I don't get to Lincoln, Nebraska too often, but when time permits a visit to our capitol building is always a nice stop. So it was we found ourselves at the Art Deco treasure on the prairie for an hour a few weeks ago.
Built between 1922-1932 the building is different from other US state capitols as it is built as an office tower designed by architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue.
From the state website:
Clad with Indiana limestone, the Capitol has a low, wide base in the plan of a “cross within a square”, creating four interior courtyards. The square base is 437 feet on a side and three levels in height. From the center of this base rises a 400 foot domed tower, crowned with the 19 foot tall bronze figure of “The Sower”. A thematic progression of ornamentation extends from the principal entrance on the north, westward around the exterior of the building and through the building’s interior. The building’s exterior stone carvings represent historic events in the 3000 year evolution of democracy as a form of government. The ornamental interior features numerous marble-columned chambers with vaulted polychrome tile ceilings, marble mosaic floors and murals depicting the natural and social history of Nebraska’s Native American and Pioneer cultures.
If you are interested in a more in-depth story of our beautiful capitol building, the state website has much more information (and excellent photos). It may be found HERE.
Nope. Not getting me in that lift. I'll take the stairs, thanks.
The second floor mosaics...
Original light fixtures...
The legislative chamber. Nebraska has a unicameral system where party affiliations are,( in theory anyway) irrelevant. In the past this has afforded opportunities for people from different political parties to work together. These days? Sigh.
The capitol hallways are fascinating, though it is easy to get lost if you don't know where you're headed. Mr. ETB worked there twenty years ago, and to his surprise ran into someone he knew! It was nice for him to have a catch up.
Sometimes the best parts of a building are only viewed by looking up.
The hall with busts of "Famous Nebraskans".
A nice view of the courtyard from the 2nd floor.
Made the kid pose for a photo with William Jennings Bryan, as you do. Bryan got a bad rap for being on the wrong side of the Scopes Trial, but was otherwise politically progressive. He ran for president several times, never winning.
Couldn't resist a selfie in the restroom mirror. The stalls are marble with heavy, wooden, antique doors that I'm pretty sure are still boasting the original 1930s hardware.
I wonder if these public payphones ever get used?
Would you look at who just crawled out of the primordial ooze (no, not the Governor but good guess)...
Even the heating grates are ornate. The capitol didn't really have proper HVAC stuff until they started working on it in the early 2000s. The windows do open, and the design of the building keeps it generally cool, though not enough for the weather we get now. So the updating of the system continues.
Most of the heat goes up there, where it doesn't matter.
Here's the opposite side of the room.
The balcony rail is carved from some sort of marble (not much info online, unfortunately) that looks like alabaster (I'm pretty sure it isn't).
My phone isn't up to the task of photographing the light fixtures, but I tried!
That concludes our visit to the Nebraska State Capitol.
Before we leave, here's a view of a building across the street from the same time period. I believe it was originally an insurance company, though it is unclear what is in there today. The absence of signs makes me think it is government offices, but I don't really know. Not that it matters.
And that concludes our (too) short visit to the Nebraska State Capitol.