North 24th Street - Comparison of the 1950s-60s to 2022
In June 2022, 15 OPS high schoolers, three OPS social studies teachers, and three UNO college students spent one week researching and mapping the more than 400 homes and mom-and-pop businesses that lined North 24th from Cuming Street to Ames Avenue in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Why this project? Past research uncovered the thriving African American and Jewish communities that existed prior to the racial riots and disinvestment in the community that changed the landscape. People who grew up in the late 1950s and early 1960s are in their 70s and 80s now. We wanted to capture their stories before they were gone. Lastly, we wanted to provide the community with a visual look at the properties that once lined North 24th Street to be used as a resource in discussions of how North 24th Street can be redeveloped to serve the community today.
Program highlights included a tour of North 24th Street with Preston Love Jr. followed by soul food at Big Mama’s and the chance to hear stories of North 24th Street in the 1950s and early 1960s from those who lived it; John Ewing Sr., Preston, Patricia Allen, and Marty Shukert. Participants learned how to research the history of properties with librarian and Omaha history expert Martha Grenzeback. They spent time exploring the Jewish Historical Society archives and learning about the history of the Jewish settlers in Omaha and the Jewish businesses that once lined North 24th Street from historians Ben Justman, Dr. Jeanette Gabriel, and Marty Shukert.
The project was made possible thanks to funding from the Sherwood Foundation. Special thanks to the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Geography Department for hosting the program and to instructor Paul Hunt for all his help.
Click on the link below to compare North 24th Street in 1958 to the same area today.
And, click on the icons below to see the homes and businesses that lined North 24th Street in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
North 24th Street Cuming to Caldwell
North 24th Street Caldwell to Charles
North 24th Street Charles to Seward
North 24th Street Seward to Clark
North 24th Street Decatur to Blondo
North 24th Street Blondo to Patrick
North 24th Street Patrick to Grant
North 24th Street Grant to Lake
North 24th Street Lake to Ohio
North 24th Street Ohio to Locust
North 24th Street Locust to Spencer
North 24th Street Spencer to Pinkney
North 24th Street Pinkney to Pratt
North 24th Street Pratt to Spalding
North 24th Street Spaulding to Ames
2022 MIHV-GIS Students and Teachers
- City of Omaha Polk Directories 1958 to 1962
- Douglas County 1958 Aerial Map
- Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps from 1962
- The Durham Museum Archives
- Great Plains Black History Museum Archives
- Nebraska Jewish Historical Society Archives
- The Omaha World-Herald Archives
- The University of Nebraska at Omaha Geography Department, Paul Hunt
- Patricia Allen
- Eric Ewing
- John Ewing Sr.
- Jeannette Gabriel
- Ben Justman
- Preston Love Jr.
- Marty Shukert