Omaha From the Air: Gallery Number Three

During the summer of 1947, the Omaha World-Herald published a series of 45 aerial photographs depicting the city of Omaha. The pictures were later published in a book entitled Omaha From the Air. The photographs were taken by World-Herald staff photographer John S. Savage. The plane was piloted by Marion Nelson of the Omaha Aircraft Company.

The text presented below is that which appeared as captions for each of the photos, which are also linked below. The forty-five aerial photographs are presented in four, separate galleries and are approximately 80-100K each.

Gallery Number One Gallery Number Two Gallery Number Four

Nebraska School for the Deaf Occupies Area Covering 9 City Blocks

You are flying almost straight south over the Nebraska School for the Deaf. This is a free public school for boys and girls of Nebraska, from 5½ to 20 years, whose hearing is impaired and who find it difficult or impossible to get along in an ordinary classroom. Costs of tuition, board and room are paid by the State.

The campus and buildings are located within nine city blocks (23 acres) between Bedford Avenue and Wirt Street, and between Forty-second and Forty-fifth Streets.

Almost as old as the State itself (Nebraska became a state March 1, 1867), the school was created by the Legislature in 1869. The first building (No. 10 in photo) was erected in 1870. Until this building was ready, the school was in a small house on Twentieth Street between Leavenworth and St. Mary's Avenue. In 1887, the school established the first auricular department in the United States.

In the photo, buildings are numbered to aid in their identification. Dates in parenthesis indicate when the various units were completed and occupied.

At (1) is the laundry (1931) which takes care of the needs of 180 pupils and 55 employees, including 27 certified teachers. At (2) is the central heating and power plant (1930). The large white-shuttered structure at (3) is the Vocational Arts Building (1930). This is for pupils from the third grade up. Just north of this building are tennis courts and a playground.

At (4) stands the academic school building (1928). The first floor is for high school students. Other grades, except the primary departments, are upstairs. Almost hidden by trees (5) is an auditorium and gymnasium (1911).

Newest building (1932) is the boys' dormitory at (6). It houses 80 boys, two house mothers and two house fathers.

Huddled very closely together and inter-connecting are the four oldest buildings. At (7) is the south wing (1875) which has classrooms for the primary grades. At (8) the east wing (1881) is the administration building. Teachers' quarters are on the top floor. The west wing (9) contains a kitchen and a large dining hall which extends into the east wing (1883). At (10) the north wing (1870) is the infirmary and hospital. Employees are quartered on the top floor.

At (11) is a garage and tool shop (1917). Nearby is a greenhouse. Facing Beford Avenue (12) is the girls' dormitory (1915). It houses 90 girls, four house mothers and five teachers. There are recreational facilities in the basement.

Providing special instruction in addition to regular courses of study, and teaching more than 20 vocations, the school has had 1,578 pupils through the years.

Metropolitan Utilities District Plant, As Seen From Your Magic Carpet

The magic carpet takes you over Omaha's publicly-owned gas plant, operated by the Metropolitan Utilities District. It is now nearly converted to supplying natural gas. Under municipal ownership for 27 years, it had successfully supplied the city with manufactured gas. Public ownership began July 1, 1920. This plant, plus an elaborate distribution system, is valued at more than 11 million dollars.

You are flying southwest over a big area near Twentieth and Center Streets. The area's somewhat irregular boundaries run from Nineteenth to Twenty-fourth Streets, and from about Hickory Street (railroad track) south to Martha Street.

The small, black gas holder at extreme left, with a capacity of 500 thousand cubic feet, contains "blue" gas, or raw manufactured gas no yet enriched. In foreground, the light-colored holder contains 1,200,000 cubic feet of enriched manufactured gas. This is for use in the downtown section of the city, where the changeover has not yet been completed. The two large tanks in background (just east of Twenty-fourth Street) have a combined capacity of 12 million cubic feet. The larger one (left) is now being pumped full. When filled in September, the tank will rise to the top of the steel superstructure.

In the foreground, the square-roofed structure is the service building. It houses the MUD's modern garage, storerooms, gas and water distribution offices and the mechanical service departments. A large quantity of pipe can be seen in foreground.

Across Twentieth Street are the manufacturing units. This part of the plant will not be used, directly, in the distribution of natural gas. It will be on a standby basis. Some manufactured gas will be made (with 600 BTU) and will be enriched with propane gas in liquid form to bring it up to natural gas heat of one thousand BTU. This gas will be used in cases of emergency.

Among the plant units are a machine shop, generator and boiler plants, exhausters, pumps, purifiers, oil storage compartments, cooling tower, coke stock piles and 10 new propane gas storage holders. More than 350 employees work in this area daily.

The ball-shaped holder at far left is a standby high-pressure holder. It is for emergency use.

Natural gas pipe lines, underground, enter this area from the south. Natural gas comes into the plant under pressure. This is reduced by means of regulators. Then it is fogged, odorized, humidified and metered. Next it is distributed through a high-pressure system to 22 regulator stations throughout the city. From the stations, after its pressure has again been reduced, the gas is piped into homes.

Magic Carpet Carries You Over University of Nebraska Medical College

You are flying west over the buildings and campus of the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, at Forty-second Street and Dewey Avenue. The large double-winged buildings in the center is University Hospital.

Originally located in Lincoln (1883), the State-supported College of Medicine was moved to Omaha in 1912 because of superior clinical facilities. The first building (lower right) was occupied in 1913. It is the North Laboratory. For the first four years it was the entire college. It now houses the bacteriology laboratories, the pathology and anatomy departments.

Directly across the campus is the South Laboratory. It houses the biochemistry laboratories, the physiology and pharmacology departments, the Student Health Service, a student canteen, lecture halls and classrooms, and 15 dispensaries. The penthouse is an experimental animal laboratory. This unit was erected in 1919.

Immediately west is Conkling Hall, a nurses' home. It is named for Dr. Jettur Riggs Conkling, a pioneer Omaha doctor. It houses 150 student nurses and two house mothers. It has a recreation room, browsing library and gymnasium. The unit extending east and west was built in 1923. The other wing (with black roof) was added in 1929.

University Hospital's east wing (nearest camera) was built in 1917. The four stories contain 6 wards: 2 medical, 2 surgical, one each for obstetrics and gynecology. Here are the administrative office of the college and hospital; a school of nursing; three general operating rooms and one for eye, ear, nose and throat; a dining room; a food service for everyone in the hospital; admitting office; pharmacy and pathology departments.

The west wing, finished in 1927, contains an X-ray department and radium treatment center; a large library; womens' medical ward; womens' surgery; pediatrics department for children; a central hospital supply; the hospital laboratories and students' laboratories; and living quarters for interns.

The four-story ramp connecting the wings has a special diet kitchen; a large amphitheater; offices; a small operating room; and a medical record library.

West of the hospital may be seen Childrens Memorial Hospital. To the south, in an area marked by light-colored earth and two clumps of trees, is the site for the proposed new Lutheran Hospital.

West of University Hospital is a large open area. This is platted so that three additional hospital units may be constructed, each to extend north and south, with connecting ramps. One of these wings may be built in 1949.

To teach an enrollment of 320, there are 20 pre-clinical professors, and about two hundred practicing medical and surgical specialists.

In the immediate foreground at left is the Child Saving Institute, one of six in the United States sponsored by the Christian Church. Organized here in April, 1892, the Institute is 57 years old. This building was occupied in 1912. It is an adoptive agency and cares for children ranging from infancy to 5 years.

Omaha's Meat Packing and Livestock Center, 2d Largest in the World

You are flying over Omaha's great meat packing and livestock center, second largest in the world. It is Omaha's biggest industry. Approximately 15 thousand persons work here, with a pay roll estimated at more than 30 million dollars annually.

Last year, 5½ million head of livestock were received here. More than 1¼ million dollars worth of livestock is processed here each market day.

Three of the "Big Four" packing plants are shown. The fourth, Wilson and Company, at Twenty-seventh and Y Streets, is a mile south of this area. Q Street, which runs through the heart of this center, is marked by viaduct at lower right.

The railroads which operate in this section include: Chicago & North Western, Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, Great Western, Union Pacific, Chicago, Minneapolis & St. Paul, Rock Island, Illinois Central, Missouri Pacific, Wabash and the South Omaha Terminal.

The long white roof in the foreground covers Swift and Company's loading and icing dock. In right background is the Livestock Exchange Building. Between the tall white chimney and the Exchange Building are hog market pens. West of them are the sheep pens. On the far side are cattle pens.

A section of the South Side Terrace Homes is visible at left. The homes are situated in 10 square city blocks from R to W Street and between Twenty-eighth and Thireith Streets. A total of 522 families (two thousand persons) live here.

Other local plants which help make Omaha a huge packing center include: South Omaha Packing Company, Kingan and Company, M. Rothschild and Sons, John Roth and Son, Greater Omaha Packing Company, Nebraska Beef Company, George Hoffman Company, Eagle Packing Company and Merchants Packing Company.

During 1946, these packers received 767,401 head of cattle and calves, 1,618,431 head of hogs and 1,124,697 head of sheep.

Omaha's packing industry grew rapidly during the decade following 1880. The Union Stockyards Company boosted the progress by spending two million dollars to bring outside packers to the city. During the past 60 years, the Omaha industry has grown constantly, challenging Chicago.

For the first seven months of 1947, Chicago received a total of 3,700,811 head of livestock. Omaha is close behind with total receipts of 3,436,071.

Stately St. Cecilia Cathedral Dominates City's West and Central Skyline

The magic carpet wafts you over St. Cecilia Cathedral, one of Omaha's many beautiful places of worship. Dominating the City's west-central skyline, the cathedral makes an enchanting study for the aerial photographer. It is a landmark both from the air and on the ground. Motorists entering Omaha from any direction can see it for many miles on a clear day. When fliers at the Municipal Airport can see its twin towers, they know that all is well aloft - the flying ceiling is adequate.

The edifice, classified as a "metropolitan cathedral," is the See church of the Most Rev. James H. Ryan, archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Omaha. Designed by the late Thomas R. Kimball, Omaha architect, the structure follows the Spanish Renaissance style. The exterior is of Indiana limestone, surmounted by a roof of Spanish tile.

The cold statistics give an idea of the cathedral's massive sweep and sturdy construction. In the foundation alone are more than one million pounds of concrete and a half million bricks. One hundred tons of steel support the structure. The over-all width is 158 feet; over-all length is 255 feet. Under construction since 1905, the building is still not finished, but this is not unusual since many European cathedrals were under construction for centuries.

One of the principal remaining tasks involves construction of curved stone domes for the towers. This will increase the towers' present height of 152 feet to 193 feet. The plans for this improvement and others on the cathedral are in the hands of Steele, Sandham and Steele, successor to the Kimball firm. Installation of stained glass windows will begin soon and will be completed by the end of 1949.

An interesting sidelight concerns the windows in The Lady chapel, situated at the left side of the building. Fifteenth century masterpieces, they were purchased from a New York department store which had procured them from the William Randolph Hearst collection. They were given to the cathedral by an anonymous Omahan.

Much interior improvement work has been completed within the past year. Kasota marble walls have been installed. A modern lighting system was finished a few months ago. All work has been financed on a pay-as-you-go basis.

You are flying southeast. The street in the foreground is Fortieth. Hidden by trees at left is Burt Street. The street barely visible at right is Webster. Across Webster Street and visible in part between the towers are the parish convent and St. Cecilia School. Twenty-two nuns teach three hundred high school pupils and five hundred grade school children.

The Very Rev. Ernest G. Graham, pastor, whose parish house is shown at lower right, has major expansion plans. These include construction of a new half-million-dollar grade and high school on the recreation grounds behind the cathedral. New recreation space will be provided east of the proposed school. School plans are being prepared by Leo A Daly Co.

Douglas County Hospital, One of Nation's Finest Institutional Buildings

Now your magic carpet takes you to the first of what Welfare Administrator Phil Vogt describes as "two of the finest county institutional buildings in the country" - the Douglas County Hospital at Fortieth Street and Poppleton Avenue.

You look down on a building constructed in 1931 that is still modern in every respect. Some of its major features include:

Terrazzo (chips of polished marble) floors that make for easy housekeeping and economy.

Marble walls in corridors and utility rooms.

Automatic thermostatic heat control in every room.

Nine units, any one of which can be completely isolated from the other and still be operated because of the separate kitchens and other facilities.

Patient rooms that all face the front and have ample window space for sunlight.

The hospital, built at a cost of $909,421.95 in 1931, would cost five times that to replace on the present-day market, Mr. Vogt estimates. It has 95,570 square feet of space, more than 325 rooms that vary in size from single patient rooms to the auditorium seating three hundred.

The building has five floors and a full basement. There are 225 employees including a physicians staff of 12 headed by Dr. Thomas Boler. They receive "token payments" of from one hundred dollars to $450 monthly. There are 26 registered nurses. About 35 employees are housed in the hospital.

A main surgical operating room and two auxiliary ones are included in the hospital. It cares for three hundred patients.

Mr. Vogt says there is still some room in the hospital and that there would be "considerable more" if chronic and longtime patients were moved to Clearview Home.

The center section of the hospital is used for general medical service, the right wing for contagious and mental illness cases. The lower sun porches one each side provide a place to "air" polio patients.

Location of the hospital is choice. To the left rear can be seen the University of Nebraska School of Medicine. A bit farther to the left and not shown in the picture is the rising Childrens Memorial Hospital. Just across Woolworth Avenue (foreground) and facing the County Hospital will be the new 12-story Veterans Hospital. Creighton University School of Medicine and other hospital and medical facilities are not too distant.

To the left behind the hospital is the county garage. The police radio tower can be seen almost directly behind the hospital. The flat-topped building to the left and rear is the abandoned nurses home.

The old County Hospital, built in 1887, was razed this summer. It was located behind the new hospital and slightly to the left.

Clearview Home Located on One of Douglas County's Highest Points

The magic carpet swings 10 miles west of Benson on West Maple Street to Clearview Home, located on one of the highest spots in Douglas County.

When Clearview first was built in 1931 it was used primarily as a home for the aged. More and more it has become a place to hospitalize the bedfast, those without money and who are unemployable due to illness.

"With people generally living 22 years longer than in 1922," says Welfare Administrator Phil Vogt, "the problem of caring for those without a place to go has become the most serious one in many communities. In this building, Douglas County has the answer to its problem."

Mr. Vogt contends there isn't another building of its type in the country that can match Douglas County's.

It offers 90,195 feet of building space on a quarter section of county-owned land. Cost of the building was $632,580.54.

The main building has a tile roof, copper gutters and downspouts, terrazzo floors, tile walls and 10 full-length proches. There are more than one hundred rooms - most of them large wards. There are two floors, a basement and a top floor that accommodates about 50 of the 75 employees. Patient census now is 220. Separate quarters are maintained for men and women.

Like the County Hospital, Clearview is built for ease of housekeeping and economy.

The building to the right has modern equipment to handle laundry for both institutions and a boiler plant. The radio tower is for the Sheriff's office. To the rear and left is the county orchard.

The lawn work and gardening is done by a maintenance crew. Only a few patients help - and then only if given approval by the physician.

Here It Is! Telephoto Lens Drops Magic Carpet to South High Rooftop

Well, kids, here it is! A striking closeup of South High School - as seen by the camera (with a telephoto lens) from The World-Herald's magic carpet. Challenges to produce this picture had been made by writers to the Public Pulse column. Good friends of the school simply would not accept excuses.

You are flying northeast. Twenty-fourth Street is in the foreground. K Street is at right. J Street borders the school grounds partly out of camera range at left.

The old section of South High, built in 1904, is furthest west away from the camera at the upper left. The newer and larger portion of the building (left center and along K Street) was completed in 1926.

The combined buildings contain 67 rooms, including a gymnasium and an auditorium. The gymnasium is in the center of the picture nearest the camera, with entrance on Twenty-fourth Street.

Present enrollment is 2,700 pupils, with 90 teachers. The school has had as many as four thousand pupils at one time. There have been more than 11 thousand graduates since 1904.

The building with the dome (in background) is Wheeler Memorial Presbyterian Church. The church was dedicated in 1912 and named in honor of the late Dr. R.L. Wheeler. The church has a membership of more than nine hundred.

Omaha's Giant Grain and Milling Industry Is Fifth Largest in the World

Omaha is known around the world for many things. Not the least is its giant grain and milling industry.

This view from the Magic Carpet shows just a segment of the industry which employs thousands here, puts bread and cereals on tables over the world.

From the Magic Carpet you are looking south. The large structure in the foreground is the 1,750,000-bushel elevator of the Westcentral Co-operative Grain Company. Seemingly rising out of the elevator at the rear are the buildings of the Maney Milling Company. South of the elevator is the plant of the Famous Molasses Feed Company.

At far left in the background is the Omar, Inc., mill. Near by, but not shown, is the Allied Mill. The Butler-Welsh Grain Company elevator is behind the span shown in the background. Also not shown is the Kellogg plant. It is off to the right in the foreground.

The span in the foreground is the Bancroft Street viaduct. Behind it is the Vinton Street viaduct. Far in the background is the Dahlman Crossing. The street at far right is Twenty-seventh.

The two sets of tracks shown at left in the foreground are those of the Burlington. The center string belongs to the Union Pacific and the area is known as its Summit yards. At right are yards of the Chicago and Great Western Railroad.

Through the yards shown here come much of the grain that makes Omaha the nation's fifth largest grain and milling center.

Carload grain shipments so far this year total 46,508.

Most of the grain pours into Omaha through the Omaha Grain Exchange, organized in 1904. Actually, only little pans of samples appear on the floor of the Exchange. The rest stays in box cars until it is bought, or is stored in elevators.

The market's 18 elevators have a capacity of 28,185,000 bushels. They include one of the largest in the world, the 10 million bushel elevator of Cargill, Inc.

The railroads serve the grain market.

A good share of Omaha grain receipts is turned into food products here. There are three flour mills, with a daily milling capacity of 10,800,000 pounds. Allied Mills, Inc., has a capacity of 1,200 tons daily in its feed and alfalfa meal plant. The Kellogg Company's daily corn products capacity is 7,200 bushels.

A major Omaha grain consumer is the Farm Crops Processing Corporation's alcohol plant. It can gulp up 40 thousand bushels a day.

Flying Over Fontenelle Park, One of Omaha's Better Recreation Centers

The magic carpet takes you over Fontenelle Park, near Forty-second Street and Ames Avenue, one of the better Omaha recreation centers. You are flying west.

In the foreground is the baseball diamond and grandstand, which might have been the home field of the Western League Omaha Cardinals if some residents of the area had not objected. Many sandlot baseball games are played here. The grandstand will seat about two thousand persons.

Behind the grandstand is the park pavilion, built in 1927 at a cost of about 60 thousand dollars. It is of brick and concrete, two stories and basement, has an auditorium-dance floor, clubrooms, promenade porch, showers and other facilities.

Back of the pavilion and to the right is the lagoon, used for skating in winter. Some City Park and Recreation Department officials hope it can be developed into a practice casting lake. It is fed by surface water and springs.

The road that winds through the park is Fontenelle Boulevard. Trails at right are the result of abuses - motorists taking short cuts across the park.

There is a nine-hole golf course, also picnic areas, playground space, a sled-toboggan slide.

Most of Omaha's 2,500 acres of parks were donated to the City by prosperous early citizens. Fontenelle was an exception. The City bought the site, 110 acres, in 1893 for 90 thousand dollars.

At the election last November, Omahans called for general improvement in parks and recreation. They approved issuance of $1,637,000 in bonds to carry out 34 "urgent" projects recommended by the Mayor's City-Wide Planning Committee.

The plans call for new parks, such as the proposed Bedford Avenue Neighborhood Park at about Thirtieth Street and Bedford Avenue. It also proposes many improvements in existing parks, for baseball, softball, football, swimming, golf, tennis, playgrounds, picnic areas, landscaping, floral gardens, amphitheaters, parking areas, spray pools and other facilities.

A new Parks and Recreation Commission was established at the last election to run the parks and recreation program. It is headed by Charles L. Kirkland. A new superintendent, R.B. McClintock, was hired by the commission.

No changes at Fontenelle Park are included in the "urgent" parks plan. The Mayor's City-Wide Planning Committee recommended changes for the future, however, included removal of golf and development of more baseball facilities, a swimming pool, tennis courts and more playground space for small children.

Magic Carpet Hovers Over Logan Fontenelle Homes, City Within a City

Spread below the magic carpet today is another city-within-a-city - the Logan Fontenelle Homes.

You are looking northeast from Twenty-fourth and Paul Streets. Twenty-fourth Street runs on the left side of the project; Paul Street across the background. The project's other boundaries are Clark Street and Twentieth Street.

This project, containing 556 apartments with from one to four bedrooms each, houses approximately 2,100 persons. It is managed by the Housing Authority of the City of Omaha.

Rentals, based on percentages of the occupants' incomes, range from $10.50 to $34.50 a month. This includes light, heat and water. Occupants are allowed to earn a maximum of $2,200 per family of four per year; if they make more than that, they must move. This has posed a problem recently for the management, since many families are over the maximum income, but cannot find other housing.

The four smokestacks sticking up above the apartment buildings mark the locations of four boiler plants, which furnish heat to the apartments.

The project was built in two parts. The original project, which occupies roughly the southern (lower) half of the picture, was built with PWA funds, is operated under lease from the U.S. Public Housing Administration. It was opened on March 1, 1938. The northern half, called the "addition," was built under a $1,241,000 Government grant, and was opened January 15, 1941.

The playground in the center of the project is owned by the City. Partly visible at the lower right hand corner of the picture is Kellom School.

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