When Warehouses had Style


In the late nineteenth century, even warehouses had style. Perhaps one of the best realizations of this statement is the Bekins Van and Storage Building, a contributing property to the Omaha Rail and Commerce Historic District. Until the middle of the last century the Union Pacific railroad was largely responsible for the continued growth of Omaha. Not surprisingly, there are many buildings constructed for the chief purpose of storing raw materials or storage and distribution of finished products. Despite the utilitarian nature of these buildings, there are several that possess architecturally significant features. The Bekins Van and Storage Building was constructed in 1916 and is situated at the northeast corner of 15th and Jones streets. The five-story structure has many significant features including Limestone embellishments in the Italian Renaissance style, cut stone framing the main doorway and additional ornamentation surrounding the windows of the first floor. Pause for an extra moment at the stop sign the next time you drive by and appreciate a time when utility didn't mean an absence of craftsmanship and finesse.