Honestly, I don’t make it to South Omaha often. But recently I have been working on a project through work with the Salvation Army that took me through there. Just west of Kennedy Freeway on South 26th Street, there are two lonely buildings I noticed that looked as if no one had been near them in some time. Perched on a slight slope, they overlook a noisy railyard.
For those unfamiliar with Omaha, this is the area once known as the Stockyards, where in a single day, sometimes tens of thousands of animals were traded in a livestock exchange. Once the nation’s largest such exchange, it closed in 1999. Freight trains still stop here, the local community college has a nice campus just to the west, and there is still a sign when you get off the exit that says “In case of manure spill, please call…” Most of the neighborhoods are largely Hispanic – 24th Street has all the best local Mexican spots – but many are also quite run down.
As a vegetarian, I don’t mourn the end of what were probably obscenely inhumane conditions for these animals. As an Omahan, I mourn the passing of an era, but hope another vibrant industry will bring more prosperity to south Omaha.
The building just below actually isn’t quite abandoned – it still has a for-sale sign. However, its location next to a giant overgrown depression in the group probably won’t help its odds. I wonder if it had another section on this wall that was destroyed for some reason?
Just to the right in this photo, you can see a mostly empty lot. In that lot sat a gold Buick with a bicycle thrown to the ground behind it. I think that car is probably someone’s current home. For privacy I decided not to take a photo.
Lenny’s Bar, below, seems completely abandoned. There are still Budweiser signs inside that, come to think of it, could probably make some money in an antique shop.