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Go Big Red! Capitol?

The Capitol was lit red to celebrate the University of Nebraska’s Charter Day, February 15th……. and the celebration continues. The Office of the Capitol Commission illuminates the Capitol with colored light at the request of non-profit and not for profit groups to draw attention to their work. OCC’s policy allows four lightings per year, with the building lit for one evening or weekend, weather permitting. The weather allowed our staff to get onto the copper roof to install the red gels, but, the weather has not allowed them to get back up to remove the gels. Risk management and staff safety means the Capitol may be lit red for a few more days until the snow melts off the roof.
In celebration of the University’s 150th anniversary and the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Nebraska Capitol Commission and the beginning of the process to create the monumental tower currently glowing red, here are a few ways the two are linked.

Hartley Burr Alexander, thematic consultant for the Nebraska State Capitol was a professor of Philosophy at the University of Nebraska when he created inscriptions for the Capitol.  Hartley Burr Alexander also wrote the inscriptions on Memorial Stadium, which like the Capitol was a monument to Nebraskans who had fought and died in the Great War. 

Erwin Barbour, Director of the University of Nebraska State Museum from 1891-1941 provided Capitol mosaic artist Hildreth Meiere with sketches of Nebraska prehistoric creatures which she then translated into the black and white rotunda floor mosaics.

Harry F. Cunningham, architect and draftsman with the Goodhue Associates, came to Lincoln as architect’s representative on the Nebraska State Capitol and was involved with the construction of the tower. In 1930, he became the first Chair of the Department of Architecture at the University of Nebraska.

Several members of the Nebraska Hall of Fame, housed in the Capitol, have ties to the University of Nebraska. These include:

General John Pershing, Commander of ROTC Cadets

Willa Cather, Author

Mari Sandoz, Author

Nathan Pound, Botanist and Legal Scholar

Charles Bessey, Botanist

Grace Abbott, Social scientist

Loren Eiseley, Anthropologist



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.