Jobbers Canyon Historic District was a large industrial and warehouse area comprising 24 buildings located in downtown Omaha, Nebraska. It was roughly bound by Farnam Street on the north, South Eighth Street on the east, Jackson Street on the south, and South Tenth Street on the west. In 1989, all 24 buildings in Jobbers Canyon were demolished, representing the largest National Register historic district lost to date.
Speaking in 1987 about Jobber's Canyon, J. Jackson Walter, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation said, "The warehouse district, to the best of my knowledge, is certainly one of the Middle West's or the nation's finest collection of this sort of buildings.
The area included the Kingman Implement Company building, also called the U.S. Tire building, located at 923 Farnam Street. It was built in 1900 as a six-story brick Renaissance Revival style structure. Kingman was a wholesale distributor of farm implements and vehicles. The Fairbanks, Morse and Company building at 923 Farnam Street was six stories tall. It was designed in 1907 by Omaha architects Fisher and Lawrie. In 1907 Fairbanks, Morse and Company was the largest manufacturer of gasoline, kerosene, and crude oil engines in the United States.
In 1906, architect Charles Cleves designed a six story building for the U.S. Supply Company, which distributed of wholesale steam, water and plumbing supplies. The Dempster Building was a five story Renaissance Revival style warehouse designed by Omaha architect John Latenser, Sr. in 1902. The Dempster Mill Manufacturing Company started as a small retail pump and windmill shop in 1880 and eventually grew to become a major manufacturer of windmills and farm implements. Architects Fisher & Lawrie designed another six story red brick warehouse structure in 1900 the Lee-Glass-Andreesen Hardware Company, which originated in 1880 as Lee, Fried & Co. They were wholesalers of hardware, cutlery and tinware.
The eight story Creighton Block was built for John A. Creighton to house the Byrne and Hammer Dry Goods Company. The most ornate building in Jobbers Canyon, this Renaissance Revival style structure was designed by architect Charles Cleves. Today the Greenhouse Apartments at 900 Farnam Street are the only building left from the original Jobbers Canyon.
Agriculture-related industries have always been important to Omaha's workforce. In addition to the meat industry, major employers have included the Kellogg Company and the Campbell Soup Company, which produces frozen Swanson and LeMenu products in Omaha. Exercising its influence, industry giant ConAgra transformed the skyline by demolishing Jobber's Canyon in 1989. Today its world headquarters sits on 30 acres of the former historic district. At the time Charles M. Harper, chief executive of ConAgra, was asked about the district, and responded saying it was "some big, ugly red brick buildings". ConAgra's campus created almost of office space.
Critics charged that the city was being "held hostage" by ConAgra, and that the city should not have to choose between its corporations and its historical legacies.
At the time Omaha's then-planning director, Marty Shukert, said it was more important to keep the city's downtown core healthy than to keep the historic district. "This development may not be a large thing to a city with multiple corporate headquarters and a large development industry," he said. "In a relatively small community like this, the effects of a growing, national corporation echo throughout the economy.
The court of appeal granted a partial stay of demolition during the appeals at a time when five buildings remained standing in the district. The injunction was later dissolved, and ultimately, all 24 buildings in the National Register-listed historic district were demolished, and the adjacent corporate campus was completed in 1992.
The National Park Service officially delisted the non-existent Jobbers Canyon Historic District in 2002. In 2005 a restaurant called "Jobber's Canyon" opened in the Old Market. Some critics charge that Omaha's dual losses of Jobbers Canyon and the Union Stockyards represent a blatant disregard for the city's working class history.