If Houses Could Talk

 If Houses Could Talk

By: Hallie Bowes, A Student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, as part of Heather Nelson’s Service Learning Academy class.

The Man Who Inspired…

Frank Loyed Write is known for his architecture. He had tested boundaries and created the impossible. This house on 58th st was inspired by Frank Loyeds architecture. 2943 was built in the 1923 for the Corbaley family. It has original woodwork, and square rooms at every turn.  Since It was built it has only had five owners. The house sits on Bensonhurst, which is a neighborhood filled with historic homes. It was one of the first homes in Bensonhurst and is still standing today. The house has had a huge impact on the Benson community, and it all started with the shoe man.

The Shoe Man…

John Lewis Corbaley was known as the “shoe man” He lived in 2943 and even helped build it. He started off as a dry goods merchant then started making and falling in love with shoes. He soon became Benson’s shoe repair man and creator. He had a few shops around Omaha. One was located on Maple Street. He made the shoes right in his home. He had two levels to his garage and made the basement of the garage his shoe shop. John L. Corbaley was the president of the Benson commercial club and helped keep Benson a historical place as it evolved.  He was so well known for his shoes, he received an award that he was presented in New work City on April 16, 1958, just a year before he had passed away. He was the first owner of this home in 1923 when it was built and lived there until his passing in 1959. Before he passed away his wife became very sick. The backyard was full of ponds, and waterfalls. John decided to make a huge picture window in the dining room so she would look at the backyard and the waterfalls. To this day the legendary window, and show making station still are here today.

The Pillars…

John Lewis corbaley took great pride in the Benson area. There are two pillars that sit at the top of the hill when you enter Bensonhurst from the southside. John was the man who did the upkeep on these pillars and put out fresh flowers and helped the entrance to the neighborhood looking special. When he past, there was great fear for who would take over the upkeep of these pillars 2943 on 58th st today.

Today 2943 is owned by my parents, Tim and Jen Bowes. They bought the house in February 2009 and made the move all the way from 194th and Q to Benson. They fell in love with the community and culture of the house. The Shoe shop is still on the basement of their garage. It has marks from the furnace and tools that used to be in use. Tim and Jen now use the garage for a chicken coup. It was going to be Tim’s mancave, however that never worked out. Over the 12 years they have owned the home they have kept the original woodwork, while updating some things here and there. Time and Jen have six kids, me being the middle child. The house has stood up to six kids, two husky’s, and 14 chicken. We never knew what we were getting into when we bought this house. We never thought we would be a part of Bensons history.