Revitalizing Blackstone: Redevelopment and Use in an Omaha Business District

As of April 2021, Omaha’s Blackstone District is an area that has seen several development and redevelopment projects. According to the district’s website, this “recent revitalization” of the district “has paved the way for redevelopment; making what was once old, new again.” While several new businesses, restaurants, bars, and other venues of entertainment have come to occupy old and new spaces in Blackstone over the last decade, this walking tour focuses on two of the district’s most recent redevelopment and revitalization projects.

The Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel, formerly the Blackstone Hotel, and The Switch Food and Beer Hall opened in 2020. Located at the eastern edge of Blackstone, these two places represent the continued revitalization of the district. This tour stops at the Kimpton Cottonwood and The Switch, exploring their current spaces as well as those spaces' history.

The Blackstone Hotel

In 1920, the Blackstone was purchased by Charles Schimmel and “Symbol of elegance” for Omahans. Schimmel renovated the building to serve as a hotel (Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission np) and was known as the grandest hotel between Chicago…

From Rotating Funeral Homes to Switching Foods

It was noon. I was hungry. But I didn’t know what I wanted. With its ever-switching food spots, Blackstone District’s The Switch Food and Beer Hall seemed as good of a choice as any. Besides, I’d already been exploring some of the history of this…