Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Construction’

Opportunity and vision create distinct event spaces from Omaha’s old buildings

October 25, 2017 Leave a comment

Another of my new MorningSky feature stories. This one highlights some of the more interesting event spaces in town, including venues in historic buildings that have been repurposed or rediscovered for public gathering uses. Each one of these sites has a story to tell in its own right. Each is an example of opportunity and vision meeting to create distinct spaces.

Every old building contains a story and reimagined spaces are writing new ones. Developers and business owners are capitalizing on character and history to craft new event spaces from Omaha’s aging structures.

Omaha developers and property owners are finding ways to preserve their buildings’ rich history and unique ambiance by converting these spaces into hot new gathering spots for meetings, business functions, and fun parties.

These event spaces run the gamut from auditoriums holding thousands, to intimate venues offering a hint of grandeur. Some of the most fascinating Omaha properties boast a certain character, age and history that make the stand apart from the rest.

 

Starlight Chateau

From secluded monastery to enlivened gathering space

Take the home of Starlight Chateau. The 35,000 square foot brick building at 1410 North 29th Street was constructed in 1903 as a Poor Clare Sisters monastery. The cloistered order restricts contact with the outside world. The nuns rang a bell to alert neighbors they needed something. When the whole works – enclosed chapel, living quarters, kitchen, plus outdoor courtyard – was bought by the Good Shepherd Sisters in 1971, it remained a private space the next two decades.

That inaccessibility and shroud of mystery continued once Covenant Life Fellowship Church acquired the building as a worship center. After being off-limits for most of its life, the structure turned event space in 2012 when real estate broker and developer Dave Paladino (Landmark Group) bought it, renovated it and leased it to Starlight Chateau owner Cynthia Jones.

Now, a building and grounds long reserved as a quiet sanctuary for prayer, meditation, Mass, work and sacrifice, is the site of weddings, graduations and parties filled with dancing, drinking and the sounds of raised voices and popular music.

READ the rest of the story at–

https://morningsky.com/…/opportunity-and-vision-create-distinct-event- spaces-from-omahas-old

 

40th Street Theatre:

Store-workshop-theater emerges from neglect

John Hargiss has recovered and reactivated a nearly intact former vaudeville house turned movie theater he didn’t even know he possessed when he purchased a block of buildings along Hamilton Street in 2012. He’d relocated his Hargiss Stringed Instruments in the former Martin’s Bakery at 40th and Hamilton and discovered in an adjacent building the long closed, covered-over theater, circa 1905, preserved, as-if-in glass.

“It was well disguised for about 60 years – hidden behind walls, beams, tied up in the drop ceilings of about 10 feet,” he said.

Dump-truck loads of debris and detritus were hauled out of the buildings.

He and girlfriend Mary Thorsteinson applied sweat equity to reclaim the theater and an adjoining outdoor courtyard. The spaces now host weddings, parties, meetings. As a nod to its past and his own arts bent, he also leases the theater for concerts, plays, burlesque and magic shows.

“I’m a part of the arts, there’s no doubt about it,” he said.

“Being a craftsman, being a musician, it truly does complement one another.”

READ the rest of the story at–

https://morningsky.com/…/opportunity-and-vision-create-distinct-event- spaces-from-omahas-old

 

Gallery 1516: 

Former livery stable gets new life after $1.7M renovation

South Downtown’s home to the hottest new space in the burgeoning Leavenworth arts corridor in Gallery 1516. The 10,000 foot venue emerged from the bellows of an 1883 livery stable courtesy a $1.7 million renovation. Local and national architects collaborated to create what founder-director Patrick Drickey said internationally renown designer Cedric Hartman of Omaha described as “industrial elegance at its best.” High praise indeed for a space previously leased by Avis car rental before its hidden potential got released.

Drickey’s owned the building and two connecting ones for some time. He knew when he bought the 1516 it contained elaborate wood trusses installed in 1925 by International Harvester. The interlocking span of full growth Douglas firs was obscured by false ceilings added by subsequent owners. He knew exposing the trusses would create a stunning open space, He used part of it as his commercial photography studio. It wasn’t until Avis left this lifelong art collector went all in on  converting it into a gallery devoted to the exhibition of Nebraska artists. Because he’s also a music lover and the space just happens to have fine acoustics, he’s  made it a center for music, lectures, readings. The space can accommodate 200 guests. A retractable door opens to let the gallery meet the bustling street-scape. He and wife Karen reside in an attached loft apartment.

BVH Architects of Omaha, along with Jim Olson of  Olson Kundig in Seattle, headed the main design team, Paul Schlachter of Apollo Design Studio in Seattle fashioned the new facade. DeMarco Bros. Co of Omaha put in the new terrazzo floor. Ronco Construction of Omaha did the remaining build-out.

READ the rest of the story at–

https://morningsky.com/…/opportunity-and-vision-create-distinct-event- spaces-from-omahas-old

Fairytale Wonder: A Regal Residence in Legacy Villas

November 3, 2015 2 comments

When I posted about stories I have written that are in the pipeline for the remainder of 2015 a few slipped my mind, including this piece for Omaha Home Magazine (http://omahamagazine.com/category/publications/omaha-home/) about a couple’s castle-like residence.

FairytaleHome1

Fairytale Wonder

A Regal Residence in Legacy Villas

Steve and Bari McCormick’s Euro-influenced home in the gated Legacy Villas development draws much attention for its enchanted kingdom appearance.

FairytaleHome3

The French country-style house stands apart from conventional residences for its distinctive features. Start with the decorative 30-foot-high turret. Add the projections, peaks, gables, eyebrow windows, stone-stucco-brick finish, carriage-style garage doors, and sweeping flow of the home on a raised and curved lot.

Castle-like embellishments include lions-head door-knockers.

FairytaleHome2

There’s a secluded courtyard in front and a wrap-around deck and landscaped patio with water feature in back.

Inside are arches, alcoves, recesses, high ceilings, massive solid wood beams, two large fireplaces, built-in bookcases, and a spiral staircase.

This Princess Bride look comes from the Storybook Collection of Missouri-based Ron Hill’s Euro World Designs. The couple worked closely with Hill in conceiving the home. Steve owned his own full-service realty company and developed many properties and spec homes. Bari’s always taken an active role with him to get things just right in their own homes. They both have a good eye and know enough to tell designers and builders how things should be done.

“We just know how we wanted it,” Bari says of their Legacy place. “It’s not an intimidating thing to either one of us. We like the process and we like to see it completed. It’s fun.”

FairytaleHome4

They fell in love with Hill’s work after touring homes he designed at the lake near Branson where they have their second home.

FairytaleHome5

Steve served as the project’s general contractor. He built the courtyard and water feature himself.

Ever since the home began taking shape in 2011 it’s provoked interest.

“It still does,” Bari says. “People come by this house weekly—stop, take pictures, come to the door and ask, ‘where did you get this?’ or ‘what color is that?’ We have a lot of people comment on it, I think, because it’s such a unique style.

“Now, did we ever think we would end up with this home? No. We’ve kind of been all over the place in terms of styles—we’ve had a two-story Tudor and a ranch—but every step moved us towards this.”

The McCormicks met at then-Kearney State College and lived in Kearney, Nebraska, almost all their married lives. He ran his business; she taught public school and later taught physical education at the college, along with running its intramural sports program.

After retiring they moved to Omaha to be close to their three adult sons and four granddaughters.

They’ve always done special things with their residences.

FairytaleHome6

“We did kind of trick them out,” Steve says. “But this is probably the craziest we’ve gone. I wanted to do the things that kind of went over the top, not to the point of being showy, but just neat features.”

A playground feature is the attached, double-high garage. It is Steve’s man cave, rec space, and trophy room. He’s added hydraulic lifts to facilitate storing his collection of classic Ford vehicles. He’s decorated the space with racing posters, motor oil signs, a vintage gas pump, a parking meter, and all things combustible engine-related.

FairytaleHome7

Just off the downstairs family room is a home movie theater that seats 10 in plush, fully reclinable chairs. A whimsical touch is a faux box office with a mannequin ticket-taker.

The family room includes a small bar backed by a distressed wall. Next to the bar is a tiny wine cellar fronted by an iron gate.

The McCormicks worked closely with subcontractors Dick Grace Construction, Timberlane Construction, and others to create certain touches.

Steve says visitors often “use the word ‘detail’ when they’re at our house—and that’s a compliment.”

The home’s two bedrooms are located on the lower level. The guest bedroom is outfitted with furniture and keepsakes the couple inherited from their respective families.

As large as the home appears on the outside, it’s 2,200 square feet, just 400 feet less than today’s average size.

FairytaleHome8

“I find it a very comforting home, a very warm home,” Bari says.

A color scheme of earth and jewel tones offers subtle contrasts to the dark woodwork, pale plaster walls, and hickory floor.

FairytaleHome9

Most of the interior wood is stained alder, including the kitchen cabinets and doors. The kitchen, formal dining room, and living room walls are done in Venetian plaster. The kitchen island, countertops, and backsplashes feature granite.

The beams transecting the vaulted living room ceiling naturally split, lending them even
more character.

“I like the fact that the beams come down and cozy it up,” Bari says. “They are massive, but that’s a lot of space so it needed some weight up there to kind of balance the room.”

Like Cary Grant and Myrna Loy in the old movie Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, the couple spent more than they originally planned, but who can put a price on storybook and heart?

Steve says, “My attitude is why not enjoy it?” Besides, Bari adds, “It’s our last roundup.”

FairytaleHome1

%d bloggers like this: