Schemmer’s Larry Jacobsen, AIA, mentioned in Omaha World Herald Article, “Architect defined Omaha’s image with enduring landmarks.”
Larry Jacobsen, AIA, senior architect and vice president of Schemmer, was mentioned in the Omaha World Herald article, titled, “Architect defined Omaha’s image with enduring landmarks.” Jacobsen speaks about the late John Latenser, Liechtenstein born Omahan, who is referred to as “Omaha’s Architect.” Latenser is known for the classical buildings that he designed, more than a dozen of which are on the National Register of Historic Places today.
In the article, Jacobsen said he doesn’t know of anyone who had designed as many commercial buildings in Omaha as Latenser. In the 1930s, 89 of 98 blocks in downtown Omaha contained at least one building designed by John Latenser & Sons.
“When they really started building in stone and classical styles, that was a significant catapult to Omaha in terms of prominence and pride of its buildings,” Jacobsen said. The Scottish Rite Masonic Center, Douglas County Courthouse and Central High School were all designed by Latenser. Each has reached a significant milestone: their 100-year anniversary.
Jacobsen prepared the historic landmark application for the Scottish Rite Masonic Center. In 2010, Schemmer designed the renovation of the theater inside the Scottish Rite. All main floor seats were removed, a new hardwood floor installed, and the entire theater was repainted. Two hundred seventeen new seats were installed which reflect the historic character of the theater, and the widened aisles and seat spacing have made the theater experience more appealing and comfortable. A new sound and light booth was constructed at the rear of the theater and a new theatrical lighting and sound system was installed.
Regarding preservation of the building’s unique elements, while updating functional necessities, Jacobsen said, “It’s that balance of using the materials and forms of the past, but adapting to a practical approach today.”
The Scottish Rite recently received the Downtown Omaha Inc. | Outstanding Achievement Award for Adaptive Reuse/Restoration. It was also listed to the National Register of Historic Places on August 10, 2011.
To read the full article from the Omaha World Herald, click here.