South Omaha

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?

Northeast corner of old antique shop in South Omaha

Northeast corner of old antique shop

North wall of old antique shop in South Omaha

North wall of old antique shop

Flowers growing over a brick wall

Nature is taking over.

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.

Lenny's in South Oma

Lenny’s Bar


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