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Ceilings of National Historic Landmark Fully Renewed

Christi Janssen

“You’re not just designing a building. You’re designing a piece of the city.”

This quote by architect Moshe Safdie is included in our current traveling exhibition Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO® Bricks. When we visited this exhibit prior to bringing it to Omaha, I was struck by the power of those words. I have spent the past 19 years walking the halls of Union Station and while caring for this art deco masterpiece is a point of pride for our team, there is, at times, a feeling of “standing too close to our painting.” The cracks, chipped paint and rusted steel require constant focus and resources. The restoration and preservation specialists from EverGreene Architectural Arts went to new heights this year to care for the museum’s decorative ceilings in the Suzanne and Walter Scott Great Hall. Rising nearly 60 feet, the floor-to-ceiling scaffolding took on a “towers of tomorrow” look of its own. With the completion of the project in early June, the full splendor of this iconic space was recaptured and is a major milestone in the continued care for Omaha’s Union Station. This work came on the heels of a comprehensive exterior restoration project led by masonry experts from McGill Restoration. Not only did this team repair cracks and spalling in the terra cotta skin, but they also engineered a plan to remove rows and rows of terra cotta bricks to replace the corroded angle irons behind them. It took creativity, ingenuity, patience and skill. Union Station is much more than a beautifully designed building. It is a signature part of our community. One that represents strength, vision and hard work.

The museum team is grateful to our restoration partners, the community, museum members and donors for the support which has enabled us to execute these projects and continue our mission in caring for Omaha’s Union Station, a National Historic Landmark! We encourage you to plan a visit and see all that has been accomplished!

Christi Janssen
Executive Director, The Durham Museum


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