So, what can we learn about downtown Omaha? First off, from the downtown Omaha association, we discover that “successful growth and development of the Old Market, Gene Leahy Mall, Heartland of America Park, numerous residential properties, hotel facilities, the new arena and convention center, the First National Bank project, and other corporate building projects have boosted the popularity of Downtown Omaha, making it an attractive destination to live, work, and visit.”
Wait a minute: did someone mention “Old Market”? What’s that?
“The Old Market Omaha, is a premier arts and entertainment district featuring fine dining, shopping, corporate meeting facilities, hotel accommodations, upscale night life, and sought-after real estate. Located in downtown Omaha just minutes from Omaha Eppley Airport, the Old Market is close to several nearby attractions including Durham Western Heritage Museum, Omaha Civic Auditorium, Qwest Center Omaha, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, and more.
Head to Omaha’s Old Market district, where exceptional gifts and dining are around every corner. From Harney to Jackson streets and 10th to 13th streets, unique shops, boutiques, pubs, more than 30 area restaurants and distinctive entertainment define this historic neighborhood.
Home of the new Holland Performing Arts Center, downtown is also a haven for the arts. The Holland Performing Arts Center, completed in 2005, provides a true concert hall environment with acoustics designed to accommodate the Omaha Symphony as well as other local and touring arts organizations and artists. The Joslyn Art Museum, the Orpheum Theater, the Rose Blumkin Performing Arts Center, and more are all located in downtown Omaha.
The Old Market district was crucial to the commercial development of Omaha as the wholesale jobbing area flourished in the 1880’s and continued well into the twentieth century. The district, then comprised of former light industrial and warehouse buildings and wholesale jobbing houses, served as the distribution center for a variety of goods shipped on the Union Pacific Railroad and its branch lines all the way to the west coast. Today, the Old Market Omaha is a multi-block collection of renovated brick warehouses, quaint storefronts, old-fashioned lampposts, uneven brick streets, horse-drawn carriages and street-side musicians.
The city has spent nearly $2 billion in new construction and development, including the $291 million Qwest Center Omaha, a new 40-story First National Bank Building, a riverfront university campus for the world-renowned Gallup Organization, and a National Park Service Regional headquarters building for Union Pacific.
Follow the brick-paved streets of history into an area of Omaha rich in history and bursting with the flavor of today. Enjoy an intimate dinner or shop for the latest fashions. “
That sounds like a lot of fun – even better than Bricktown! So we’re not the only city with an old town area after all…
So let’s take a tour, shall we?
First, downtown Omaha:
And, now, Old Market: