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Original Elkhorn town hall is on its way to historic landmark status
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Original Elkhorn town hall is on its way to historic landmark status

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A generation of Omahans — and newcomers to the city — likely are unaware that Peony Park, the major amusement spot from the 1930s through 1994, was at 78th and Cass Streets.

A local developer is seeking historic landmark status for the original Elkhorn town hall — which would open the door to funding to help preserve the former government structure built in 1904.

Tyler Curnes, an Elkhorn resident, bought the property at 20515 Corby St. a year ago and said his project would restore "natural glory" and retain "original context."

He plans a commercial use that, according to city records, would "contribute to community efforts to revive the Elkhorn downtown area."

Located half a block from historic Main Street, the old City Hall was retired when a new community center was built in 1966. (Elkhorn was incorporated in 1886 and annexed in 2007 by the city of Omaha.) 

It has been used for storage for several decades, after a different owner bought the structure in the 1970s to save it from demolition.

Curnes hopes to tap state and federal historic preservation tax credits to help rehabilitate the structure, which was expanded in 1930. He points out that the wood bell cupola as a distinctive architectural element, saying it was used as an alert during emergencies.

Other features include a jail cell and a vault where records were kept.

The city's Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission and Planning Board have recommended approval of the landmark designation.

 

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