Transitions: Saved—Specht Building
In each Transitions section of Preservation magazine, we highlight places of local and national importance that have recently been restored, are currently threatened, have been saved from demolition or neglect, or have been lost. Here's one from Spring 2016.
The landmarked Christian Specht Building, built in 1884 by Specht’s Western Cornice Works, is one of the most intact iron-front buildings left in the state of Nebraska, and it currently houses a storefront and loft apartments.
On January 12, the Omaha City Council passed an amendment requiring that land currently occupied by the building be incorporated into the city’s Downtown Northeast Redevelopment Plan. As part of the plan, the city of Omaha would buy the Specht building and two adjacent historic buildings and hand them over to Omaha Performing Arts, which planned to demolish the structures and use the land for its expansion.
Local preservation group Restoration Exchange Omaha and concerned community members staged protests and outlined alternatives to demolition, and on February 15, Omaha Performing Arts dropped its downtown property acquisition deal with the city.