Oct 27

Omaha Union Station

Omaha Union Station, now the Durham Western Heritage Museum (1931)
801 South 10th Street, Omaha, Nebraska
Gilbert Stanley Underwood, architect
sculptor unknown
medium: terra cotta

Inside, it’s a legitimate shiny Art Deco marvel. Outside, this steel-frame railroad station has elaborate stone screens, sculpted eagles, an inscribed quote from Lincoln, and four not-too-well-modeled emergent railroad worker-figures on the terra cotta facade, identified by their props. On the north side, a conductor holds a lantern, and an engineer holds an oil can, really no more than an etched suggestion. On the south side, there’s a civil engineer and a brakeman, holding a transit and a track wrench respectively. Their heads are fully developed but, unfortunately, here again, there are some aesthetic rough spots, a missed opportunity on such a wonderful station. It wouldn’t be going to far to call these figures half-assed. Would it?

The architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood was known for other railroad work, and for his National Park Lodges.


small 21 ous inside

small 22 ous right

small 23 ous left