School Tours of the Capitol
School Tour Season is generally March, April and May, however school tours can be scheduled at any time, and autumn school tours are encouraged. School tours are scheduled on a first call basis and should be scheduled as early in the school year as possible.
Foyer Vault Polychrome Tile Panel
Those wishing to schedule a school tour should call the tour office at (402) 471-0448 and have the following information available:
- Preferred day and time of visit and alternative choices
- Name of teacher bringing students and school, including address and phone number
- Number of students in class and grade level
- State Senator for school location
- Any special considerations, such as time constraints or special needs
School tours, like all Nebraska Capitol tours, are free of charge. A fun and informative virtual tour Explore the STATE CAPITOL is available for students.
School bus parking is available on the street one block south of the Capitol (G Street) and west (14th Street) of the Governor’s Residence.
School tours usually last 50 - 60 minutes. While at the Capitol, groups learn about the Unicameral Legislature and may visit the Legislature in session (add 10 - 20 minutes depending on group size) and/or visit the observation deck on 14th floor (add 20 - 30 minutes depending on group size). The Landmark Store on ground level welcomes students, in groups of ten, with adult supervision (add 10 - 30 minutes depending on group size). School groups with limited time may purchase History to Go bags for students in advance of their visit. School groups bringing sack lunches eat outside in the Capitol Courtyards or across K Street on Centennial Mall. The Capitol Grille which operates the dining room in the Capitol may be contacted at (402)471-7748 about catering sack lunches for visiting school groups. Please call the tour office with any questions about eating lunch at the Capitol.
The north tower elevators (northeast and northwest) provide access to the 14th floor observation level and the Memorial Chamber. The elevator doorways are 28” wide and will allow access for many wheelchairs. The exterior observation decks are three steps below 14th floor level, however it is possible to view the city from the door opening. For those with special accessibility concerns the Tour Office has a videotape showing the view from the 14th floor observation deck available.
Rest rooms are located on ground floor in the four outer corners of the building, and on second floor in the outer northwest corner. There are drinking fountains on ground floor adjacent to the rest rooms.
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.