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Artists

Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue

Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue was born in Pomfret, Connecticut on April 28, 1869. His early years were spent studying the arts and humanities at home. From his study of the classics, Goodhue learned of the great architectural styles and monuments of the ages. He later used this classical foundation in the design of the Nebraska State … Continued

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. Open every day except Thanksgiving Day, the Friday after, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Observation decks on the 14th floor, use north elevators, are open during public building hours as weather conditions permit. … Continued

Building Projects

The Office of the Nebraska Capitol Commission staff works continuously to care for the Nebraska State Capitol. Whether overseeing building-wide projects such as the restoration of the exterior limestone facade, or projects specific to one room in the Capitol, OCC’s highly skilled and trained staff maintain the Capitol in as original condition as possible. When … Continued

Building Rooms

Bus Parking

ATTENTION: TEACHERS AND BUS DRIVERS Busses are not allowed to park at the north entrance of the Capitol on ‘K’ Street. Busses are allowed to stop and unload students, but then need to proceed south of the Capitol to specially designated bus parking areas. (See map on other side.) Bus parking is marked with bus … Continued

Cafeteria

Beginning January 25, 2021 HyVee Catering will deliver boxed lunches to the Capitol between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. HyVee has offered this temporary service for Capitol staff and others to order pre-packaged and pre-paid lunches which will then be delivered to the Capitol. For information and to receive Hy-Vee’s menu via email please contact … Continued

Capitol Archive

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 … Continued

Capitol Displays

It is possbile to schedule an educational display in the first floor rotunda of the Nebraska State Capitol following guidelines established by the Office of the Capitol Commision. Displays are held on first floor because it gets the most traffic from visitors and staff and is least disruptive to the operation of state government. Requests … Continued

Capitol Environs

Bertram Goodhue’s original 1920 Capitol design concept included the setting for his building within the capital city. Goodhue planned four formal boulevard approaches to the Capitol from the north, south, east and west on axis with the site and Capitol tower. The Capitol’s four square block site is located at the intersection of two principal … Continued

Capitol Environs

Capitol Events Calendar

June July Events Calendar

Capitol Gifts and Souvenirs

The Office of the Capitol Commission will make Capitol Commemorative Ornaments and T-Shirts available through the Tour Program for pick up at the Capitol or by mail order. Inquiries about purchasing these items should be made to the Tourism Supervisor via email at roxanne.smith@nebraska.gov or by phone at (402)471-0449. Emails and messages will be responded … Continued

Capitol in Lincoln

The first two Capitols in Lincoln were poorly constructed of inferior materials and by 1915 there was interest in building a third State Capitol. In January of 1919, the Legislature passed the Mears-Tracewell Bill to provide for construction of a new Capitol. Also included in the legislation were provisions for a Capitol Commission to oversee … Continued

Capitol News

Capitol Sower 2019 June 2019 Edition The Nebraska Capitol Commission is Created February 2019 Edition The Quest for a New Capitol Began 100 Years Ago 2018 February 2018 Edition HVAC Project Update. June 2018 Edition HVAC Project Activity. 2017 February 2017 Edition Tools of the Trade. June 2017 Edition Fountain Project Update. 2016 February 2016 … Continued

Capitol Photos for Free Use

The following photographs of the Nebraska State Capitol may be downloaded and used by students, journalists, and others researching, promoting or referencing the Capitol. The photographs may not be reproduced and sold commercially. When using the photos for scholarly or personal projects please cite the Office of the Capitol Commission. For further information please contact … Continued

Capitol Sower Newsletter

2021 HVAC Update and Judicial Branch Restoration HVAC Update Ventilation System 2020 Capitol architect chosen 100 years ago June 2020 Edition HVAC update and Restoration work in Court area February 2020 Edition HVAC update and Restoration work in project area 2019 August 2019 Edition HVAC Progress and Fountain Update June 2019 Edition The Nebraska Capitol … Continued

Capitol Update

Concept and Advisor’s Statement

The Capitol of a State is the outward sign of the character of its people. Their respect for its traditions and history, their belief in its importance and worth, and their love of its fair name; all find expression in its Capitol. Of Nebraska highway of progress, provider of man’s necessities, battle-ground of freedom, distributor … Continued

Contact Information

Office of the Capitol Commission Phone: (402)471-6691 Mailing Address: Office of the Capitol Commission P.O. Box 94696 Lincoln, NE  68509-4696 Street Address: 1445 K Street Tour Office (402)471-0448 Tourism Supervisor/Special Events (402)471-0449

Court of Appeals

Bertram Goodhue designed a second Court Room for the Capitol. It was not used as such until after 1990, when a constitutional amendment established the Nebraska Court of Appeals. The Appeals Court convenes the third week of the month. One of two three judge panels presides behind a walnut bench carved with a crest denoting … Continued

Courtyard Plant List

Each of the four courtyards is landscaped in a similar manner. Lodense Privet hedges, Lingustrum vulgare ‘Lodense’, line the interior sidewalks, rose beds and enclose the circular annual beds surrounding the central fountain. The planting beds around the exterior sidewalks are filled with perennial flowering shrubs. Each courtyard has a unique color scheme featuring different … Continued

Current Projects

During the Nebraska State Capitol’s 1922-32 construction period, with limited space on site for a power plant, the state took advantage of the University of Nebraska’s 1929 construction of a new coal fired power plant and enlarged the system to handle both facilities. The Capitol then relied on steam generated at the University’s 14th and … Continued

Directions

During the 2018-2025 HVAC Upgrade Project various quadrants of the Capitol will be under construction, offices within the Capitol may be moved outside the Capitol or relocated within the building. Please check with staff at the center information desk, consult the maps at the information desk, or make use of the map the Legislature provides. … Continued

Display

East Chamber

In the east and west arms of the cross which is centered on the Rotunda are the two chambers of Nebraska’s legislature. Nebraska had a bicameral government until 1937, when the Unicameral was formed. The West Chamber was chosen to house the new single governmental body because it was the larger of the two chambers. … Continued

Educational Curriculum

The thematic program developed for the Nebraska State Capitol by University of Nebraska Professor of Philosophy Hartley Burr Alexander can be adapted for use to reinforce almost any curriculum addressing Nebraska History and Government, Western Civilization, Art and Art History. The guided tours provided for fourth graders on field trips address the Social Studies educational … Continued

Educational Materials

Youth Art Tour  This is a self-guided tour designed for parents of preschool and Kindergarten children. This tour is for parents to read and then guide students to look for things (shapes, colors, animals) in the artwork and have them describe what they see in the floor ceiling and wall murals. The narrative also allows parents … Continued

Exterior

With a grant from the Nebraska Humanities Council, now Humanities Nebraska, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Office of the Capitol Commission created an exterior walking tour and brochure. The brochure is available in the Capitol tour office or at the information desk on ground floor. The line drawings of the … Continued

Foyer

The theme of the Foyer is the “Life of Man”. On the floor are three mosaics which represent the Earth, “The Spirit of the Soil”, “The Spirit of Vegetation” and “The Spirit of Animal Life”. The three medallions in the ceiling represent “Traditions of the Past”, “Life of the Present” and “Ideas of the Future”. … Continued

Furniture Collection

Nebraska’s new Capitol was completely furnished with very high quality walnut furniture from major manufacturers of the period. Additional furnishings included waste baskets, coat trees, and lamps. These furnishings fall into two categories, the Circulating Collection and the Permanent Collection. The Circulating Collection includes the Capitol original desks, tables and chairs used every day by … Continued

Goodhue Writings

The site is a square in the heart of the city of Lincoln, the point of intersection of two great avenues; while the surrounding country is generally level. Therefore, from the very beginning the authors of the design herewith submitted have felt impelled to produce something quite unlike the usual—and, to them, rather trite—thing of … Continued

Goodhue’s Concept

Screed of Mr. Goodhue The site is a square in the heart of the city of Lincoln, the point of intersection of two great avenues; while the surrounding country is generally level. Therefore, from the very beginning the authors of the design herewith submitted have felt impelled to produce something quite unlike the usual–and, to … Continued

Governor’s Suite

The Governor’s Office Suite includes the Governor’s Hearing Room, the Governor’s Reception Area and the private offices of the Governor and the Chief of Staff. The decorative style of the suite is Italian Renaissance. The Governor of Nebraska conducts state business in the most ornamental office suite in the State Capitol. The four chambers of … Continued

Great Photo Spots

Hartley Burr Alexander Bust Sculpture

Hartley Burr Alexander

Hartley Burr Alexander, Professor of Philosophy, was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1873. He spent his youth in the Midwest and his school years in Syracuse, Nebraska. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska in 1897. After receiving his doctorate in philosophy from Columbia University in 1901, he worked in the East … Continued

Have a Flag Flown

Requests to have a flag flown commemoratively at the Nebraska State Capitol should first be directed to the Secretary of State’s Office, phone (402)471-4070 or email: sos.info@nebraska.gov. During this initial contact please include name, address, email and phone number of requester.  Name of person being honored and why, preferred date to be flown, if possible, … Continued

Herminghaus Landscape

Hildreth Meiere

Hildreth Meiere was born in New York City in 1892 to a household where art was an important part of life. As a teenager she decided to become an artist and was taken to Florence, Italy to begin her studies. There she was exposed to classical art and the great artists of the Renaissance. Upon … Continued

Historic Rooms

Take a quick tour through the most distinguished chambers in the Capitol. 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 … Continued

History of Nebraska’s Capitols

In response to westward migration and the call for a trans-continental railroad Franklin Pierce signed the Nebraska-Kansas Act on May 30, 1854 creating the Nebraska Territory. The ensuing controversy over the location of the Territorial Capital in Omaha was not resolved until after Statehood in 1867, when the Legislature voted to move the State Capital … Continued

History of the Nebraska Capitol Building

In response to westward migration and the call for a trans-continental railroad Franklin Pierce signed the Nebraska-Kansas Act on May 30, 1854 creating the Nebraska Territory. The ensuing controversy over the location of the Territorial Capital in Omaha was not resolved until after Statehood in 1867, when the Legislature voted to move the State Capital … Continued

detail of corridor lamp

Home

Welcome to the Nebraska Capitol Updates from the Capitol 2021 Capitol Ornament Arrives Roxanne Smith • June 4, 2021 A Summer Evening at the Capitol Roxanne Smith • April 29, 2021 Virtual Youth Art Month Exhibit and Awards Roxanne Smith • March 8, 2021 COVID19 Impacts on the 107th Legislature Roxanne Smith • January 15, … Continued

Rotunda viewed from Great Hall

Host an Event

The Nebraska State Capitol is host to a variety of public and governmental events each year.  Official functions of government have priority for use of the capitol. Requests for events at the capitol by non-profit and not-for-profit groups with state-wide or larger scope are reviewed based on guidelines established by the Office of the Capitol … Continued

Inscription in the Vestibule

Inscriptions

Jury Decision

Lee Lawrie Sculptor

Lee Lawrie

Lee Lawrie was born in Rixdorf, Germany, in 1877, and came to America with his family at the age of four. His artistic talent revealed itself first as he sketched and drew the world around him as a young boy. At fourteen he was hired to do odd jobs in a sculptor’s studio, there he … Continued

Abe Lincoln Statue

Lincoln Monument

The Lincoln Monument on the West Plaza of the Nebraska State Capitol is the only structure on the grounds that predates Bertram Goodhue’s “Tower on the Plains” begun in 1922. When Daniel Chester French received the commission to produce the Lincoln statue in June 1909, he was one of America’s leading sculptors with works like … Continued

Location

The location of Nebraska’s capital city was determined by an act of the Nebraska Legislature on June 14, 1867. Moving the capital away from the eastern edge of the state in Omaha and further out into the new state was to encourage accessibility to the capital city from all parts of the newly created state. … Continued

Lost Objects

Masonry

In 1995 an inspection of the entire exterior surface of the Nebraska State Capitol was conducted by consultants. They determined that Nebraska’s seasonal temperature extremes and resulting freeze-thaw cycle had caused extensive movement and cracking in the stone building face and roof system sufficient to require major re-construction of these critical building components. The Nebraska … Continued

Masonry Projects

In 1995 an inspection of the entire exterior surface of the Nebraska State Capitol was conducted by consultants. They determined that Nebraska’s seasonal temperature extremes and resulting freeze-thaw cycle had caused extensive movement and cracking in the stone building face and roof system sufficient to require major reconstruction of these critical building components. The results … Continued

Media Kit

Memorial Chamber

The central room of the 14th Floor Observation Level is the Memorial Chamber, it is “dedicated to the forms of heroism called for in the public service and in devotion to humanity”. The dignity of the Chamber is derived from the monumental use of black marble-Black Belgian, Italian Porto Oro, and Vermont Verde Antique. The … Continued

Missing Furniture

Furnishings 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 … Continued

More Goodhue Buildings

Bertram Goodhue designed many churches and public buildings during his life, including: All Saint’s Church, Ashmont, Massachusetts, 1892 Church of Our Savior, Middleboro, Massachusetts, 1897 The Deborah Sayles Public Library, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, 1899 The Public Library, Nashua, New Hampshire, 1902 U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York, 1903-06 “El Furedis” Santa Barbara, California, 1903 … Continued

Murals and Paintings

Nebraska Capitol architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue included spaces on the walls of public areas for large scale public murals. The themes of these murals were discussed by Goodhue and thematic consultant Hartley Burr Alexander, and included in Alexander’s overall thematic program. On second floor, three were to be in the Vestibule, six in the Foyer … Continued

Nebraska Capitol Collections

Mission Statement Office of the Capitol Commission Nebraska Capitol Collections OCC/NCC Recognizing that the Office of the Capitol Commission is the main institution charged with the restoration, preservation, maintenance, and promotion of the Nebraska State Capitol building, and that the Capitol Collections are indispensable for such work, the OCC/NCC has adopted the following mission statement … Continued

Nebraska Capitol Commission

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 … Continued

Nebraska State Government in the Capitol

The Nebraska State Capitol was originally designed to house all offices of state government. As government has grown through the years, the service agencies, such as Health, Education and the Department of Roads were moved to auxiliary sites in Lincoln. Currently the three branches of government and their immediate support staff are located within the … Continued

Office of the Capitol Commission

The Office of the Capitol Commission, the administrative and operational arms of the Nebraska Capitol Commission, is staffed by highly skilled professionals who maintain the Nebraska State Capitol as the seat of Nebraska’s three branches of State Government. In addition to providing the functional setting for the activities of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches, … Continued

Panels and Sculptures

Thematic Consultant Hartley Burr Alexander and Capitol sculptor Lee Lawrie built upon Capitol architect Bertram Goodhue’s concept that the exterior of the building reflect the activities of Government which take place inside the building. The north façade of the Capitol, the main entrance, identifies the building as the seat of government without ever saying “Nebraska … Continued

Parking and Accessibility

Limited one and two hour parking is available immediately surrounding the Capitol on the public streets, additional longer term parking may be available in the blocks south, east and west of the Capitol. Parking garages are located within a few blocks walking distance of the Capitol. On the east and west side of the horseshoe … Continued

Past Projects

In 1989 a major restoration and renovation project was undertaken following the construction of a new facility to house the State’s Information Management Services. The project included 30,000 square feet of space in the Capitol vacated by data processing, and additional tower space. The project included the creation of two new public hearing rooms for … Continued

Photography

The Nebraska State Capitol offers many architectural settings for family and wedding photographs. Because the Capitol is public building private activities such as photography must not block public access or interfere with the functions of state government. Groups and individuals wishing to use the Capitol as a setting for their photographs must follow Office of … Continued

Preservation and Restoration

The Nebraska State Capitol, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 is also a Registered National Historic Landmark. Within the Capitol all areas are either Preservation Space or Adaptive Use Space. Preservation Spaces are those areas which possess a high degree of architectural finish and are primarily the ceremonial and public areas … Continued

Preservation and Restoration of the Capitol

The Nebraska State Capitol, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 is also a Registered National Historic Landmark. Within the Capitol all areas are either Preservation Space or Adaptive Use Space. Preservation Spaces are those areas which possess a high degree of architectural finish and are primarily the ceremonial and public areas … Continued

Privacy

Please be advised that all information which is collected by state agencies is likely to be considered a public record which is available for public review under the Nebraska Public Records Statutes unless there is a specific statute which allows that information to be kept confidential. An example of a specific statute which allows certain … Continued

Program and Commission Statement

Program Final Stage of Competition for the Selection of an Architect to Design and Supervise the Construction of a Capitol for the State of Nebraska Competitors Bliss & Faville, Balboa Bldg. San Francisco Ellery Davis, Security-Mutual Bldg. Lincoln Bertram G. Goodhue, 2 West 47th New York City John Latenser & Sons, Peters Trust Bldg. Omaha … Continued

Program and Commission Statement

Final Stage of Competition for the Selection of an Architect to Design and Supervise the Construction of a Capitol for the State of Nebraska Bliss & Faville, Balboa Bldg. San Francisco Ellery Davis, Security-Mutual Bldg. Lincoln Bertram G. Goodhue, 2 West 47th New York City John Latenser & Sons, Peters Trust Bldg. Omaha H. Van … Continued

Programs or Ceremonies

Project 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 … Continued

Early construction photo

Project Phases and Timeline

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 … Continued

Public Programs and Ceremonies

The Nebraska State Capitol is the seat of state government and beautiful monument representing Nebraska’s diverse people and their history. As an inspirational monument with beautiful public spaces it is considered a special location for programs and ceremonies. Programs and ceremonies in the Capitol must be sponsored by governmental, non-profit and not-for-profit groups of statewide … Continued

Public Tours

Rallies and News Conferences

The Nebraska State Capitol may be used by non-profit and not-for-profit or governmental groups as a site for rallies and news conferences to engage and educate the public. Groups must follow guidelines for use of the spaces available inside and outside the Capitol, guidelines below. Rallies are held on the exterior of the Capitol and … Continued

Recent Restorations

In 1989 a major restoration and renovation project was undertaken following the construction of a new facility to house the State’s Information Management Services. The project included 30,000 square feet of space in the Capitol vacated by data processing, and additional tower space. The project included the creation of two new public hearing rooms for … Continued

Report of the Jury for the Nebraska State Capitol Commission

Lincoln, Nebraska (June 26, 1920) — Believing that the best way to secure a design for a great and monumental building is to directly select a competent architect and then, by collaboration, through a series of studies, develop with him a scheme covering essential requirements; your Jury in this spirit, after analyzing for more than … Continued

Rotunda

The floor plan of the Capitol is a cross within a square and the Rotunda, 112 feet tall, is located at the intersection of the arms of the cross in the center of the building. The theme of the Rotunda is “Virtues of the State”. The eight winged figures in the dome form a celestial … Continued

Education

School Tours

Schedule a Tour Teachers and others wishing to schedule a Capitol Tour for their students should call (402) 471-0448 and speak with a guide. If necessary, please leave a message and the guide will return your call. Date and time requested (with second and third choices if needed) Teacher or contact person’s name Number in … Continued

Standing Abraham Lincoln Sculpture

The Lincoln Monument on the West Plaza of the Nebraska State Capitol is the only structure on the grounds that predates Bertram Goodhue’s “Tower on the Plains” begun in 1922. The Nebraska Legislature created the Lincoln Centennial Memorial Association on April 14, 1903, and authorized it to spend ten thousand dollars in state funds on … Continued

Supreme Court

Once each month, the Nebraska Supreme Court’s seven appointed justices hear oral arguments in an acoustically perfect chamber finished with American Walnut wood. The Supreme Court Chamber and its furnishings are constructed of American Walnut wood. The public benches, wainscoting, railing, and attorney’s tables and chairs are solid walnut. The Justice’s bench at the front … Continued

Teachers and Students

Teachers and students will find educational materials and curriculum which use the artwork and symbolism of the Nebraska State Capitol to reinforce the Nebraska State standards for art and social studies. Some of the exercises and slide shows are tied directly to the standards they address.  Other materials are more general in natural and follow … Continued

The Artwork

One of the things that makes the Nebraska Capitol so different from other state Capitols is the artwork. Capitol architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue was well versed in the use of ornament to enhance a building’s ability to relate meaning beyond its functional use as an enclosure. As a student of Gothic architecture, he was familiar … Continued

The Building

the history historic rooms the team who built it

The Building Team

The Courtyards

Capitol architect Bertram Goodhue’s design for the Nebraska State Capitol included four interior courtyards. The courtyards served several purposes. The cross in a square floor plan design allowed for the phased and cost saving construction of the new building around the old. Built without air conditioning, the courtyards with their fountains would provide a cooling … Continued

The Grounds

In 1999 the Nebraska State Capitol Landscape was co-listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the National Historic Landmark. This designation recognizes Bertram Goodhue’s intent that the setting for the Capitol play an important role in its monumental stature. Ernst Herminghaus, Nebraska’s first professionally trained Landscape Architect, designed the Capitol Landscape … Continued

Vestibule

The theme of the Vestibule is “Gifts of Nature to Man on the Plains”. The sun, an important gift of nature, is represented in the top of the dome, the chandelier and the large floor mosaic. In the Guastavino mosaic tile dome, surrounding the sun and a calendar featuring the four seasons is a large … Continued

Visit

Weddings

The Nebraska State Capitol is a beautiful monument with many spacious and grand public areas. Often the building is considered as a location for weddings. However, because the Capitol is a public building, private activities, such as weddings, must follow certain guidelines. By necessity, weddings in the Capitol are generally small and informal, with a … Continued

West Chamber

The West Legislative Chamber is decorated with scenes of the westward migration of the three nations to claim political control of Nebraska, Spain, France, and the United States. The West Chamber was chosen to house the new single governmental body because it was the larger of the two chambers. The two chambers are decorated to … Continued