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Union Pacific Railroad Museum

ABC Cornhusker Chapter Excellence in Construction Award: Historical Restoration
ABC Cornhusker Chapter Project of the Year
Council Bluffs, Iowa
City of Council Bluffs, Iowa
45,450 square feet
Completed Date: 
January 2003
Lund-Ross Team: 
Chief Executive Officer
Project Executive
Executive Vice President
Field Operations Manager
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“As with most historic renovations, this was a very high-profile project with high expectations for the outcome. I can say without qualification that Lund-Ross not only met but exceeded expectations. Lund-Ross, with the guidance of Alley Poyner Architecture, restored the building to its original beauty. Visitors react with amazement to the spectacular restoration of the building.”

Brenda S. Mainwaring

Director Corporate Relations, Union Pacific Corporation

Union Pacific Railroad Museum

Lund-Ross completed the historic renovation of the Carnegie Library in Council Bluffs, Iowa, into The Union Pacific Railroad Museum. The 45,450-square-foot library was built in 1903 and served as the city’s central library until 1998.

The Carnegie Library was in a state of disrepair when Union Pacific Railroad purchased the building for its museum. Years of supporting overcrowded book stacks had severely damaged the original floors and rendered the structural support system defective. Lund-Ross built a new steel support system into the building and installed new mechanical and electrical systems.

Original architectural elements including brick archways, oak and marble columns, and stained glass skylights were repaired and restored throughout the Carnegie Library. The building’s original oak open staircase – which was removed in the 1950s to accommodate a service elevator – was rebuilt according to historic specifications by Lund-Ross.

The museum, a gift shop, and administrative offices were constructed on the main level. The building’s historic façade was cleaned and repaired. In order to build new ramps to the entrance, the large exterior limestone stairs were disassembled, moved eight feet, and reassembled to create space for the new ramps.

Lund-Ross completed the historic renovation of the Carnegie Library and The Union Pacific Railroad Museum opened on time in early 2003. The project was awarded a 2003 Excellence in Construction Award from Associated Builders and Contractors and was named the region’s Project of the Year.

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