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Memorial Chamber

The central room of the 14th Floor Observation Level is the Memorial Chamber, it is “dedicated to the forms of heroism called for in the public service and in devotion to humanity”.

Memorial Chamber

Memorial Chamber

The dignity of the Chamber is derived from the monumental use of black marble—Black Belgian, Italian Porto Oro, and Vermont Verde Antique. The inscription beneath the murals is taken from Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address. The dome quietly represents the evening sky, and the chandelier the evening star shining in it.

Overall view of Memorial Chamber

Eight murals representing “heroic enterprises associated with Nebraska history” were added to the Chamber in 1996. The murals were painted by Nebraska artist Stephen Roberts and represent four military themes and four civic themes.

The Murals

The Ideal of Universal Peace

The Ideal of Universal Peace

Americans and Nebraskans have fought to bring about the conditions which promote peace.

The Scourge of Plague

The Scourge of Plague

Recognition of those who attend to the health of the people.

The Ideal of Self-Determination

The Ideal of Self-Determination

Americans and Nebraskans have respected the rights of peoples to establish and determine their own governments.

The Scourge of Poverty

The Scourge of Poverty

Recognition of heroic service to society and devotion to humanity through providing relief for the poor and oppressed.

The Trial of Standing Bear

The Ideal of Freedom

Americans and Nebraskans have gone to war to advance the rights of people.

The Perils of Fire

The Perils of Fire

Recognizing the service and devotion of professionals and volunteers who protect the lives and property of their fellow citizens.

The Ideal of International Law

The Ideal of International Law

Americans and Nebraskans have fought to preserve a sense of justice in the relationships of nations.

The Scourge of Famine

The Scourge of Famine

Recognition of the endeavors of citizens to preserve and enhance the natural environment against natural and man-made forces.


The eight sided Memorial Chamber sits atop the square office tower of the Nebraska State Capitol.  The 14th floor observation decks are located at the top of the square office tower around the perimeter of the Memorial Chamber.

Ground view of Memorial Chamber     


The Observation Deck Views

In his plan for Nebraska’s third capitol, Goodhue suggested on-axis boulevards radiating from the Capitol site into the city. Centennial Mall connects the Capitol with the State Historical Society and University of Nebraska. State and federal office buildings, and museums are located along this pedestrian corridor through downtown Lincoln.

North view from top in winter

Centennial Mall looking north in Winter

The Department of Labor is one of several buildings surrounding the Capitol which house state agencies. Lincoln High School, the city’s first high school, is at the intersection of J Street and Capitol Parkway. Domed tennis courts shine brightly above the tree canopy at Woods Park. Growth in Lincoln was originally to the east, but recently has expanded in all directions.

easat view from top in summer

J Street looking east in Summer

The area south and southeast of the Capitol contains some of the oldest homes in Lincoln. To the southeast is the Thomas P. Kennard House- Nebraska’s Statehood Memorial- constructed in 1867. The Governor’s Residence was opened in 1958. McPhee Elementary took the place of the Capitol School. At the edge of the city, grain elevators serve agricultural interests.

south autumn view from tower

Goodhue Boulevard looking south in Autumn


Lincoln Mall connects the seat of state government with the seat of county and city government. Beyond the overpass of Rosa Parks Way, the railroad yard routes coal trains from western mines to eastern markets. To the northwest, remnants of the salt marshes which once dotted the area can be seen as lakes.

Lincoln Mall looking West in Spring

Lincoln Mall looking west in Spring



Are You Interested in Seeing the Building in Person?

We're open 7 days a week, so plan a visit here. Then, explore some photos and perhaps read more about the Memorial Chamber.

Capitol quick facts

  • Construction started in 1922, completed in 1932.
  • The architect was Bertram G. Goodhue.
  • There are 15 floors above ground.
  • The building is 400 feet tall.
  • It is the third Nebraska State Capitol.
  • It cost $9.8 million in 1932 dollars.

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1445 K Street
We’re on K, between 14th and 16th Streets
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509–4696
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Building hours

  • Monday ‐ Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday ⁄ Holidays: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sunday: 1 to 5 p.m.
  • Tours Available on the Hour
    (Except at Noon)
  • Open every day except Thanksgiving Day, the Friday after, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.