Wednesday, August 30, 2006

813-817 No 40th Street

Building Permit: October 1905
Building Style: Neo Classic Commercial
Building Cost: $2,000
Architect: Fisher & Lawrie
Owners: S.D. Mercer Co.
These business buildings were built by Sam Mercer in the 1900's. Dr. Mercer was a physician who came to Omaha in 1866 and established a name for himself as a physician, educator and in later years as a business entrepreneur. Dr. Mercer had an active medical practice for 20 years, established the first hospital in Omaha (30th & Cass Street), organized and established the Omaha medical College and was a professor of surgery at the University of Nebraska. After he retired from private practice in 1886 he was active in politics and ran unsuccessfully for governor. In the late 1880's he purchased a farm on the outskirts of Omaha, established a waterworks reservoir and platted out a subdivision know as Walnut Hill, where he built his mansion.
His interest in real estate continued and he built 50 or more businesses located in his neighborhood business district: a hardware store, a drug store, a toy store, a tailor shop, a dressmaker shop, a shoemaker, a plumbing shop, a grocery store, an Omaha Bee office and later an Omaha World Herald distribution center.
Today these buildings are occupied by some of the neighborhoods favorite stores the Radial Cafe (oldest operating cafe in Omaha) and Sweet Magnolia's Bakery.