The Durham Museum

Beautiful architecture blends with memories of a time gone by in this unique museum complex. The Durham Museum offers many intriguing collections including restored train cars, 1940s storefronts, HO model trains, and the Byron Reed collection of rare coins. Read on to know more.

Kenneth Be and Hilary LeFevere from our conservation team will discuss the process of preserving historic paintings and paper objects at The Durham Museum.


The Durham Museum is housed in Omaha’s historic 1931 Union Station, an Art Deco landmark with a terra cotta overlay. The lower level of the museum features a large working train model. You can walk through several old train cars, including a Pullman car and a lounge car. You can also see a caboose and a depot diorama. Lifelike sculptures of railroad workers are scattered throughout the exhibit.

You can walk through the 1940s storefronts, view a large O-scale model train layout, and learn about the Byron Reed Collection of railroad memorabilia. Other permanent exhibits include a locomotive, an old baggage car, the restored Great Hall, and a replica of Union Station’s original waiting room.

The Durham Museum offers a wide variety of special and permanent exhibits, as well as Omaha-themed events and classes for all ages. Exhibits change regularly and are both educational and fun for visitors. 2021 exhibits include Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World, which features the famous Gibson Guitar, and Beyond the Vote, an exhibition experience that honors women’s suffrage, 100 years after their 19th Amendment victory.


The Durham Museum is home to a number of authentic storefronts and other exhibits that help visitors visualize history. They include a 1920s soda fountain complete with phosphate and malt and the attic, parlor, kitchen, and bedroom of a reproduced 1915 “Worker’s Cottage.”

The museum also houses items from the Byron Reed Collection, including ancient coinage; foreign currency from early America; exonumia, or America’s other money; documents, manuscripts, and books; and medals.

The Durham Museum has a full schedule of activities for kids and families to learn, create, and play. These include camps, classes, and storytimes, and most are included with regular daily admission or museum membership. In addition, the museum hosts Omaha Railroad Days in the summer. The event is held in the former Union Pacific Passenger Terminal which was designed by famous Western architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood and built in 1931 in Art Deco style. It is now a National Historic Landmark. Learn more about Omaha here.


The Durham Museum is home to a lot of artifacts. From trains to soda jerks, there is a lot to see here. But one of the most intriguing pieces is the collection of photos. This collection contains over a million photos that tell the story of Omaha from its early days to today.

The museum also has a variety of transportation and commerce artifacts on display in the Trish & Dick Davidson Gallery. This includes a restored 1922 Mack flatbed truck and wall displays that show the history of one of Omaha’s greatest companies.

The Durham Museum is undergoing a multi-year renovation of its beautiful Art Deco ceilings. They are working with EverGreene Architectural Arts, a national leader in historic restoration. During the restoration process, plaster will be repaired, large fields of color up to decorative elements will be repainted and areas of deterioration or poor previous touch-ups will be addressed. The museum will remain open during the entire renovation project.


The Museum offers a variety of educational programs. These include guided tours and field trips, volunteer training opportunities, camps, and digital programming. The Museum also provides scholarships to help students from low-income families experience the Museum’s educational programs.

The museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the history of the western region of the United States. It is housed in the former Union Station in downtown Omaha, Nebraska.

The Durham Museum features an extraordinary array of permanent exhibits including restored train cars, 1940s storefronts, HO model trains, and numerous artifacts that show the history of the region. Other interesting galleries include a comprehensive coin collection and historic documents. Moreover, the Durham Museum hosts impressive temporary exhibitions through its affiliation with the Smithsonian and close ties with national and international lending institutions. Browse the next article.


Driving directions from Panneton Dental Group to The Durham Museum

Driving directions from The Durham Museum to Fontenelle Park