Photos by B2Lab, courtesy Hotel Deco XV
Early in the 1930s, Art Deco was in. Nebraska embraced the movement, erecting a number of public buildings in the architectural style of the day, among them the State Capitol in Lincoln, and in Omaha, Union Station, the Joslyn Art Museum, and the Redick Tower.
All stand today as a testament to the era.
Among the structures, the Redick Tower has a new purpose. Originally built as an office tower, the Redick Tower is now a luxury hotel.
Joseph G. McArthur, a local architect, designed the 11-story Redick. It is thought he was somewhat influenced by the Nebraska State Capitol in nearby Lincoln, a building that broke with the mold for capitol design by moving from Beaux Arts to a streamlined Art Deco tower.
McArthur was visionary: He designed his office tower with interior parking for 500 cars, a nod to the future importance of the automobile.
That parking was also welcomed when, in 1989, the Redick became a hotel. McArthur’s parking garage has become complimentary valet parking for hotel guests, unusual for a city property.
New owners, new direction
After several ownership changes, the hotel has landed in the hands of the White Lotus Group, which turned it into a luxury boutique hotel in 2010 and gave it its new name: Hotel Deco XV.
The number is a nod to its location on the corner of 15th and Harney streets, two blocks from Omaha’s historic Old Market and across the street from the Orpheum Theater.
Adding Art Deco
A $7 million renovation restored the original architecture, added Art Deco touches from the lobby to meeting rooms and upgraded guest rooms with comfy beds and linens, contemporary decor, 37-inch high-definition televisions and iPod docking stations.
“Now the property feels like an upbeat, hip, big-city hotel,” said Katy Adams, vice president of sales and marketing for White Lotus Group. “Midwesterners like room to spread out, so the guest rooms are extra-spacious.”
Omaha’s only AAA Four-Diamond hotel, the Hotel Deco XV is suited to small meetings, with 5,000 square feet of meeting space. Each of its four meeting rooms is named for famous Art Deco buildings, and, like the rest of the hotel, all shine with Art Deco-inspired touches – crystal lighting fixtures, opaque glass doors with Art Deco pulls, heavy crown molding and metal wall sculptures. Like the rest of the hotel, the meeting space is decorated in black, white and shades of gray.
Metallic touches and mirrors, sleek materials like leather and edgy light fixtures carry the Art Deco idea into the 21st century.
Three of the four spaces are located on the ground level, and can be used in tandem. Among them is the 1,276-square-foot Empire Ballroom, the hotel’s largest meeting space. Next door is the 616-square-foot Rockefeller Room, arguably the jazziest of the spaces, with its metallic wall coverings, information technology (IT) monitors, flat-screen television and laptop plug-ins. It works well for board conferences, small dinners or luncheons or as an add-on space for events in the ballroom.