Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission

bemis bag 1Address: 616 South 11th Street

Year Built: 1887

Architect: Mendelssohn & Lawrie

Builder: Unknown

Style: Commercial

Designated Local Landmark: 09/12/1978

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places: 01/11/1985 (As Bemis Omaha Bag Company Building)

With plants in Omaha and five other cities, the Bemis Bag Company was the largest company of its type in the world by the end of the nineteenth century. Designed as a bag and sack factory and wholesale warehouse space, Bemis manufactured, printed and distributed flour bags and other types of sacks from this facility until 1978. Built in 3 phases between 1887 and 1902, the oldest part of the building is the portion next to the alley on 11th street. It was designed by the prominent early Omaha architectural firm of Mendelssohn and Lawrie and is of mill (heavy timber) construction. Evidence can be seen on the Bemis building's east side where it was once accessed from the former 11th Street viaduct. In the early 1980s the building was renovated and became home to the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, which ran an Artist-in-Residence program out of the space until moving to new headquarters in 1995.

Local Landmark Designation Report

National Register Nomination Document

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