Vaulting: The beautiful design of century-old Omaha blueprints

Our lady of Lourdes blueprints

Omaha’s Landmark Heritage Preservation Commission has been updating its expansive site this summer. In addition to hundreds of fairly recent (but still historical) photos of homes and buildings, they’ve added more than 500 building plans filed with the city between 1907 and 1926. It’s easy to get lost in the archive, but it’s worth it.

Among the highlights are a dozen or so churches (including Our Lady of Lourdes, above), dozens of schools (including Omaha Central), tons of old theaters (only a few of which remain standing today) and even a handful of residences.

The site is a magical combination of all the things I love: good design, local history and hopelessly giant archival databases. Go dive in here.

Dundee theater Omaha blueprints
The Dundee Theatre.

Washington Elementary blueprints
Washington Elementary

Union Pacific Headquarters facade
Former Union Pacific Headquarters facade. This amazing building was torn down in 2008 and has remained an empty lot since.

Union Pacific Headquarters lights
Former Union Pacific Headquarters lighting.

Union Pacific Headquarters door blueprints
Former Union Pacific Headquarters door details.

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