharing a party wall, was another handsome building that Mr. Jensen also purchased. This later became Glenn’s son’s golf shop: Classic Golf at 4617 Dodge. This was fine shop with a great interior and the conservative green awning you might remember.
4617 Dodge with the extra strange 4623 Dodge in the distance. I say that with love because it is truly interesting. Up one door to the west is Omaha Famous Pittman Animal Hospital at 4629 Dodge Street.
4617 Dodge had over 2,000 sq ft finished office/retail space and warehouse plus a basement. In the 1920s there were a series of grocery stores that made a go in that space, (the Stanley Grocer again). Then the Barnard Window Company in the 1950s and by the late 1960s it was refashioned as McGuire Transmission and Motor Service. In the 1970s and 80s it had been home to the “World Renowned ESP Psychic Reader,” Mrs. Marko. Mrs. Marko used 4617 Dodge as her storefront parlor. The only other openly practicing psychic at the time was Mrs. Roberts of 3418 Leavenworth Street fame.
By the very early 1990s, I tracked Mr. Jensen’s son’s business, Classic Golf to 4617 Dodge. There is evidence that he opened in 1987 but I am not entirely sure if he was in this location. I do know that the Junior Jensen was known as national hickory golf champion after getting into the 1940s and 50s classic clubs by the mid 1980s. He became known as the Tiger Woods of Hickory Golf but after twenty five years in the business, he sold his shop in 2012 to Tony Tubrick.
Addendum of May 10, 2023*** My girlfriend, Lallaya Lalley, shed light on Classic Golf and the Jensen family. She reported: “Over 20 yrs ago when Trey wanted me to start golfing with him, Classic Golf was where he took me for inspiration. They let me go in to find a vintage bag in the house next to the shop, which was filled with nothing but bags up and downstairs—all of these little rooms with mountains of bags. This was not available to the public, but they knew I wanted something specific, so they let me search. I found a jewel and I still use it today. The beautiful old wood putter with leather handle was from the basement of the store. I think they owned a few of the buildings and used to store things in them because the shop was mall. Paid like five or ten bucks for the bag and had a lovely afternoon snooping.”
Lallaya’s cool vintage gold bag and putter from Classic Golf. Thank you!
The rear elevation of 4617 Dodge exposes a house like structure. In the following photo, a front northern exposure of how the buildings fit together. One can see this house-like structure’s roof from Dodge.
4613-4615 and 4617 Dodge, south side of the street. Next door neighbor, 4623 Dodge on the right side of photo.
The Finer Clues
Now boys and girls, I am not sure if you zoomed in or even caught some of the hints in the cracks here. But there were many oddities found on my scouting mission back in 2017. From what I have just now gathered, when the Junior Jensen had sold Classic Golf, the new owner had moved the shop to a different location at 1418 South 60th Street in 2013–now home to Tasty Pizza. This freed up the Classic Golf location to become a curios emporium—at least to my estimation in walking by. I believe Mr. Jensen’s other son, Mr. Closed Store Owner recently operating out of 4801 Dodge, was decorating the 4613 and 4617 Dodge spaces during this time period. Or the mannequins were doing it all.
The earlier photos of the mannequins positioned around the solid oak golf rack displays began to make sense! These were the once Classic Golf remnants.
4613 Dodge. The best head of all! I mean, is this D. B. Cooper, the hijacker? I believe it is. And is that a carved bird?
4617 Dodge. I saw another head.
And yes. Bingo. Not the same ladies, mind you but even MORE mannequins.
It was around this time period in 2017-2018 when my friend, Mary, told me that her father had been friends with Glenn Jensen and that Mr. Jensen owned a good deal of property in this area. Mary remembered going to Mr. Jensen’s garage with her father many years ago. She said he had not one but two older Mercedes convertibles. One red, the other blue. She recognized them as something Kim Novak would be driving in a movie. By the more recent time period of our conversation, the many parcels Mr. Jensen had amassed were being sold off. When I looked on the assessor’s site back in 2017, I seem to remember that all these funny and magical buildings were in his name. I am not sure when they were sold. From the 1980s, 1990s and into the 2000s the wise, quietly moving Mr. Big on the block, Glenn Jensen, began acquiring the parcels around his business. He could obviously see the writing on the wall that these homes and buildings were a good investment for their close proximity to UNMC, popular Midtown and their reasonable prices. He scooped up 4648 Douglas St, 4658 Douglas St, our focus 4801 Dodge St., 4422 Douglas St. and 4646 Douglas Street before the I gave up on the search. As of the writing of this investigation, it looks like a mysterious entity, 4647 LLC, has bought up many of these Jensen parcels and others southeast of 48th and Dodge Street and Douglas Streets to 46th. According to the development proposal brought before city planning in 2022, this group proposed to develop a site with a five story 329-unit multi-family residential complex and associated parking.
4647 LLC’s acquisitions to date. The orange dots show the parcels they have purchased in recent years. Image from the Douglas County Assessor site.
Mr. Jensen died on May 2, 2016. His wife, “Sandy,” had passed in 2008. The couple had a family of four sons and grandchildren whose names I have not divulged for their privacy.
I would discover that of the many properties Mr. Jensen owned, the one he lived in was his childhood family home. A long favorite of many of ours at My Omaha Obsession, 2036 South 42nd Street is a local gem and a bit of a mystery. To find that this was the Jensen house put many things into perspective for me. In the 1990s this house would have garage sales that were quite fantastic. I have been here at twice, maybe more.
It is perhaps difficult to describe unless one has been to a curios sale of this nature. Anyone who loves antiques and novelty will understand. The mannequins, the locked doors, the arranged, humorous gewgaws came into view because of 2036 South 42nd Street. This family understood understood and embraced collections. From what I have gathered without sharing too much, Mr. Closed Store Owner of 4801 Dodge is a highly intelligent, wonderfully creative, free spirited, cactus devotee. And in hindsight, with all of the stack of clues at my disposal, Mr. Closed Store Owner and his family might well have felt a familiarity with the Dodge and Douglas corridor from 48th and 46th that the rest of us will never be able to relate to. It was literally the Jensen stomping ground. A ground that Child Saving Institute and the mysterious 4647 LLC entity will soon have reign over. As I moved through the investigation, I was filled with a deep love for the small legends of Omaha, the regular giants of the strange who make this place fun, incredible and unpredictable.
Now let’s hear it for more Stores that Never Open, that Rarely Open or that have Secret Openings. Those that house the collections of the gods, too tempting for us mere mortals. I embrace and champion those building owners who are not here (or there) to make a buck but rather choose to keep us wondering….what in the world is going on in there? 4801 Dodge and Mr. Closed Store Owner, you have joined the ranks of the Mysteries of Omaha. Please continue elsewhere. Bravo and thank you, sir!
Some of our favorites follow. The buildings I’ve investigated in full, have links below the photos.
5170 Leavenworth Street.
4426 Dodge Street.
613 South 16th Street. We toured it years ago. Wanted to buy. Forever for sale but not for sale. If I end up dead, you’ll know I shouldn’t have breathed a word of this.
111 North 41st Street. Site of where kids used to buy fake IDs in high school. Ground floor. You had to know someone who knew someone. Rarely open.
As for the missing mannequins, Mr. Closed Store Owner had a garage sale very recently. It happened. Some of the mannequins are still for sale online! He cleared out because he will be renting 4801 Dodge to Aimee Perez, who is launching a wool yarn store called Warmth. I found this out on my Facebook page and I hope it is okay that I share this good news here. We wish her all the best!
A window display for Christian Dior at the Kilpatrick building. Thomas Kilpatrick Company. Bostwick, Louis (1868-1943) and Frohardt, Homer (1885-1972). The Durham Museum. 1960.
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A promotional window display for the movie “Wilson.” Savage, John (1903-1989). The Durham Museum. 1944.
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Wow what a tale! Thrilling to wonder who would be brave enough to answer the “For Rent” siren song of these horror beauties, but now secretly hoping the disclosure of the new yarn store means they’re being revamped (or reformed – of their wayward past?) as part of the deal to reappear soon in respectable hand-knit creations.
Oh you genius, you. I pray the ladies will make new appearances in wonderful wool sweaters and That Girl caps with popcorn mittens!
Thanks for this history! I saw the space at 4801 Dodge on Craigslist and wondered what the story of the mannequins was. Midtown is definitely changing. This brought back some memories. Thank you!
Kind of surprised you didn’t mention The Hilltop House (I think you have a story ofnit). I have vague memories of going there when I was a kid in the early 80s.
Love your stories and your book! I wonder – in the 2nd photo past the “all the dolls” pics, under the table with all the books on it –
What the heck is in the long, narrow case with the handle on it? All I can think of is maybe a musical instrument? Guitar? Pool cues? If I had been there curiosity would have gotten the best of me and I would have opened it! Did you, by any chance?
Associated Tax was Buster Brown Shoe Store back in the 50’s where I was fitted with my first shoes and many pairs that followed throughout my school years/
Always fascinated by your obsession. In this case, I knew Jack Bishop in the 1960s who had Bishop Business Equipment at 4811 Dodge just the next building West of to highlighted in your story. Another building in your story was at 111 North 41st Street. I used to go there when it was Ladd Electronics.
Keep it up!
So thrilled you’d highlighted this [quickly leaving us] pocket neighborhood and all it’s rich history, architecture, but, much more. These tucked-in neighborhoods always interested me. Deep dives into not one, but many corners of this interesting footprint along busy “Mid-town” Dodge. I’d always enjoyed the easy mix of Residential to Commercial here, before 60’s or 70s sprawl, outward. For reference sake, my Parents indeed met at 45th Dodge, a Tiner’s Drive-in, was just East of the “Dealy(sp) Plaza Hill” off Saddle Crack. My quick interest, too in the displays, and windows of Brandeis Stores as I’d may have also shared w you, elsewhere, familial involvement- maternal Gfather Francis ‘Frank’ Ciciulla, his “Window-Trimmer” for E John over 50 yrs. So to see those images, was certainly a thrill. Gives me some of my own research to do now, as I hadn’t previously! Danke
Very fun. I know Mr Closed Store Owner from years back. Quite a character.
Well don’t be too sad. One of the mannequins moved upstairs. She is looking out the window for whoever is supposed to deliver her clothes apparently. We are Associated Tax and thanks for the mention! The girls definitely were a conversation piece!
Bahaha! Oh Page…so sorry! Could he have read my mind that moving them upstairs to the house windows could be a tantalizing option? Kind of like that Shrek that used to be in the window of a Leavenworth house. You guys are the ones who get full daily viewings. My my…
Glen Jensen could be called either a collector or a hoarder, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder of course. Classic Golf was originally opened in a small part of the adjacent house on the east side if the auto shop. The home itself was beautiful but was used only to store Jensen’s stuff. The buildings behind the auto shop and then the new Classic Golf were FULL of items. One of those garages used to be loaded with dozens of those tabletop video games like you showed in your photos. The house behind / attached to 4801 was also full of his things as well as an overflow excess golf shop merchandise that wouldn’t fit into the tiny Classic Golf space. Two of the Jensen boys liven in houses Glen owned behind the shops on Douglas street.
Glen was a shrewd businessman and you either were a fan of how he operated or you weren’t, there was no middle ground, LOL. If he were here today, he would tell you the story of how he made Creighton University buy back one of their parking lots from him……