The Capitol Commission was first created in 1867 to find the location for a Capital City and has been called into service at various times when Nebraskans were in need of a new capitol or artwork to complete the new capitol. The Nebraska Capitol Commission currently has the task of overseeing the preservation, maintenance and operation of Bertram Goodhue’s state Capitol. Upon statehood in 1867, the Nebraska legislature passed a law removing the capitol from Omaha. Thus, the first Nebraska Capitol Commission was created and given the task of finding a new location for the Capital City. Having established Lincoln as the new capital city, the Commission then set about platting the city and planning for the construction of the first capitol. The Commission was reformed to guide construction of the second capitol in the 1880’s. It was reformed in 1919 to hold a nation-wide architectural competition and oversee the construction of a third capitol. At that time Commission membership included the Governor, the State Engineer and three citizens. Through the years the Capitol Commission has been reactivated to hold mural competitions to complete Hartley Burr Alexander’s thematic program for the capitol.
The 2004 legislation creating the Office of the Capitol Commission declared the Nebraska Capitol Commission shall be the custodian of the State Capitol and Grounds. The current Capitol Commission is chaired by the Governor and membership includes the Speaker of the Legislature, the Chief Justice, the Dean of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Architecture, the Executive Director of the Nebraska State Historical Society and one member, appointed by the Governor, from each of Nebraska’s three congressional districts.
- Jim Pillen, Governor, Chairman
- John Arch, Speaker of the Legislature, Vice-Chairman
- Michael Heavican, Chief Justice Supreme Court, Vice-Chairman
- Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg, Dean, College of Architecture, UNL
- Jill Dolberg, Interim Executive Director & CEO, History Nebraska
- Doug Cary, Congressional District 1
- Thomas Sanderson, Congressional District 2
- Trent D. Loos, Congressional District 3
- Robert C. Ripley, Capitol Administrator, Secretary
The Commission meets quarterly in the capitol to review and oversee the maintenance and preservation of the capitol, to discuss and approve the upcoming budget and projects for the Office of the Capitol Commission and to set administrative rules for the use of the capitol. The Nebraska Capitol Commission annually meets with the Capitol Environs Commission, a joint city/state body, to coordinate the mutual interests of the State of Nebraska and City of Lincoln in protecting and enhancing the capitol, its site and environs. An agenda of the matters to be considered at the meetings is kept continually current and is available for public inspection during normal business hours at the Office of the Capitol Commission, 7th Floor, State Capitol, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Nebraska Capitol Commission 2023 Meeting Schedule
Thursday February , 2023 at 10:00 a.m. in Capitol Hearing Room 1507
Thursday June , 2023 at 10:00 a.m. in Capitol Hearing Room 1507
Tuesday August , 2023 at 10:00 a.m. in Capitol Hearing Room 1507
Joint Capitol Environs Commission and Nebraska Capitol Commission
Tuesday November , 2023 at 10:00 a.m. in Capitol Hearing Room 1507
Nebraska Capitol Commission Meeting
Tuesday November , 2023 at 11:00 a.m. in Capitol Hearing Room 1507
For more information about the Nebraska Capitol Commission please contact the Capitol Administrator at (402) 471-6691.