An Omaha architect squared off against the Douglas County Board of Commissioners today to try to save a nearly 100 year old building from the wrecking ball. Bob Perrin owns the building downtown at 18th and Howard Street and wanted to save the building and convert it into a residential and commercial mixed use facility. He also wanted to save a historic piece of Omaha.
Perrin told the Douglas County Board, “The building hasn’t been considered a historic landmark because we didn’t have landmarks in 1948 when the Corps took over but we have reached out the city and all the historic preservation people and everybody thinks it should be designated.”
The building at 420 Howard Street was originally built as a car dealership for Oldsmobile, Ford and Hudson. In 1948, it was purchased by the War Department and the Corps used it until 2010. Perrin purchased the building in 2013.
At today’s meeting, Perrin asked the Board of Commissioners to save the building for future generations. The County Board voted 6 to 1 to take the building through eminent domain and paid Perrin $900,000 for the property. Douglas County plans to build a new $120 million juvenile justice center on the land. There is no word yet if Perrin plans to appeal the decision.