Phases and Timeline

In response to the competition requirement that the new Capitol be built in a fiscally responsible manner, Bertram Goodhue’s “cross within square” floor plan allowed construction to begin around the old Capitol while still occupied, and workers still conducting state business. After the north and south sections of the outer square of the new building were constructed around the old, the offices were moved into the new and the old demolished. The second construction phase included the east side of the square and the north, south and east arms of the cross. Third phase construction completed the tower. In the final phase, workers finished the remaining west arm of the cross, completing the building in 1932 after ten years of construction. When landscaping was completed in 1934, the Capitol was fully paid for at a cost of $9.8 million.

Timeline of Capitol Commission and Construction Activity:

  • February, 1919          Legislature passed Bill to create Capitol Commission and fund Capitol Construction
  • June, 1919                 Capitol Commission hires T.R. Kimball as architectural adviser
  • December, 1919         Preliminary Competition identifies three Nebraska architects for Final Competition
  • June, 1920                 Judgement of Final Competition, Jury choses Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue
  • November, 1920        Commission signs contract with Architect
  • April 15, 1922           Groundbreaking for new Capitol by Governor Samuel R. McKelvie
  • April, 1922                First contract awarded to W.J. Assenmacher Co. for the excavation of the site and laying of foundation.
  • July, 1922                  Contract awarded to J.H. Weise Co. for first phase superstructure construction (north and south sections of square base)
  • November 11, 1922   Cornerstone laid with American Legion participating
  • April 24, 1924           Death of architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue
  • November, 1924        Contract signed with Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue Associates for continuance of architectural work
  • December, 1924         State offices moved from old building to newly completed outer square of new building
  • March 1925               Contracts awarded to J.H. Weise Co. for demolition of old Capitol
  • April 1925                 Contracts for second construction phase awarded to J.H. Weise Co. (east side, east, north and south arms of cross, and base of tower)
  • February 1928           Contracts for third phase construction (tower) awarded to Peter Kiewit Sons Co.
  • April 24, 1930            “The Sower” was raised to the top of the Capitol
  • June 1930                  Contracts awarded to W. J. Assenmacher Co. for the fourth phase of construction
  • August, 1931              Contracts awarded for grounds lighting
  • September, 1931        Contracts awarded for landscape excavating, grading and concrete work
  • January, 1932            Contracts awarded for Furnishings including furniture and floor covering
  • April, 1932                 Contracts awarded for Lamp Posts
  • May, 1932                 Contracts awarded for sodding of the grounds
  • February, 1934           Contracts awarded for planting trees and shrubs on Capitol grounds


List of Expenses 1919 – 1934

  • Architectural Expenses                   $452,074.68
  • Capitol Commission Expenses             40,421.88
  • Inspection Expenses                         120,585.32
  • Miscellaneous Expense Items             539,787.00
  • Furnishings and Decorations              537,579.36
  • First Construction                          2,562,917.62
  • Wrecking Old Building                       49,642.81
  • Second Construction                      3,015,460.20
  • Third Construction                          1,487,309.74
  • Fourth Construction                           887,756.79
  • Landscaping                                    131,093.46