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Hundreds rally to save historic and old...

Posted at 11:44 PM, Nov 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-23 00:44:50-05

The historic Cristian Specht building could be torn down for parking space after engineering and architecture firm HDR headquarters moves into the area of 11th and Douglas.

On Sunday hundreds rallied to say you can't put a price on history.

Inside of the 131-year-old Specht building is Jacqueline Lovato. She works for an interiot design firm on the first floor.

"You work with transformation everyday, and we can take something old and tired and turn it into something fabulous with materials that last a lifetime," said Lovato.

And that's what some Omahans want OPA to do, take these old buildings and encorporate them into any future plans.

"Think it's important that they think creatively about how these buildings are going to be an important part of our history going forward," said Craig Moody, chair of Modeshift, Omaha.

Outisde the Specht building, over 300 passionate people held signs, speaking out against the potential demolotions of the buildings.

"To tear it down for a parking structure or parking stalls seems a little bit embarrassing for the city of Omaha," said protester Chris Johnson.

"Let's work on a compromise and not tear the buildings down and try to share parking and work on solutions together that make everybody happy," said protester Liz Veazey.

Preservation group Restoration Exchange Omaha said they are actively working with OPA and HDR to provide a solution to keep these buildings alive.

"Use them as a restaurant, use them as an administration offices, use them as a place for guest artists to stay," said Restoration Exchange Omaha executive director Kristine Gerber.

In the basement of the Specht, Karen Jarecki walked around with her kids at what could be her final time inside, "If you have something this remarkable, it's only proper to respect it."

Jarecki said she doesn't want these buildings torn down so our future generations can see and learn from them, "Understanding that it took a lot more labor, a lot more love and a lot more ingenuity to make these."

For Lovato, she doesn't know what the future holds for the business she works in.

"We're a little skeptical as to how this process it going to work and what it means for our future," said Lovato.

But right now she's taking it day by day hoping this historic building doesn't come down brick by brick.

"It's unsettling to think that something so beautiful might be lost forever," said Lovato.

The city council has to approve the sale, then it's all in the hands of OPA. They have yet to nail down any final plans rightt now.