Henningson Durham & Richardson, Architects & Engineers

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Omaha, Nebraska, 1950-2012

AKA: HDR, Architects and Engineers

Original Principals:

Henning H. Henningson.

Charles Durham.

Willard Richardson.

Principals in 1970:

Charles Durham.

Willard Richardson.

Robert L. Reins, Engineer.[3]

Jerome Gill.[3]

Donald Korff.[3]

Henningson Durham & Richardson was formed as a corporate entity in 1950, an evolution of the founding firm of Henningson Engineering Company, Engineers. Henningson Engineering had been formed in 1917 by the company founder, Henning H. Henningson. Electrical engineer Willard A. Richardson, an Iowa State graduate, joined the firm in 1936, and Charles W. Durham, a civil engineer, began work during summer vacation as an Iowa State student in 1938; he joined the firm permanently in 1940.[8:11] The two individuals became the “R” and “D” in the firms’ shortened name, “HDR.

Charles “Chuck” Durham was named president of the new company, and Willard “Rich” Richardson was named vice-president. Henningson retired in 1953.[5] Willard A. Richardson, who sold his stock back to HDR with the stipulation that it be made available to deserving employees, retired in 1977. Charles Durham retired ca. 1987, but remained active in Durham Resources, Inc. until ca. 1997.[2][6][8]: The company opened a new office of HDR Architecture in Lincoln, Nebraska, November 28, 2011, which was housed together with the existing office of HDR Engineering. The first architect in charge there was Trenton L. Reed.[4]

Durham and Robert Krohn, who joined the firm in 1962, characterized the firm’s development in four phases [2]:

1946-1952: The firm became Henningson Durham & Richardson, Inc., in 1950, focusing on municipal engineering. They built their own office building that year, at 2962 Harney in Omaha. In 1952 they were hired to master plan Omaha’s sewer system, which they still managed in 1978. The firms contract work consisted of one-fourth surveying, one-fourth rural electrification, and about one-half civilian or municipal engineering.[2:15]

1952-1961: In 1955 the firm started its own architectural department under the leadership of Fritz Sather and Don Korff. One of their first projects was the Omaha Federal Building, designed under joint venture with Kirkham-Michael and Alex Weinstein.[6:69] In 1956 they opened an office in Colorado Springs, headed by Bill Bredar (later moved to Denver), and in 1958, they opened an office in Phoenix, Arizona, headed by Sam Phillips; there began the design of Sun City. Later, a third office was opened in Dallas, Texas, headed by Bob Hogan, and a fourth in Charlotte, North Carolina (a purchase of the Vannort Engineering Company), headed by Charles Baker.

1961-1972: In the 1960s HDR joint-ventured a new office building for their offices with Peter Kiewit Sons and Bozell & Jacobs, called Kiewit Plaza. This was home to their new “showcase” offices. Several other new offices for the firm were opened during this time, including one in Madrid, Spain. This period also saw them in joint venture for the City of Omaha, which resulted in the formation of a power-oriented corporation, Gibbs, Hill, Durham & Richardson (GHDR).

1972-1978: HDR Place was built at 8404 Indian Hills Drive in Omaha, and was purposed as their new offices in January of 1972.[2]

In the 1980s HDR operated with three companies under the holding company HDR, Inc.: HDR Engineering (engineering), Henningson Durham & Richardson, Inc. (architecture), and HDR FM (facilities management).[8:31] HDR’s business diversity and growth was brought about over time in part by mergers and acquisitions of a number of companies. The firm was sold to international design-build company, Bouygues SA, Paris, France in 1983.[6:125-130] HDR negotiated the repurchase of the firm’s stock in1996 through an employee stock buyback program, and returned ownership to the United States.[5] By the turn of the century, the company workforce exceed 2,000 in over 60 offices.[8:33]

Lineage of the Firm

1917-1950: Henningson Engineering Company, Engineers, Omaha, Nebraska.

1950-2013: Henningson Durham & Richardson, Architects & Engineers, Omaha, Nebraska.

Other Associations

1949-1953: employed Jaroslav Z. Jizba, engineer.

1955-1976: employed Frederick Inwald “Fritz” Sather, architect (1955-1971) and assistant vice president architect (1972-1976).

1955-1978: employed Donald Henry Korff, co-director of the Architectural Department (1955) and architect (1955-1978).[17][18]

1960-1966: employed John Clay Wilmot.

1961-1962: employed Richard A. Ross, draftsman (1961) and mechanized draftsman (1962).

1961-1998: employed Lawrence Neville Hawthorne, architect (1961-1970), vice president (1971-1986), president (1987-1996), and President Emeritus (1997-1998).

1961-2000: employed Richard Lewis Babcock, architect.

1962: employed Louis A. Cutler, architect.

1962-1964: employed James Stewart Tighe, architect.

1962-1985: employed Jerome James Gill, employee (1962-1963), department manager (1964-1966), vice president (1967-1980), and executive vice president (1981-1985).

1963-1974: employed Charles B. Randolph, architect.

1964-1972, 1977-1997: employed Brian D. Thilliander, draftsman (1964-1970), architect designer (1971-1972), and architect (1977-1997).

1965-1974: employed Richard R. Schleiger, architect.

1966-1986: employed Robert L. Moore, architect.

1967: employed James Leo Cannon, architect.

1967-1976: employed Robert Earl Warner, architect.

1967-1980: employed James Matthew Jirousek, architect (1967-1972) and vice president (1973-1980).

1967-1991: employed John Albert Vifquain, structural engineer.

1967-1996: employed Byron J. Willour, architect (1967-1972, 1982-1996) and vice president (1973-1981).

1968: employed Nick Kostos, architect.

1968-1976: employed Richard Leo Engler, architect.

1969: employed James Edward Jenkins, architect.

1969-1971, 1981-1987: employed Byron N. Livingston, architect.

1970-1971, 1974-1982: employed Emil J. Kucirek, Jr., architect.

1970-1984: employed William Allan Brinkman, architect.

1970-1987: employed Herman Schmidt, Jr., architect.

1970-1995: employed Patrick Bernard McDermott, architect.

1971-1972, 1974-1980: employed Stanley D. Lund, architect.

1971-1974: employed John Michael Florell, structural engineer.

1971-1983: employed Heath Jason Barclay, architect.

1971-1987: employed Jerry W. Switzer, architect.

1971-1990: employed James F. Pine, architect (1971-1976), project sponsor (1977), architect (1978-1985), and vice president (1986-1990).

1971-1998: employed Ross J. Raneri, architect.

1972-1977, 1985-1986: employed Paul Joseph Watson, architect.

1972-1978: employed Charles T. Conner, architect.

1972-1978: employed Thomas Arthur Terry, architectural designer (1972-1974) and architect (1975-1978).

1972-1998: employed Philip B. Georgeson, architect (1972-1995) and structural engineer (1996-1998).

1972-1998: employed William D. Palmer, architect.

1973-1974: employed Terry Gartner, architect.

1973-1997: employed William J. Naprstek, architect.

1974-1978: employed William Daniel Coffey, Jr., architect.

1974-1978: employed John B. Slack, architect.

1974-1980: employed Lewis William Robinson, architect.

1974-1981: employed Hugh M. Renard II, architect.

1974-1984: employed Michael E. Ossian, architect.

1974-1985: employed David Lee Gundersen, architect.

1974-1985: employed Harry David Nelson, interior designer.

1974-1989: employed Gene E. Ward, architect.

1974-1990: employed Ronald G. Hughbanks, architect (1974-1985) and specifications writer (1986-1990).

1974-2008: employed Merle S. Bachman, president (2004, 2008-2009) and architect in charge (2006-2008). Other positions not listed.[13][14][15][16:37]

1975-1998: employed John D. Cameron, architect.

1976-1980: employed Gatis K. “Gus” Ozols, architect.

1976-1983: employed John M. Miller, architect.

1977-1986: employed Lawrence J. Deane, architect.

1977-1986: employed Klaus Peter Lindner, architect.

1977-1987: employed James B. Hohenstein, architect.

1977-1987: employed Michael B. Wiemers, architect (1977-1985) and tech director (1986-1987).

1977-1997: employed Ronald E. Baker as an interior designer and later as an architect.

1977-1997: employed Clarence E. Lind, architect.

1978-2000: employed James Lawrence Loftus, architect.

1979-1986: employed Anthony C. Hazuka, architect.

1979-1987: employed Bruce A. Keller, architect graduate.

1979-1987: employed Arthur O. Smith III, architect (1979), Architect Grad (1980-1983), and architect (1986-1987).

1980: employed Steven D. Conley, architect graduate. 1980, 1982-1983: employed David C. Fischman, architect graduate (1980) and architect (1982-1983).

1980-1983: employed Kerry L. Trenerry, architect.

1980-1987, 2008: employed Richard D. Welch, architect draftsman (1980-1985), architect (1986-1987), and architect in charge (2008).

1980-1993: employed James R. Jaros, architect.

1981: employed Gary L. Gebhard, mechanized draftsman.

1981-1982: employed Susan Karrer Rohrig, architect graduate.

1981-1983: employed Ronald L. Policky, architect.

1981-1983: employed Mark E. Sjogren, architect.

1982-1983: employed Terence P. Muldoon, architect grad.

1982-1984: employed James Scott Oglesby, architect.

1982-1986: employed James E. Wilson, architect.

1982-1987: employed Robert A. Dietrich, architect graduate (1982) and architect (1984-1987).

1983: employed Jeffery A. Skog, architect.

1983-1987: employed Mark R. Graff, architect.

1983-1987: employed Jeffrey L. Hoge, architect.

1983-1987, 1997-1998: employed Michael L. Goertzen, architectural graduate (1983) and architect (1984-1987, 1997-1998).

1983-1993, 2000: employed Julian V. Jones, architect technician (1983-1993) and architect (2000).

1984-1987: employed Michael J. Shanahan, architect.

1985: employed Joseph F. Kreski, architect graduate.

1985: employed Michael S. Levin, attorney.[?]

1985-1986: employed Michael L. Lawyer, architect.

1985-1986: employed Gary D. Watkins, architect grad.

1985-1987: employed Tod M. Trigg, architect.

1986-1995: employed James D. Kucks, project engineer.

1989: employed Michael E. Leonard, architect.

1997-2001: employed Jeffrey L. Davenport, architect.

2000: employed Wade D. Goehring, architect.

2000: employed Scott C. Kirchner, architect.

Principal Works


Henningson Durham & Richardson Offices (1950), 2962 Harney, Omaha, Nebraska.[2]

City of Omaha, sewer system master plan and development design (1952), Omaha, Nebraska.[2:15]

Federal Office Building (1956), Omaha, Nebraska, joint venture.[ 6:112][8:16]

Grover Street Interchange, Interstate 80 (1957), Omaha, Nebraska.[8:15]

AB Lub Storage (1957), Gemini Blvd, Offutt AFB, Nebraska. (SY04-137)


Control Data Corporation Building (1960s), Omaha, Nebraska.[7:11]

Immanuel Medical Center (1960s), Omaha, Nebraska.[7:11]

Metropolitan Utilities District (MUD) water treatment plant (1960s), Omaha, Nebraska.[7:11]

Omaha-Papillion Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant (1960s), Omaha Metro area, Nebraslka.[7:11]

Union Pacific Bridge over 84th Street (1960s), Omaha, Nebraska.[7:11]

Bergan Mercy Hospital Addition (1960s), Omaha, Nebraska.[7:11]

Hydroelectric and irrigation project (1960s), Guadarranque and Palmones River Valleys, Southern Spain.[6:112][7:15][8:19]

Kiewit Plaza (1960-1961), 36th & Harney, Omaha, Nebraska.[2][8:18]

Post Office and Automated Mail Handling Facility (1961), Omaha, Nebraska.[8:21]

Guanabara Water Project and Aqueduct (1963-1965), Rio de Janerio, Brazil.[6:116][7:15][8:19]

Nebraska Methodist Hospital (1964), Omaha, Nebraska.[6:113]

Adams County Courthouse (1964) 4th to 5th, between Denver and St. Joseph Avenues, Hastings, Nebraska.[10]

Air Force Academy Expansion (1965), Colorado Springs, Colorado.[6:115][ 8:24][a]

Omaha Methodist Hospital (1965), Omaha, Nebraska.[8:22-23]

Omaha Fire Department Headquarters (1965), Omaha, Nebraska. (DO09:0121-109) [19]

Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant (1966), Fort Calhoun, Nebraska.[8:21][b]

U.S. Embassy (1967), Brazillia, Brazil.[7:15]

Valley Manufacturing Company Interiors (1968), Nebraska.[12][c]

University of Nebraska Hospital Interiors (1969), Omaha, Nebraska.[12][c]

First Federal Savings & Loan Interiors (1969), Council Bluffs, Iowa.[12][c]

Star Broadcasting Interiors (1969), Omaha, Nebraska.[12][c]

Methodist Hospital Interiors (1969), Omaha, Nebraska.[12][c]


Medium Security Institutions, North Carolina Prisons (1970s), Hillsborough and Salisbury sites, North Carolina.[2:27][7:15]

National Institutes of Health Ambulatorium (1970s), Bethesda, Maryland.[7:15]

Rapid Transit Facilities (1970s), Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Washington, D.C.[7:15]

Municipal Power Plant (1970s), Rochester, Minnesota.[7:15]

MX Missile System Environmental Impact Statement (1970s), Space & Missile Systems Organization, U.S. Air Force, Norton AFB, California.[7:15]

Refuse-fired Steam Power Plant (1970s), Norfolk, Virginia.[7:15]

HDR Place (ca. 1971-1972), 8404 Indian Hills Drive, Omaha, Nebraska.[2]

Trident Support Site Master Plan, preliminary engineering and environmental impact statement (1972), Seattle, Washington.[6:90][6:118][7:14][b]

HDR Place (1972), 8404 Indian Hills Drive, Omaha, Nebraska.[2][8:25][20:167]

Immanuel Medical Center (1974), 36th & Meredith St., Omaha, Nebraska. [20:171]

Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (1976), King Abulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.[6:119][7:15]


Fort Pitt Bridge (1980s), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[8:32]

Lied Center for the Performing Arts (1989), 12th & Q St., Lincoln, Nebraska.[21:123]


North Central Expressway (1990s), Dallas, Texas.[8:30]

Bee County Landfill (1990s), Orange County, California.[8:30]

Green Building addition to HDR Place (1998), 84th & Indian Hills Drive, Omaha, Nebraska.[8:33-34]


Hoover Dam Bypass (2001), Federal Highway Administration, rural Arizona-Nevada.[1][5]

Omaha World-Herald's John Gottschalk Freedom Center (2001), Omaha, Nebraska.[21:133]

Cooper River Bridge (2005), South Carolina.[8:37]

Holland Performing Arts Center (2005), Gene Leahy Mall, Omaha, Nebraska.[4][8:39][21:139]

TD Ameritrade Park (2009-2011), Omaha, Nebraska.[4][d]

Bellevue Medical Center (2009-2010), Bellevue, Nebraska.[21:143]

Baxter Arena (2012-2014), Omaha, Nebraska.[21]

Marjorie K. Daugherty Conservatory at Lauritzen Gardens (2013-2014), Omaha, Nebraska.[21]

Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center (2016-2017), UNMC Campus, Omaha, Nebraska.[21]


Michael F. Sorrell Center for Health Science Education (n.d.), University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska.[4]

Huntington Memorial Hospital Pasadena (n.d.), California.[8:35]

National Institute of Standards and Technology Advanced Measurement Laboratory (n.d.), Gaithersburg, Maryland.[8:36]

Durham Research Center (n.d.), University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha, Nebraska.[8:40]

Banner Bank Building (n.d.), Boise, Idaho.[8:52]

Birk Nanotechnology Center (n.d.), Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.[8:54]

Memorial Causeway Bridge (n.d.), Clearwater, Florida.[8:54]

Center for Functional Nanomaterials (n.d.), Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York.[8:56]

Salvation Army (n.d.), Ray & Joan Kroc Community Center.[11]

St. Anthony Hospital (n.d), Chicago, Illinois (Unbuilt).[11]

AIA Headquarters (Renovation of the Hardy Building) Haymarket Lincoln (n.d.), Nebraska.[11]

Honors & Awards

2012: AIA Nebraska Honor Award for Architecture: The Salvation Army, Ray & Joan Kroc Community Center.[11]

2012: AIA Nebraska Honor Award for Unbuilt: St. Anthony Hospital.[11]


a. Joint venture with Leo A. Daly Company, Omaha, Nebraska.[6:115][ 8:24]

b. Joint venture with Gibbs & Hill, New York, New York; an ongoing collaboration.[6:90][6:118][7:14][8:21]

c. Designed by Richard Lewis Babcock.

d. Joint design by HDR, Populous, and DLR Group.[21]


1. HDR, Inc, “Notable designs,” accessed January 2, 2013, http://em.wikipedia.org/wiki/hdr,_Inc,

2. Charles W. Durham and Robert F. Krohn, Henningson, Durham & Richardson: Offering Professional Design Services Since 1917 [Newcomen Publication Number 1082] (New York, Downingtown, Princeton, and Portland: The Newcomen Society in North America, 1978).

3. American Institute of Architects, comp., American Architects Directory Third Ed. (New York: R. R. Bowker Co., 1970), 398, accessed April 4, 2010, http://communities.aia.org/sites/hdoaa/wiki/Wiki%20Pages/1970%20American%20Architects%20Directory.aspx

4. “Architecture firm HDR opens office in Lincoln: Omaha-based company is led by graduate of UNL, Southeast,” Lincoln Journal Star (December 8, 2011), A4.

5. http://www.hdrinc.com/Assets/documents/history/hdrtimeline.pdf (undated) accessed 2007

6. Bob Reilly, ed., LUCKY, The Story of the Durhams and HDR (Omaha: Barnum Press, 1998).

7. Gary Johansen, “Where the calls mean business”, Magazine of the Midlands (Omaha World Herald, Sunday, February 5, 1787), 11:14

8. HDR, History of Excellence: 90th Anniversary, 1917-2007 (Omaha: HDR, 2007), accessed January 16, 2013, http://www.hdrinc.com/sites/all/files/assets/about-hdr/history-of-excellence-book.pdf

9. “Nebraska Architecture firms among Magazine’s Top 150,” Architecture Record, AIA NE Update CXX (June 27, 2008), accessed September 26, 2008, http://www.aiane.org/newsletter/20080627.htm#content804

10. Hastings: A Walking Tour Guide of the Historic Downtown Area (Hastings: Cornhusker Press, for the Adams County Historical Society, [1980]).

11. “2012 AIA Design Awards,” Omaha World-Herald Special Section (October 7, 2012), 4S-5S.

12. American Institute of Architects, comp., American Architects Directory Third Ed. (New York: R. R. Bowker Co., 1970), 35, accessed April 4, 2010, http://communities.aia.org/sites/hdoaa/wiki/Wiki%20Pages/1970%20American%20Architects%20Directory.aspx

13. “Professional license results for Merle S. Bachman,” Nebraska State Board of Engineers and Architects Website, accessed September 30, 2008, http://www.ea.state.ne.us/search/search.php

14. “Leaders: Board of Directors,” HDR website, accessed September 30, 2008, <http://www.hdrinc.com/3/11/default.aspx>

15. College of ArchitectureNewsletter (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2009), 2.

16. HDR, History of Excellence: 90th Anniversary, 1917-2007[PDF] (Omaha: HDR, 2007), accessed January 16, 2013, http://www.hdrinc.com/sites/all/files/assets/about-hdr/history-of-excellence-book.pdf

17. Charles W. Durham and Robert F. Krohn, Henningson, Durham & Richardson: Offering Professional Design Services Since 1917 [Newcomen Publication Number 1082] (New York, Downingtown, Princeton, and Portland: The Newcomen Society in North America, 1978).

18. American Institute of Architects, comp., American Architects Directory Second Ed. (New York: R. R. Bowker Co., 1962), 391.

19. "Approval Sought for Fire Plan," Omaha World-Herald (September 19, 1965): F-1.

20. Steve Eveans, et al., New Architecture in Nebraska (American Society of Architects, Omaha, Nebraska: 1977).

21. Jeff Barnes, 150@150: Nebraska's Landmark Buildings at the State's Sesquicentennial (Architectural Foundation of Nebraska, 2017).

Page Citation

Alan Eastman and D. Murphy, “Henningson Durham & Richardson, Architects & Engineers,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, September 4, 2018. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, May 30, 2020.

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