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T H E  N E B R A S K A  S T A T E  C A P I T O L

Capitol building

The Nebraska Capitol in 1930

The Nebraska Capitol

   Up to 1930 there have been five buildings housing the Nebraska Government. Two of these were in the territorial period and three since statehood. The first Capitol in Omaha cost $3,000; the second one was also in Omaha and cost $50,000, half of which was paid by the Federal Government and half by Omaha.

   June 4, 1864, an act removed the Capitol to Lincoln. The site was chosen July 29, 1867, by a commission consisting of Governor Butler, Secretary of State T. P. Kennard. and Auditor John Gillespie. John Morris of Chicago was the architect, and the $76,817.59 with which the building was constructed was derived from the sale of Lincoln lots.  




T H E  N E B R A S K A  S T A T E  C A P I T O L

   This Capitol was a queer old affair with a pepper box dome, built of stone hauled from near by and lumber brought from Iowa. It stood on the highest ground in the city. In a few years it showed the effects of hasty construction. The Press of that day quotes observations: "The old Capital resembles a cross between a modern elevator and an Amsterdam windmill." It's English designer said it was "Hitalian Renaisiance with a trifle Greek wigger thrown in."

   In 1879 the legislature appropriated $75,000 for the West Wing of a new building. Wm. H. Wilcox was the architect and W. H. B. Stout the contractor. This was built with convict lobar and was finished in 1881. The legislature of 1881 appropriated $100,000 for an East Whig retaining the same architect and contracter. The central portion was erected as the cost of $439,187.80. The total cost of this second Capitol building in Lincoln was $691,428. "it was a chaste sad beautiful structure of stone, almost pure Grecian in style."

   The legislature of 1919 created a commission to plan and construct a new building, holding a competition among architects of the country. The plans of Bertram Goodhue wre chosen June, 1920, and construction began April 15, 1922. Part of this capitol was completed and occupied in 1925, and the executive suite and main corridor and rotunda were opened in 1927.




T H E  N E B R A S K A  S T A T E  C A P I T O L

   This beautiful building is a daring departure from conventional state capitol styles. "It was inspired by ancient structures of Asia, Greece, Egypt, and Spain, though in the whole the architect has conceived something which is essentially American. The base typifies the widespread fertile plains, and the central tower the aspirations and ideala of its cities."

   Prof. Hartley H. Alexander supplied the inscriptions and symbols in collaboration with Mr. Goodhue. Lee Lawrie was the sculptor. Augustus Vincent Tack the painter and Hildreth Meiere designed the tiles and mosaics. The estimated cost of building was $9,500,000. In September, 1930, the new Capitol has not been completed.




T H E  N E B R A S K A  S T A T E  C A P I T O L

Printer building

Lincoln, Nebraska  

September, 1930



© 2000, 2001 for NEGenWeb Project, submitted by Kathie Harrison <>
"I'd like to dedicate this to the memory of the early people of Lincoln, Nebraska
in honor of my Grand Aunt Ellen Hogan Keane"

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