Year Built: 1926-1950
Architect: Matthew Lahr and Carl Strange
Style: Late Italian Renaissance Revival
Designated Omaha Landmark: 4/21/1998
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places: 3/5/1998
The Czech Sisters of Notre Dame retained architects Matthew Lahr and Carl Strange to design their convent and school in 1924. Construction occurred in three phases between 1926 and 1950. During each phase, construction remained true to the original Late Italian Renaissance Revival design. The most prominent feature of the building is the central projecting portico and port cochere. The clay tile roof is also significant, as the Sisters requested its inclusion to be reminiscent of the buildings found in their native Czechoslovakia.
The Notre Dame Academy and Convent played a unique educational and cultural role in Omaha. In 1908, church leaders requested that the Sisters come to Nebraska to teach Czech culture and language. In 1920, the Sisters moved their novitiate to the current convent site. In addition to regular high school curriculum, study of Czech language, culture and heritage was required until 1936. The school closed in 1974, but the Sisters continued using the building as their convent. In the late 1990’s the Sisters renovated part of the building for low income elderly housing.