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Up in Nebraska: 1934

Up in Nebraska: 1934

June 1934. "Nebraska State Capitol, Lincoln. General view from southeast. Mayers, Murray & Phillip, successor architects to Bertram Goodhue." We had a bowling trophy that looked a lot like this. Gottscho-Schleisner photo. View full size.

 

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One More Factoid

The flag of the City of Lincoln, Nebraska features this building, among other things.

Common Cents

I lived in Lincoln for a couple of years in the 1970s and took a guided tour of this building. Impressive interior.

The story the tour guide told was that those common sense farmers that Banderboy refers to (however ostentatious their tastes) had the capitol building paid off in full before construction was completed - reportedly the only state capitol building (at that time anyway)of which that was true.

Even the streetlights are still there

One More Factoid

When the capitol was designed, Nebraska still had a bicameral legislature, so Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue designed the building with two legislative chambers. Only one is actually used for that purpose now. But as the tour guide said to us on my last visit to the building, they wouldn't know how to get by without that extra big space being available at all times.

New Car Smell

Spanking new 1934 Studebaker.

Ostentatious

I was always a little surprised that the common sense farmers of Nebraska were OK with this impractical monstrosity.

A real trophy

No bowling trophy was ever decorated like this building. The floors are all mosaic; the ceilings are all tiled or painted (except in the supreme court chambers, where they are coffered wood); there are murals and sculpture everywhere. It was built at the high water mark of American civil architecture and is worth a considerable detour to see.

Factoids

The Nebraska State Capitol has a nickname that is not quite suitable for this site, but does capture the tower's, ahem, essential appearance quite accurately. It also houses the country's only unicameral (single-house) legislature. Nebraska's by all accounts a well-governed state, among other things its unemployment rate is consistently among the lowest of all states, so the unique arrangement seems to work well.

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