Gene Leahy Mall
Gene Leahy Mall, also known locally as Central Park or The Mall, is a 9.6 acre park located at 1302 Farnam on the Mall in Downtown Omaha. The Mall is encircled by a long pathway that wraps around a large lagoon. There are also waterfalls, a sandy playground, a horseshoe pit, and an amphitheater where outdoor concerts are held in the summer. The mall is decorated with thousands of lights during the winter holiday season. Connected on its western edge with the Heartland of America Park, it is also bordered the former Burlington Headquarters Building, the Old Market and the ConAgra Foods campus.
Originally conceptualized in the 1970s, the Gene Leahy Mall was named after Omaha Mayor Gene Leahy, and is regarded as being a major impetus for the redevelopment of downtown into a thriving commercial, residential and cultural center in Omaha. In 2005 a major redevelopment process began focused on redesigning The Mall and several areas surrounding the Old Market. However, as recently as August 2007 there was public concern over the lack of maintenance by the City of Omaha.
The park features a lagoon and waterfalls, walking paths, gardens, playground, horseshoes, amphitheater and sculpture. The mall's lagoon connects with the Heartland of America Park, and the Gene Leahy Mall is the center of the annual Holiday Lights Festival.
Review from a native Omahan:
- "The Mall is a great place to relax or play with your friends and family. Not only are there benches around but at the far east end are two large slides. Be sure to bring wax paper so you can slide down even faster! It adds the exhilaration of a theme park surrounded by the relaxing Omaha downtown (Old Market only a block south), without the high cost of going anywhere. Be sure to walk around the mall a couple times and the slide is big enough for kids of all ages from 8 to 80!"
Bridge toward the Holland Performing Arts Center.
- "2006 Parks Listing", City of Omaha. Retrieved 8/23/07.
- Gene Leahy Mall. University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Retrieved 8/22/07.
- "New Vision for 11th Street", Omaha By Design. Retrieved 8/22/07.
- "11th Street Update", Omaha By Design. Retrieved 8/22/07.
- KETV (2007) "Resident Concerned Over Gene Leahy Mall: City Says Area Patrolled; Litter Cleaned Twice Daily", KETV.com. 10/17/07. Retrieved 8/22/07.
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