The Durham Museum restoring art deco ceilings

Project set to be complete at the end of May
Pure Nebraska
Published: May. 12, 2023 at 11:45 AM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (KOLN) - The Durham Museum is in the midst of a project to restore Union Station’s ornate art deco ceilings. Following the completion of a recent multi-year restoration of Union Station’s exterior, the museum turned inward to begin addressing repairs to the ornate historic ceilings of Union Station.

Since early 2020, the museum has been working with EverGreene Architectural Arts, a national leader in historic restoration. Last spring, EverGreene restored the ceiling in the Swanson Gallery. The scope of work included repairing damaged plaster, repainting large fields of color and cleaning and refinishing the cast plaster ventilation grilles over the chandeliers. EverGreene returned to Omaha to complete repairs and refinish areas in the West End Corridor and Suzanne and Walter Scott Great Hall.

The museum has remained open throughout the project. The project is anticipated to be complete by the end of May.

The total project cost $1.615M, and the funding for the project came from private sources within the community as well as a grant provided through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s Shovel-Ready Capital Recovery and Investment Act.

Built in 1931, Union Station served as a train station for forty years and has since served as a museum for forty-eight years. In December 2016, the U.S. Department of the Interior recognized the building’s significance by formally designating Union Station a National Historic Landmark, a process that the museum staff, Board of Directors, and representatives of the National Park Service worked towards for more than a decade. The elevation of Union Station to National Historic Landmark status heightened the need for vigilance in protecting the building.