In 2016 the Restore Omaha Conference heads north—to the Fort Omaha campus of Metropolitan Community College. Owners of old homes, neighborhood leaders, developers and architects will have a full day on March 5 to gather ideas, find solutions and draw inspiration to restore and preserve older properties.

Aside from the venue change, another new feature is the pre-session on federal and state funding tools for restoring historic buildings, set for the afternoon of Friday, March 4. Scott Sidler, author of the bestselling book Living in the Past, will deliver the keynote speech on Saturday.

Conference chairman Nicole Malone said moving the conference to the Fort Omaha campus was part of a continued partnership and in line with Metropolitan Community College’s interest in the trades. “We want to fully support their efforts,” Malone said. The conference was held for the last several years at Metro’s South Omaha campus.

The Fort Omaha Campus currently has two buildings under construction that will be dedicated to trade skills, such as construction technology, plumbing and welding. The Center for Advanced and Emerging Technology and the Construction Education Center and are under construction east of the Culinary Arts building, along with the Academic Skills Center.

Restore Omaha will spotlight North Omaha on March 4 as it offers the North 24th Street Walking Tour and the conference reception in the 1918 Blue Lion buildings, located at the historic 24th and Lake Streets intersection. “REO has focused its efforts in North Omaha over the last few years,” Malone said. “Our North 24th Street Walking Tour has been a highlight on the first Friday of the warm-weather months.” REO received a grant in 2015 that allowed 500 high school students to attend the tour; the grant also funded the creation of a walking tour booklet. Other REO efforts in North Omaha have been the effort to save the Webster Telephone Exchange Building, assistance on the Minne Lusa Residential Historic District and an extensive survey and history of the Prospect Village neighborhood.

The 11th Restore Omaha Conference will feature 15 breakout sessions with topics ranging from researching the history of your home, maintaining historic landscapes, adhering to infill design guidelines, maintaining wood floors and old windows, as well as the latest on the restored Burlington Station. About 30 exhibitors, including craftsmen, history organizations and business and community groups, will be on hand to answer questions and share information. The conference will conclude with the popular Restore Jam, in which attendees are invited to share before-and-after photos of their own restoration projects.


Scott Sidler

Malone said keynote speaker Sidler will be a good fit for Restore Omaha. “The Restore Omaha Conference originated from the question of ‘How can we help people restore, renovate and preserve their older properties.’ We could not have landed a better keynote for our 11th conference.” Sidler comes highly recommended by well-loved past REO keynote speakers John Leeke and Bob Yapp, Malone noted. In addition to authoring two books on restoration, Sidler shares practical tips for owners of old homes on his

Sidler’s keynote will focus on the need for ordinary homeowners to “step up to the plate and save not only their own homes, but their local landmarks as well,” he said. “Together we can save our history, and it’s not as tough as it may seem.”

Those wishing to attend any or all sessions of the conference may register online at or call (402) 679-5854. Discounts are available for members of Restoration Exchange Omaha. Those registering before February 25 will be entered for a chance to win a free home consultation with Sidler the morning of March 4.


2016 Restore Omaha Conference

Friday, March 4
1 – 5 p.m.
Pre-session on Federal and State Funding Tools for Historic Restoration
Fort Omaha Campus of Metropolitan Community College – Building #10
6:30 –7:30 p.m.
North 24th Street Walking Tour (starts at Dreamland Park, 24th and Lizzie Robinson Drive)
7 – 10 p.m.
Conference Reception at Blue Lion Center, 24th and Lake Streets

Saturday, March 5
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Conference Sessions, Exhibitors, Hands-on Demonstrations, Keynote Address, Restore Jam
Institute for the Culinary Arts and the adjacent Mule Barn
Fort Omaha Campus of Metropolitan Community College
32nd and Sorensen Parkway, Omaha, NE

Friday Pre-Session – $50
Friday Reception – $25/$20 REO Members
Saturday Conference – $50/$40 REO Members

Friday Reception and Saturday Conference $70/$50 REO Members
Total with Friday Pre-Session $120/$100 REO Members

Major support provided by:
AIA Omaha, Dundee Bank, Eyman Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Co., J Development,  AAA Banking and The Architectural Offices

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