Lost Objects and Missing Furniture
The Nebraska Capitol Collections (NCC) is one of the most comprehensive collections of architectural records for a single structure. The NCC preserves a very diverse and detailed history of the design and construction of the present Capitol, as well as, extensive object collections including furnishings and many architectural elements and components.
Though an extensive amount of documentation exists, the NCC actively seeks additional information and material to enhance on-going research and interpretation of the Capitol for preservation and scholarly use. The Nebraska Capitol Collections actively seeks the return and restoration of items removed from the building. Anyone wishing to support the preservation and restoration of the Nebraska State Capitol through a donation of items to the Nebraska Capitol Collections should contact the Capitol Archivist at (402)471-0444 . The following items are of interest to staff as they work with the Nebraska Capitol Collections.
Like the saying “a photograph is worth a thousand words” the NCC is looking for photography from the construction era and beyond. Both professional and amateur images can provide insight into building details as well as the people that built and worked in the Capitol.
The Capitol, upon completion, attracted attention both locally and internationally. Many articles and publications were generated to herald both the building’s utility and artistry. Construction era documents are also sought after and can be in the form of presentation drawings, letters, catalogs and other printed material.
Many furnishings that were purchased for the Goodhue Capitol were sold at auction during the 1950s, 60s and early 70s. These furnishings were primarily fabricated of walnut and include desks, tables, chairs and bookcases. Manufacturer’s names include Stow-Davis, Macey, Leopold, Colonial and Marble. Wicker or reed type furniture furnished many of the lounges and restrooms and was manufactured by the Heywood-Wakefield Company.
Original light fixtures found in standard office settings were chain hung and in some areas, ceiling mounted. With the advent of fluorescent lighting, 100 percent of these fixtures were removed from service and only a handful remain in the collection. The fixtures are bronze and have milk-white shades with a decorative cross banding detail cast into the surface of glass.
Cast bronze ram’s heads and octagonal caps were originally used as finials on wooden stair rails in the Capitol. Since completion of the Capitol in 1932 some of these custom cast heavy bronze finials have gone missing.
The Warner Legislative Chamber (former East Senate Chamber) is an area of exceptional design quality and detail. One of the Chamber’s second floor level corner vestibule chandeliers is missing. The Warner Vestibule fixtures are similar in size and detail to the elevator vestibule fixtures.
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.
The architect who designed the Nebraska State Capitol was Bertram Goodhue. The thematic program of the Capitol was developed by Dr. Hartley Burr Alexander. Sculptor for the Capitol was Lee Lawrie, and Hildreth Meiere designed all the floor and ceiling mosaics. The building was constructed over a ten year period in four building phases. Construction began in 1922 and was completed in 1932. Total cost of the building was just under $10 million.
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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