High winds topple crane

Posted on May 12, 2005 at 01:09 AM


crumpled crane on Holland Arts Center

Tuesday nights high winds toppled a construction crane at the new Holland Performing Arts Center in downtown Omaha (Click here for a more detailed picture). The remaining facade of what was known as Frankie Panes, which neighbors the site, was left unharmed.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the history of this site, Frankie Panes was a bar that sat adjacent to the proposed site for the new performing arts center. The city imploded the former resident, a sad looking Campbell Soup factory, and in the process severely damaged Frankie Panes 100+ year old building.

facade of Frankie Panes

I remember going downtown the day of the implosion because the site is only a few blocks from our office. We were concerned that the blast might cause problems with the electrical service to our building, resulting in possible power outage or surges. So as a precaution I shut down all of our servers until the raucous was over.

The bad thing was that city officials told the owner of Frankie Panes that his business, which sat mere feet from the building that was to be imploded, was in no danger. Upon hearing this news, the owner didn't remove any of his possessions from the building.

What made matters even worse was that the business also served as his home (he lived on second floor of the building). Once the dust from the implosion settled, all that remained was the ghostly facade of a once historic building and a lawsuit filed against the City of Omaha.

The city official who made that call can be seen weed whipping trees in Gene Leahy Mall from 8-Noon on Tuesdays and Fridays.

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