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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (July 7, 1950)
THE DAILY NEBRASKAN
Friday, July 7, 1950
Pillars Had Depot
BY KENT AXTELL.
At last the heavy veil of mys
tery which has hovered about
Nebraska's famous pillars is
Now there is an answer for the
question which perhaps every
visitor to the Cornhusker campus
has asked: Where did they get
Attempts by The Daily Ne
braskan in the past three years
to turn up definite information
on the origin and a complete his
tory of the collanade at the
corner of 12th and Vine streets
had not been too successful.
The entire story concerning the
origin of the beautiful pillars
however is told by an alumnus
of the University, Val Kuska,
now agricultural development
agent of the Burlington railroad.
He is the father of Dick Kuska,
editor of the 1951 Cornhusker
"It occurs to me," Kuska said,
"that the interesting story of the
old station and these columns
should be told before it is lost
to the memory and record of the
people of Nebraska. Already the
men who designed, built, and ap
preciated its classic beauty are
gone, and the difficulty in find
ing records, descriptions, and
pictures of it now, barely 20
years since it was replaced by
the new structure; makes me
realize how easily the past slips
away from us."
According to Kuska, the story
of the 24 columns, which are
worth a sum of $20,880, began in
1893. The Columns were quarried
for the portico of the old Burling
ton station in Omaha.
The Chicago Record in its July
16,. 1908 issue said, "The hand
somest railway station ever seen
is that of Chicago, Burlington
and Quincy company at Omaha.
It is an artistic gem and looks
like a Grecian temple."
Perhaps the best description of
the columns' origin is in the
Burlington timetable, August
"The Burlington stations sits
on the edge of a bluff and is en
tered thru a portico sustained
by 28 gigantic pillars of the Doric
Style, made from granite quar-
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IVY COVERED riLLARS The old Burlington station at Omaha is
shown above before it was rebuilt in 1930. The columns at the en
trance of the building were given by the Burlington to the Univer
sity. Twenty-four of the 28 original columns now form a picturesque
part of the campus between the stadium and the coliseum. The
pillars were set in their present location under the direction of Linus
Burr Smith, University professor of architecture.
ried at Denver. Each weighs 18,
The columns 28 inches in
diameter, 22 feet high with
molded cap and base were
nearly forgotten in 1930 when
the station was dismantled. They
were found in an Omaha stone
The beauty of the pillars was
recognized earlier when contem
plation of razing the old depot
was made. Alan McDonald, archi
tect, protested destruction of the
station. He claimed the loss was
nothing less than an architec
The news that the plans for
razing were final was contained
in an Omaha Bee News story.
The article stated that "in order
that the station might fit in with
the passenger terminal plans, it
will lose its grecian columns and
Perhaps most interesting is the
story of how the columns ever
arrived at the University campus.
Kuska in pointing this out,
said, "When Chancellor Burnett,
9k bnccrtn's Busy
A wonderful group of sum
mer suits at July Sale price.
Smart for wear during every
cawwMi of the year. Tailored
in fine wrinkle-resistant ray
on suiting in navy, yellow,
dusty pink, white and gray.
Sizes 10 to 20 and to
21U. You'll want at least
GOLD'S . . . -Second Float
who had long admired them in
the Omaha station, learned that
the pillars were being removed
to make way for the new design
he immediately thought of their
fitness for the "Avenue of a
Thousand Columns" (12th street)
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NU Gracl Wins
A graduate of the University
Department of Architecture has
won one of the top student prizes
in U. S. architecture, Prof. L. B.
Smith, head of the department
was notified recently.
The student is Dale I Gibbs
of Lincoln who graduated last
January. The award is the Grad
uate Fellowship in Architecture
for one year with a $1,000 stip
end at Yale University.
The award went to Gibbs
after he had submitted his fifth
once proposed for the campus.
"He got in touch with his old
friend, C. J. Ernst, assistant
treasurer of the Burlington and
former University Regent, to ask
for the pillars for that purpose."
Both Burnett and Ernst also
had worked together for the
establishment of the present
College of Agriculture.
Free of Charjre
"So," said Kusa, "with the help
of Burlington officials, authority
was secured from the State Rail
way commission to transport the
columns free of charge to Lincoln
The order for the transporta
tion of the columns was made
and entered Feb. 26, 1930. Only
24 of the 28 columns stand today,
since four were broken before
they were found and brought to
Students and faculty, Innocents
and TNE's, football players and
PBK's come and go, but the pil
lars can be counted ,on to remain
a part of the University. They
found a home at Nebraska.
OVN CIGAtlETTE EXPERT
YOU smH that milder
No rher cigarette hat
it. Make your oWn '
year class work in the Univer
sity's Department of Architecture
in competition with work done
by' other competitors for the
award from universities in var
ious parts of the U.S.
Gibbs is the son of Mr.
Mrs. C. E. Gibbs of Lincoln.
School of Music
The school of music presented
an undergraduate recital at 4
p. m. in the Union, Thursday, July
6, with seven students participat
ing. The program was:
Clouds, by Charles, presented
by Glen Clark, Aurora.
Song of the Open, by LaForge,
presented by Mary Wherry, Te
cumseh. My Lady Walks in Loveliness,
by Charles, presented by Jach
Blue Are Her Eyes, by Watts,
presented by Leanord Blinde,
Thy Beaming Eyes, by Mac
Dowell, presented by Neil Solo
Ah Love But a Day, by Beach,
presented by Virginia Taylor,
Se Tu Mi Ami, by Pergolesi,
presented by John Moran, David
HEHM"4 Good Teacher Agttcy
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52? Stuort Bldfl.. Lincoln . Nebrotfc
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Tobaccos that sft!i
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