Arthur and Zerlina Brandeis, members of the family that built and operated the J. L. Brandeis & Sons Department Store in downtown Omaha, commissioned young German immigrant Albert Kahn to design the home for them. Later he would design the home of Edsel Ford.
Arthur Brandeis was the oldest son of the department store’s founder, Jonas L. Brandeis, who arrived in Omaha in 1883. Jonas died in 1903, leaving sons Arthur, Emil and Hugo well prepared to operate the Brandeis family’s extensive investments. Just a few years after occupying the architectural treasure, Arthur and Zerlina sold the house, choosing instead to live in New York while keeping an office in Omaha to run the business interests.