June 24, 2024


Swing Your Home

Black-stained woodwork isn’t hurting interest in landmark house in Hanscom neighborhood | Home & Garden


Another interesting chapter in the George N. Hicks House in the Hanscom Park neighborhood is coming to a close.

Diego Cunha has mixed feelings about selling the colonial revival his family has lived in since 2016. But they plan to move closer to wife Ruth Rodrigues’ workplace as well as Mary Our Queen Parish, where his daughter will attend school.


This home in the Hanscom Park neighborhood has been designated as a local landmark. It is 2,167 square feet.

He loves the home’s historic features — the house at 3017 Pacific St. has been designated as a local landmark — as well as the ease of walking to nearby stores and the friendliness of his neighbors. It’s also close to downtown.

“We’ve always enjoyed old houses and buildings,” he said. “We saw this house, and the woodwork was amazing.”

The listing agent, Sara Harvey of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, says it’s a unique house.

The residence is named after George N. Hicks, the developer of many homes in the area after persuading the city to move its electric trolley route downtown from Woolworth to Pleasant Street, which is now known as Pacific. Built in 1892, the model home contained all the upgrades offered in what then was considered a suburb of Omaha.


The living room of the home. The house is done in black, white and grays.

According to an article by Mission Omaha Foundation Inc., the original subdivision had two covenants: No animals could be kept in the home, and there could be no outhouses and all the homes had to have indoor plumbing.

A record of its owners through the years is contained in documents that come with the house.

Cunha, who enjoys carpentry, has put a lot of work into the property.

He took down a wall to provide better access to the backyard, and repaired and stained much of the woodwork, among other things.

“It was a challenge, but I thought it was worth it,” he said.

The black stain on the woodwork, however, has dismayed purists who have seen the home’s listing.

However, its landmark listing doesn’t prohibit anything being done inside the house, according to Shelley McCafferty, preservation administrator for the City of Omaha.

She said she understands that people want to renovate but cautions against following trends that will become dated. The painting of woodwork in the 1950s and the shag carpet and paneling in the 1970s were a few of her examples.


Some people are upset that the woodwork was stained black. The staircase has hand-crafted spindles.

“If you are doing something trendy to your house, think really carefully about the long-term implications,’’ she said. “Leave woodwork more neutral but use wall surfaces to express your interior design taste or desires. Wall surfaces are much easier to reverse than all that intricate woodwork.”

Realtor Tim Reeder, who sells many historical homes in the eastern part of the city, said he doesn’t think the stained woodwork will have a huge impact on the sale of the home. The purchase price is $315,000.

“My gut feeling is yeah, it’s going to hurt,” he said. “But my instinct is there is a buyer for anything.”

Reeder said there may be a buyer who loves the black stain or would relish taking on a big project in removing the stain if they love the house enough.

Harvey said reactions have been mixed.

“Most everyone who has seen the house loves the finishes,” she said. “It’s mainly online discussions that have mixed reviews.”

Cunha said it has been a good home for his family of five. He said he thought about its history in all the renovations that he did.

“We tried not to make the house look too modern,” he said. “I think we did a good job on that part.”


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