Kountze Place

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The Kountze Place neighborhood of Omaha, Nebraska is a historically significant community on the city's north end. Today the neighborhood is home to several buildings and homes listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is located between North 16th Avenue on the east to North 30th Street on the west; Locust Street on the south to Pratt Street on the north. Kountze Place was annexed into Omaha in 1887.[1]

About[edit]

Bordered by the historic neighborhoods of the Near North Side, Saratoga and East Omaha, Kountze Place was an early upper middle class residential suburb developed by Omaha banker Herman Kountze in 1883.[2] It was originally accessible only via streetcar.

In 1898 Kountze Place was home to the Trans-Mississippi Exposition, a showcase for Nebraska's agricultural and Omaha's urban lifestyles. In 1899 some of the land that the Expo occupied was developed into Kountze Park. The area around the Park was filled in with housing afterwards, with some Exposition buildings being converted into grand houses.[3]

Much of Kountze Place was devastated in the Easter Sunday Tornado of 1913, with landmarks such as Trinity Methodist Church to be rebuilt in other parts of the city.[4] Additionally around this time, many of Kountze Place's richer residents were lured to areas such as Bemis Park and Gold Coast with promises of higher land values.[5]

Landmarks[edit]

Several buildings and homes in Kountze Place are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated as Omaha Landmarks by the City of Omaha. Former landmarks in the area included the Presbyterian Theological Seminary, built in 1902 at 3303 North 21st Place. It was closed in 1943.[6]

Name Year Location Notes
Sacred Heart Church 1902 2206 Binney Street
John P. Bay House 1887 2024 Binney Street
Charles Storz House 1909 1901 Wirt Street
George H. Kelly House 1904 1924 Binney Street
Kountze Park 1899 1920 Pinkney Street Site of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition
George F. Shepard House 1903 1802 Wirt Street Designated an Omaha Landmark in 1981.
Lothrop School 3300 North 22nd Street
Omaha Presbyterian Theological Seminary 1891 3303 North 21st Place Closed in 1943.
Omaha Driving Park 1875 Laird and Boyd Streets, and 16th to 20th Streets Closed by 1910 and divided into house lots.
Redick Mansion 1875 3612 North 24th Street First home of UNO; moved in 1917.

Omaha University[edit]

Omaha University, now called the University of Nebraska at Omaha, was once located on one city block at 24th and Pratt Streets on the Redick estate. Their proposed "magnificent campus" was slated to be placed between 21st and 25th Avenues, bounded by Kountze Park and the Carter Lake Park. Original faculty came from the aforementioned Seminary, as well as Bellevue College. The first class meetings occurred at the Redick Mansion at 24th and Pratt.[7]

In 1927 businessmen formed the North Omaha Activities Association in order to redevelop Saratoga School's playing field into a football field for Omaha University's football team. At that time the University was located just south in the posh Kountze Place suburb. With new bleachers built to accommodate a crowd of a thousand, the Saratoga Field was home to OU's team until 1951.[8]

UNO moved to its present location in 1929.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ (nd) "Annexation-Growth Page," Omaha Public Schools. Retrieved 7/16/07.
  2. ^ (nd) John P. Bay House. City of Omaha Landmark Historical Preservation Commission. Retrieved 5/29/07.
  3. ^ (nd) 1898 Trans-Mississippi Exposition Opening to Closing. Transcription from original notes. Retrieved 5/29/07.
  4. ^ Sing, T. (2003) Omaha's Easter Tornado of 1913. Arcadia Publishing.
  5. ^ Larsen, L. and Cottrell, B. (1997) The Gate City: A History of Omaha. University of Nebraska Press.
  6. ^ (nd) Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Omaha, Neb. Nebraska Memories website. Retrieved 5/29/07.
  7. ^ (1993) A History of UNO. University of Nebraska at Omaha. Retrieved 5/29/07.
  8. ^ (n.d.) Saratoga Field University of Nebraska at Omaha website.

Coordinates: 41°17′21″N 95°56′49″W / 41.28917°N 95.94694°W / 41.28917; -95.94694