Aquila Court Building (Magnolia Hotel)
Built in 1923, the Aquila Court Building (Magnolia Hotel) resembled early twentieth-century U.S. urban life. Omaha's population had expanded substantially from 1900-1920, both from immigrants and domestic migrants. The U-Shaped building and its Italian-style courtyard plays on both its European and Chicago influence, and it functionally served to provide respite from the urban ills found outside the building's walls. The building was designed by the Chicago architectural team of Holabird and Roach, who were significant in the entire Chicago-school movement that dominated the early part of the 20th century.
Backstory and Context
The building also enjoys ties to a rich architectural history as it was designed by the Holabird and Roach architectural firm. The Chicago firm helped forge the "Chicago School" movement by developing many of the world’s first skyscrapers, beginning with their time apprenticing for the seminal architect William Le Baron Jenney. The two of them built numerous skyscrapers and modern buildings in Chicago and throughout the U.S.. The primary attribute of the new towers (of that era) involved the reliance on steel skeletons and fireproof terra cotta exteriors, features somewhat inspired by the Great Chicago Fire.
Kolberg, Persies. "Nomination Form: Aquila Court Building." National Register of Historic Places. https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/48ac9ed9-0ebe-4205-b940-f2bcd320e794
Larsen, Lawrence H. and Barbara J. Cottrell, Gate City: A History of Omaha. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997.
Nebraska State Historical Society. https://history.nebraska.gov/