Omaha Union Station, now the Durham Western Heritage Museum (1931)
801 South 10th Street, Omaha, Nebraska
Gilbert Stanley Underwood, architect
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.