Blackstone Hotel (Omaha, Nebraska)

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Blackstone Hotel
Blackstone Hotel Omaha 2010.jpg
Front view of the Blackstone; 2010
Blackstone Hotel (Omaha, Nebraska) is located in Nebraska
Blackstone Hotel (Omaha, Nebraska)
Location 302 S. 36th St., Omaha, Nebraska
Coordinates 41°15′26″N 95°57′59″W / 41.25722°N 95.96639°W / 41.25722; -95.96639Coordinates: 41°15′26″N 95°57′59″W / 41.25722°N 95.96639°W / 41.25722; -95.96639
Area 1.5 acres (0.61 ha)
Built 1916[2]
Architect F.W. Fitzpatrick
Architectural style Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Second Renaissance Revival
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 85000067[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP January 11, 1985
Designated OMAL April 12, 1983[2]

The Blackstone Hotel, currently known as the Blackstone Center, is located at 302 South 36th Street [3] in the Blackstone neighborhood of the Midtown area in Omaha, Nebraska. Built in 1915, it was declared an Omaha Landmark in 1983[2] and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

About[edit]

The Blackstone was built by the Bankers Realty Investment Company as a residential hotel in 1915. Residents generally rented by the year rather than the day and received hotel services. Although there were single room units, most were suites with six to eight rooms. Each floor had four glass sunrooms and ornate furnishings throughout.[4]

In 1920, the building was purchased by Charles Schimmel, an immigrant from Vienna. After converting the Blackstone to a regular hotel, it soon became a "symbol of elegance" and gained a high stature nationwide as the premier hotel between Chicago and San Francisco along the Lincoln Highway. Among its amenities the hotel kept a small fleet of Pierce-Arrow limousines for visiting dignitaries who arrived in Omaha by train and its own magazine, The Blackstonian; there were also a ballroom, rooftop gardens and award-winning restaurants. A restaurant called the Orleans Room was the Blackstone's most famous, and received Holiday Magazine's "Award for Excellence" for 16 straight years.[5] Through the 1970s the building was one of the most successful elegant small hotels in the country.[4]

In 1968, the Radisson Hotel Corporation bought the hotel and operated it until 1976.[4] The Blackstone was renovated for use as offices in 1984 and renamed the Blackstone Center.[6]

In September 2007, Kiewit Corporation, one of five Fortune 500 companies based in Omaha, announced it would buy the Blackstone. It was expected that the company will eventually utilize the entire building.[7]

Construction[edit]

Built on a steel frame, the building is covered in brick with terra cotta detailing.[4]

Legacy[edit]

The Reuben sandwich was likely invented in Omaha by Reuben Kulakofsky. According to one version of the sandwich's disputed history, it was first introduced to the world in 1925 on a menu in one of the Blackstone's restaurants.[8] Butter brickle ice cream was also first introduced to the world at the Blackstone.[5]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ a b c Omaha Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission. "Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission – Landmarks". http://www.ci.omaha.ne.us. Retrieved 2013-03-03. 
  3. ^ Historic images
  4. ^ a b c d Gerber, K. and Spencer, J.S. (2003) Building for the Ages: Omaha's architectural landmarks. Landmarks, Inc. p 146.
  5. ^ a b "Blackstone Hotel", Omaha Public Schools. Retrieved 9/31/07.
  6. ^ "More tax incentive program projects in Douglas County." Nebraska State Historical Society. Retrieved 9/30/07.
  7. ^ "Great indoors", Omaha City Weekly, Retrieved 9/31/07.
  8. ^ (nd) History of the Reuben Sandwich What's Cooking America? website. Retrieved 6/9/07