Historical Review

LTT Warehouse Lincoln Telephone and Telegraph Warehouse

The Lincoln Telephone and Telegraph Warehouse at the northeast corner of 21st & L Streets (property 3) was built in 1925 (eastern 2/3, one and two stories) and 1930 (western 1/3, two stories) from designs by Davis & Wilson of Lincoln. The initial construction (100'x150') established the materials and simplified Art Deco style of the building. The second phase added 50' to the L Street (Capitol Parkway) frontage as well as the entire 150' of frontage on S. 21st Street. The historic integrity of the warehouse is very high, including a painted wall sign on the north façade for "The Lincoln Telephone and Telegraph Co. WAREHOUSE." The building was evaluated as eligible for the National Register of Historic Places in 1998 as part of the Antelope Valley Major Investment Study.

Listing on the National Register provides two potential tax incentives to income-producing rehab projects, namely a federal income tax credit equal to 20% of the rehab investment; and a state property tax valuation abatement or "freeze" maintaining the pre-rehab valuation for a period of 8 years, then raising the valuation to its normal level step-by-step over 4 more years. (The latter program is not compatible with Tax Increment Financing, as the former abates the incremental rise in valuation and property taxation; the latter makes a project benefit of the incremental rise in property taxation.)

Both the federal and Nebraska programs require that the rehabilitation work be consistent with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for historic rehab and both require that the building actually become listed on the National Register. The City of Lincoln is a "Certified Local Government" for purposes of historic preservation and prepares National Register nominations for eligible properties, upon owner request.

Muny bath house Muny Building

The former bath house of Muny Pool south of 23rd and N Streets (property 4) was built c. 1920 in conjunction with the Municipal (or Antelope) Pool. The pool was closed and filled ca. 1965-70. A smaller, complementary building at the east end of the pool, on the banks of Antelope Creek, was removed as part of the Antelope Creek flood control project in the early 2000s. The Lincoln Parks & Recreation Department carried out a handsome rehabilitation of the bath house around 2007 for offices.

The bath house was evaluated as not eligible for the National Register as part of the Antelope Valley Major Investment Study in 1998, on the basis of the loss of integrity due to the removal of the pool. However, the subsequent improvements to the building and its setting prompt its re-evaluation.

The building's integrity and scale are compared to the few other surviving Lincoln parks buildings of similar era (Auld Pavilion of 1915, Ager Building of 1936, and Pioneers Park Golf Club House of 1937). The pool building has significance in the history of race relations in Lincoln as the surviving element of the venue of civil rights efforts to integrate the pool, especially for African American residents who lived immediately north of the pool on Monroe Avenue. It is likely the building could be successfully nominated to the National Register, providing the same incentives described above relative to the LT&T Warehouse.

The LT&T Warehouse is under private ownership and it is Windstream's decision alone as to whether conditions are placed on the sale of the building to retain its historic façade. Adaptive reuse of the historic LT&T Warehouse and the Muny Pool bath house is the City's strong preference in the redevelopment of the 21st and N Street Area. Such an outcome would be consistent with the value the community places in preserving its heritage, as expressed in the Lincoln/Lancaster County 2040 Comprehensive Plan and the adopted Antelope Valley Redevelopment Plan.