Last year, NeighborWorks Lincoln traded in its ugly office space -- an old portable classroom on Q Street -- for offices in a renovated historic home.
The three-story house at 2530 Q St. was built by a prominent Lincoln doctor and surgeon, O.C. Reynolds, and his wife, Nannie, in 1905 as a family home at a cost of $10,000.
But it also served as a private hospital, based on the existence of small rooms in the attic, according to Ed Zimmer, city historian.
At the time of his death Reynolds was president of the medical staff at St. Elizabeth Hospital, which was Lincoln’s only general hospital at the time.
In the 1930s the 4,600-square-foot home was converted to a 12-unit boarding house, which it remained for many years. The house returned to single-family use around the turn of the century, 2000.
NeighborWorks bought the house in 2012, for $259,000, and moved in last year after renovations.
The house is the NeighborWorks Lincoln headquarters and the garage on the property was converted into an accessible community meeting room.
The three-story house is historically significant, one of the earliest examples of concrete block construction in Lincoln. It was featured in the Nebraska State Journal soon after it was built.
In the first few years of the 20th century, concrete block almost completely supplanted local limestone as the foundation material used in the construction of Lincoln houses, according to Zimmer.
A small number of homes also used concrete blocks for the whole exterior structure, of which the O.C. Reynolds House is among the earliest, largest and best-preserved, Zimmer said.