Nebraska State Capitol - Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 40° 48.527 W 096° 41.985
14T E 694020 N 4520076
Quick Description: The Nebraska State Capitol building is located in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Location: Nebraska, United States
Date Posted: 5/7/2011 2:15:59 PM
Waymark Code: WMBCWW
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member razalas
Views: 11

Long Description:
"The Nebraska State Capitol, located in Lincoln, Nebraska, is the capitol and seat of the Nebraska Legislature and houses other offices of the government of the U.S. state of Nebraska. One of the most distinctive statehouses in the United States, its height is surpassed only by the Louisiana State Capitol, which rises 34 stories but was influenced by the Nebraska State Capitol's design. The Nebraska State Capitol is the heaviest building in Lincoln, Nebraska, and the heaviest capitol building of any sort in North America.

The building was designed by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue and constructed between 1922 and 1932. The Indiana limestone structure draws on both Classical and Gothic architectural traditions, but represents major innovations in state capitol design.

The building is Nebraska's third state capitol building. Both the first and second, built in 1867 and 1882 respectively, had structural problems. The 1882 building was a classical design by the architect William H. Willcox. Preceding the Lincoln state capitol buildings were two capitols of the Nebraska Territory in Omaha, both built in the 1850s, before Nebraska was admitted to the Union in 1867.

The legislature authorized the Capitol Commission to be responsible for the construction of the building. The commission included the governor, the state engineer, and three members appointed by the governor. The appointed members were W. E. Hardy of Lincoln, W. H. Thompson of Grand Island, and Walter W. Head of Omaha. Samuel R. McKelvie, Charles W. Bryan, Adam McMullen and Arthur J. Weaver each chaired the commission as governor.

The architectural competition program was written by Omaha architect Thomas R. Kimball, who was then president of the AIA. The competition guidelines were innovative and progressive because they did not define plan, style, or material for the building. The program did specify, however, that they wanted an architect who would assemble a team (including sculpture, painter, and landscapist) to create a unified vision. The Commission chose three judges that would make the ultimate selection of an architect. Within the competition, well-known architects were chosen by the Commission to enter the competition anonymously before the judging panel. Firms competing included McKim, Mead, and White, H. Van Buren Magonigle, John Russell Pope, Paul Cret and Zantzinger, Borie and Medary, and Bertram G. Goodhue, who was not originally considered for the competition. After he was allowed to enter the competition, however, Goodhue was selected as the winner. His design drew on the Classical principles of austerity, abstract geometrical form, and hierarchical arrangements of parts, but broke away from the columns, pediment, and dome formula.

The capitol is often seen as a turning point in Goodhue’s career and the first major expression of what has been called his "freely interpreted classical style." The cross-axial plan is similar to a traditional Catholic church or cathedral. The building's four wings radiate from a central domed rotunda, architecturally separating the branches of government. The unarticulated windows and crisp flat surfaces anticipate the modern skyscraper. It is also the first U.S. state capitol with usable tower space.

On April 15, 1922 Governor Samuel R. McKelvie broke ground and construction began. The cost for the 122 m (400 ft) Indiana limestone structure amounted to $9,800,449.07. The funds were secured through a special capitol levy tax. The four-phase construction was completed in 10 years under the supervision of William Lefevre Younkin. The structure is most commonly nicknamed as The Tower of the Plains" - Wikipedia
Architect: Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue

Prize received: AIA Gold Medal

In what year: 1925

Website about the Architect: [Web Link]

Website about the building: [Web Link]

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