December 21: Shopping Center Street

This juxtaposition was a surprise for me. I was in West Omaha running some errands, and I had the idea to photograph Loveland Center, a little strip mall on 90th and Center that used to contain some small stores, a Convenient Mart, and a restaurant. I knew that most of the businesses were empty and pictured a somewhat desolate photograph. I wanted to capture that because Sack’s Hardware was my first job in Omaha, the summer of ’96. I sold hardware and wrote prices in Sharpie on nuts and bolts. Back then, customers and employees could smoke cigarettes in the store. I got in trouble once for using the term “weed-whacker” over the intercom (the P.C. term was “trimmer”). I learned that “Hardware” is abbreviated “Hdwe” in the industry, an abbreviation that I have enjoyed ever since.

As I pulled up to the light at 90th, I was surprised to see that a crew was at that moment wrecking the whole strip mall! As I pulled in, they were actually about halfway through destroying Sack’s. It was a little saddening. Not that the Loveland Center was some amazing specimen of architecture, but it held some memories for myself and others.

How long should a strip mall last? What is an old hardware store worth? How do we decide whether to renovate or start from scratch?

Loveland Center, 90th and Center St., Omaha

New(ish) Development, 63rd and Center St., Omaha

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7 thoughts on “December 21: Shopping Center Street

  1. Leila says:

    Love this post! I hate seeing old strip malls/retail space abandoned and falling apart, then blocks away find a brand new building serving a similar purpose. Can you imagine how much more attractive this city would be if all the new construction stopped and was refocussed on renovating what is already here? People just want new, new, new.

  2. Angie Kennedy says:

    The “weed whacker” comment cracked me up….I had no idea there were appropriate/inappropriate terms, it’s always been a weed whacker to me!

  3. Shawn frederick says:

    That old strip mall needed pulled down. Looking forward to re development, hope for lots of landscape!

  4. Sara says:

    Ah……yes you photographed my chiro. You should go see her 🙂 Speaking of……

  5. Kristin says:

    I ❤ Gandolfo's!!! Love this post! I especially like your question at the end. Was this the same strip mall that Senor Matia's was in?

  6. Had to come back to this one and comment. (probably means the blog is working!) anyway… I was looking around town and saw another new(ish) development on 72nd & Q, or nearby. Point is, there’s a place called Kennedy’s Irish Pub built into it… looking at this newly developed place with a name like Kennedy’s Irish Pub just felt wrong, mostly due to my own feeling that a pub should have a fairly lived-in stone and wood structure to it. I’ve got nothing against the place — never even been inside… but ideologically it felt odd to me. Anyways, great blog and keep up the good work! or… perpetuate the juxtaposition!

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