Blackstone Hotel (Omaha, Nebraska)

Blackstone Hotel (Omaha)

The Blackstone Hotel, currently known as the Blackstone Center, is located at 302 South 36th Street in the Gold Coast neighborhood of the Midtown area in Omaha, Nebraska. Built in 1915, it was declared an Omaha Landmark in 1983 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.


The Blackstone was built by the Bankers Realty Investment Company as a residential hotel in 1915. Residents generally rented by the year rather than the day and received hotel services. Although there were single room units, most were suites with six to eight rooms. Each floor had four glass sunrooms and ornate furnishings throughout.

In 1920, the building was purchased by Charles Schimmel, an immigrant from Vienna. After converting the Blackstone to a regular hotel, it soon became a "symbol of elegance" and gained a high stature nationwide as the premier hotel between Chicago and San Francisco along the Lincoln Highway. Among its amenities the hotel kept a small fleet of Pierce-Arrow limousines for visiting dignitaries who arrived in Omaha by train and its own magazine, The Blackstonian; there were also a ballroom, rooftop gardens and award-winning restaurants. A restaurant called the Orleans Room was the Blackstone's most famous, and received Holiday Magazine's "Award for Excellence" for 16 straight years. Through the 1970s the building was one of the most successful elegant small hotels in the country.

In 1968, the Radisson Hotel Corporation bought the hotel and operated it until 1976. The Blackstone was renovated for use as offices in 1984 and renamed the Blackstone Center.

In September 2007, Peter Kiewit Sons, one of five Fortune 500 companies based in Omaha, announced it would buy the Blackstone. It was expected that the company will eventually utilize the entire building.


Built on a steel frame, the building is covered in brick with terra cotta detailing.


The Reuben sandwich was likely invented in Omaha by Reuben Kulakofsky. According to one version of the sandwich's disputed history, it was first introduced to the world in 1925 on a menu in one of the Blackstone's restaurants. Butter brickle ice cream was also first introduced to the world at the Blackstone.

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