Saddle Creek Rd., just North of Dodge, Omaha
30th St., just South of Sorensen Pkwy., Omaha
Today is the final day of the December Photo Project. As always, I’ve enjoyed peeking into the lives of everyone doing the project. I love the holiday details, the artistic shots, and the everyday.
This year, the DPP has inspired me to bring to life the images that run through my head each day. I’ll continue taking photographs and putting them together in an effort to make you think.
Today’s post is special to me because these two buildings were already paired together by history. In the 1960s, an East-coast pastor came to Omaha and tried to encourage his new congregation to reach out to other Lutherans across the city. The award-winning documentary film, A Time for Burning (1966), chronicled the story from many angles. Click the film link for some details and mentions of Omahans who are still making history here today.
Augustana Lutheran Church, 3647 Lafayette Ave., Omaha
Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, 1031 Sunset Tr. (near 60th and Western), Omaha
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
I figure it’s time I write something to go with the photographs. I have been trying to edit myself so that you can make your own decision about what each post is saying. But I wanted to take a minute today to challenge you to dig a little deeper into your noggin.
It’s easy to look at the photographs I publish and say to yourself, “Okay, we’ve got a newish looking building and an oldish looking building. Got it.” But what if you took it a bit further and wondered:
For today’s post, I thought we could play a little game. I challenge you to guess where in Omaha each photograph was taken, before you read the caption. To help you out a little I’ll hide the captions at the bottom of the post.
Full disclosure, some of my recent photographs are pretty poor quality. I’ll blame it on the fact that I’m learning how to use my DSLR while at the same time struggling to get out the door of work before I lose all the natural light. Hopefully the meaning is intact even if the visual isn’t pretty!
The first week and a half of the project has been fun for me — I’ve enjoyed your comments and welcome more!
Have you made your guesses?
Caption for Photo #1: Private Home, North Omaha (just off 30th and Lake Streets)
Caption for Photo #2: Private Home, West Omaha (just off 132nd and Maple Streets)