Omaha’s Gold Coast Historic District

Posted by Steve Minino on Friday, August 31st, 2012 at 4:49pm.

Italian Renaissance Revival Statue

Located in Midtown Omaha, the Gold Coast Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. According to the Gold Coast Historic District Preservation Association, 357 properties have historical significance in this area.

The Gold Coast Historic District is comprised of Blackstone, Cathedral, and Joslyn Castle. These neighborhoods reflect the housing styles of the times, including Tudor Revival, Classical Revival, Italian Renaissance Revival, Victorian Eclectic, Prairie Style, and Jacobethan Revival.

Gold Coast Location

The Gold Coast District is comprised of roughly 30 blocks between 36th, 40th, Jones, and Cuming Streets.

History of the Gold Coast District

During the 1920s, Omaha's Gold Coast was a social hotspot due to the high–value, luxury mansions that were built for upper class commuters. The leading business people of that time had a great deal of influence over the Gold Coast society where many of them resided. Homes and landscaping in this area were a direct reflection of the wealth and social position of the residents.

These large homes required staffing and housing for staff to help with maintenance. Carriage houses or extra rooms within the homes were for service staff. Entertaining at this time was typically done in private residences and, consequently, many of these homes had large ballrooms and eating areas to accommodate large and lavish parties. Even children’s parties were large events.

A great deal of attention was paid to the entrance hall which was typically large and featured an elaborate staircase, exceptional finishing, and lavish artwork. Much of the Gold Coast area still looks as it did a century ago.

Omaha's Gold Coast Historic Landmarks 

Aside from the numerous magnificent homes in the area, this district also has specific landmarks including: Joslyn Castle, Saunders School, and St. Cecilia Cathedral as well as a number of homes that are also listed on the registrar.

Saunders School, a Romanesque style building, was built in 1899. Used as a school for more than 80 years, the building has been remodeled and is now used as an apartment building.

The Joslyn Castle located at 3902 Davenport Street was built in the Scottish Baronial style in 1903. Originally a private residence, the Joslyn Castle changed hands several times and is currently maintained by the Joslyn Castle Trust.

A Spanish Renaissance Revival, the Cecilia Cathedral was completed in 1959 and is one of the ten largest cathedrals in the U.S.

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