KETV-7 – Burlington Train Station Transformation
Recognizing it had outgrown its original broadcast facility, Omaha ABC affiliate, KETV, began searching for a location offering more space and greater technological adaptability. They discovered the abandoned, classical revival Burlington Passenger Station. The 115-year-old train station met their critical space, parking, and location criteria, although it was a significant departure from what they originally envisioned. After a year of program-verification and due-diligence, the building was purchased and design began.
Like a news story, the final design acts as a physical expression of journalistic integrity, showcasing the building’s rich historical journey in an open and honest manner. It’s a story that includes a dramatic renovation in 1930, damaging updates in the 1950s, and then 40 years of vacancy. During its vacant chapter, the station was neglected and victimized by vandalism and abandoned demolition work. As a result, most of the interior historic finishes – ornamental plaster, wood paneling and flooring, marble wainscot, doors, and windows – no longer exist, revealing the skeleton of the building’s original 1898, Greek Revival design. Today, up-to-date technology, electrical, heating, and cooling systems are being integrated with historical remnants in a manner that minimizes architectural and structural impact.
At a glance
1898 Train Station Transformed into a State-of-the Art Television Station
People’s Choice Award, International Interior Design Association (IIDA), Great Plains Chapter
Architectural Planning/Adaptive Reuse/Restoration Award, Downtown Omaha, Inc.