Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel

Omaha, Nebraska

The century-old Blackstone Hotel has been restored to once again serve as the “grand dame” of the revitalized Blackstone District in Omaha’s old Gold Coast neighborhood. Known as the premier hotel between Chicago and San Francisco, the hotel offers amenities such as elegant guest rooms, grand ballrooms, rooftop gardens and award-winning restaurants. Shuttered as a hotel in 1976 and repurposed for office use in 1984, today’s Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel restores a historic destination with modern creature comforts.

Finding space for modern building systems while preserving history was a key challenge in this project. This project guts the MEP systems while maintaining a “gentle touch” toward preservation, seamlessly integrating modern building systems, elevators, commercial kitchens, guestroom controls, fast internet, and a new annex and pool club.

Today, the once declining Blackstone District is again a premier entertainment destination, home to this enviable hotel as well as restaurants, nightlife and young millennial residents. The renovated and restored Blackstone Hotel, now the Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel, complements the vibrant new neighborhood with 205 hotel rooms, a restored top-floor ballroom, a rooftop cocktail lounge, a “speakeasy” lounge and an upscale steakhouse restaurant. A swimming pool and fitness club occupy a newly constructed west wing, which also adds state-of-the-art and flexible event space and additional hotel rooms. Other guest amenities include valet parking, concierge and poolside food and beverage services.

The top-floor ballroom has been meticulously restored to its original glory, transforming it into an event space capable of accommodating up to 250 people. The ballroom offers food service, and landscaped-terrace access with scenic views of Omaha’s skyline.

LEO A DALY provided full architectural and engineering design services to GreenSlate Development and Clarity Development Company, transforming the hotel from its previous use as commercial office space back to the grandeur of its heyday as “one of the most successful elegant small hotels in the country.” The $75 million project included restoration of many unique elements of the original architecture, including a marble staircase, terra cotta scrollwork, hand-painted tile and other classical details. Completed in November 2020, this project will receive state and National Park Service historic preservation recognition.

Hear from the developers about the genesis, inspiration and challenges of the project in this video.


GreenSlate Development and Clarity Development Company 

At a glance

150,000 SF hotel renovation and addition

205 guestrooms, including 42 new guestrooms in the annex

New convention space


Restoration of many original architectural elements, including marble staircase and classical details​

Restored top-floor ballroom, rooftop cocktail lounge, speakeasy lounge and upscale steakhouse

Swimming pool and fitness club



Electrical, mechanical, structural and civil engineering


Bronze Award, Building Design + Construction Reconstruction Awards, 2021 

Nebraska State Historic Preservation Award, 2021

Finalist, Hospitality Design Award, Upscale Hotel, 2021

Finalist, Hospitality Design Award, Bar, Club + Lounge, 2021