Freedom Center (Omaha)

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John Gottschalk Freedom Center
General information
Type Production facility
Architectural style Modern
Location Omaha, Nebraska
Completed August 31, 2001
Owner Omaha World-Herald
Design and construction
Architect HDR, Inc.

The John Gottschalk Freedom Center is a newspaper production facility located at 14th Street and Capitol Avenue in Downtown Omaha, Nebraska. Built for the Omaha World-Herald, the building is considered to be one of the most automated and technologically advanced newspaper facilities in the world.[1][2][3] The Freedom Center has been labeled a "catalyst" in the redevelopment of Downtown Omaha,[4][5] along with such other new downtown development as the opening of the Missouri riverfront, the First National Center, the Omaha Convention Center and Arena and the Gallup University campus.[6] The facility covers four blocks, and houses the new shaftless printing presses, material handling center, assembly equipment, and a parking garage.[7]


The facility was opened in August 2001, and cost almost $125 million to build.[8] It consists of three structures designed by HDR, Inc. They include a five-level, 321,000-square-foot (29,800 m2) press hall featuring 3 MAN Roland presses from Germany; a 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) paper-storage facility capable of storing 3,000 rolls of newsprint and a 600-stall parking garage. Large portions of the exterior are glass, allowing downtown traffic to see the storage facility and presses.[9]

The storage facility/press hall is connected by a tunnel than runs underneath 13th Street. Most newspaper facilities of this size have been built on greenfield sites. The Omaha World-Herald was dedicated to keeping its newspaper facilities downtown, which required a more vertical structure, and the underground tunnel. Transfer Vehicle System (TVS) robotic vehicles are used to deliver newsprint to the press.[10][11]

The presses weigh 1,661 U.S. tons and can produce 75,000 newspapers per hour. The John Gottschalk Freedom Center produces four editions of the Omaha World-Herald daily, in addition to a Sunday edition and daily editions of the Daily NonPareil for neighboring Southwest Iowa.

Construction of the modern facility served as the impetus for redesigning the layout of the actual newspaper.[12]


  1. ^ McMeekin, T. "Integration key to smooth operations at Omaha World-Herald," Newspapers and Technology. Retrieved 7/24/08.
  2. ^ ""The Omaha World-Herald John Gottschalk Freedom Center: State of the Art, Concrete-Rich Challenge,", L&M Construction Chemicals Concrete News. Retrieved 8/25/08. Archived August 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "Tours", Omaha World-Herald company website. Retrieved 7/24/08 Archived December 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Downtown development" Archived 2008-09-08 at the Wayback Machine., Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership. Retrieved 7/25/08.
  5. ^ "Great Plains", U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Policy Development and Research. Retrieved 7/25/08.
  6. ^ Kotock, C.D. "How Omaha looks is serious business" Archived 2006-11-10 at, Omaha World-Herald. January 11, 2004. Retrieved 7/25/08.[dead link]
  7. ^ "2006 Architectural Engineering Conference Keynote Speakers", Architectural Engineering Institute. May/June 2006. Retrieved 7/25/08.
  8. ^ "The Omaha World-Herald Freedom Center Grand Opening Ceremonies: September 1, 2001", Retrieved 7/25/08.
  9. ^ "Omaha World-Herald Freedom Center", HDR Inc. Retrieved 7/25/08.[not in citation given]
  10. ^ "'Scary smart' students pass the grade during paper's security audit", University of Nebraska at Omaha College of Information Science and Technology. Retrieved 7/25/08.[not in citation given]
  11. ^ Moozakis, C. "Newspapers seizing automation with renewed sense of urgency", Newspapers and Technology. Retrieved 7/24/08.[not in citation given]
  12. ^ Johnson, R. "Designing for readers: How the Omaha World-Herald’s redesign changed their thinking", Design Update. Fall 2002. Retrieved 7/25/08.

Coordinates: 41°15′41″N 95°55′59″W / 41.26139°N 95.93306°W / 41.26139; -95.93306