Frequently Asked Questions and Official Answers
Do we have to go on tour to go to the top?
No, the tower observation decks are open, weather and project activity permitting, all public hours. The north tower elevators go to the 14th floor observation decks. There are views from the top of the Capitol in the Memorial Chamber section of the On-Line Guided Tour. During 2013 there may be limited access to the 14th floor observation decks due to the elevator upgrade project.
Detail Rotunda Floor Mosaic
What government offices are located in the Capitol?
The three branches of government, executive, legislative and judicial, and their support staff have offices in the Capitol. Some offices of state government are located in the Nebraska State Office Building on 14th Street between L and M Streets. Other state agencies are housed in office buildings throughout Lincoln.
Can I get a copy of my birth certificate in the Capitol?
No, Vital Records is located on the 1st floor of Gold’s Galleria at 10th and N Street in Lincoln.
What special events are held in the Capitol?
Noontime musical concerts, informational displays, news conferences, outdoor rallies, programs sponsored by non-profit or not-for-profit groups of statewide or larger scope and official state ceremonies are held in the Capitol. For information about scheduling a special event in the Capitol contact the Tourism Supervisor at (402) 471-0449.
How long do the tours take?
Depending on the time of year and group size tours take 30-55 minutes. Summertime public tours take 30 minutes; school tours take 55 minutes.
Where is the accessible entrance?
On the north side of the Capitol, under the main steps. Accessible parking is located on K Street at the north side of the building.
Is there much walking on the tour?
The tour traverses the 400 foot length of the Capitol and takes place on one level. There are benches along the route. Wheelchairs are available at the Capitol Security Office in the northeast corner of ground level Rotunda. Phone Security at (402)471-2400.
Do I need to call in advance to schedule a tour?
Generally only school tours and large groups of 20 or more need to call in advance, walk-ins are welcome to join any tour, but you may want to call to see if a large group is already scheduled or a special event scheduled which may interfere with your full enjoyment of the Capitol.
Where is Nebraska’s replica of the Liberty Bell?
Nebraska’s Liberty Bell is located in Antelope Park near the Veteran’s Memorial. From the Capitol, go south on 16th Street to A Street and turn left; follow A Street past 27th Street; the Lincoln Children’s Zoo will be on the left; Memorial Drive on the right will lead you into the park and to the Liberty Bell. Nebraska’s Liberty Bell is housed in a small domed and columned pavilion.
Are weddings allowed in the Capitol?
Weddings and wedding photography are allowed in the Capitol on a very limited basis following Office of the Capitol Commission Wedding and Wedding Photography Guidelines. Private activities such as weddings and wedding photography cannot block public access to any part of the Capitol. Please contact the Tourism Supervisor at (402) 471-0449 with questions about getting married in the Nebraska State Capitol. Advance notice on a Wedding Information Form or Wedding Photo Form is required and groups who do not provide advance notice may be unable to use the Capitol due to conflicts with other groups or activities.
Does the Capitol have a Gift Shop?
The Landmark Store is located on ground floor of the Capitol in the south hall. The Store is operated by the Nebraska State Historical Society and is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please call (402)471-2062 for more information.
Are photographs allowed in the Capitol?
General photography or videography of the Capitol for personal use is allowed in the Capitol and on tour, however it is appropriate to ask the guide before including them in an image. Photography and videography sessions using the Capitol as a background are allowed with prior notice, and no special equipment or lighting may be brought in or set up without prior approval. For information about the guidelines for using the Capitol for photography and videography sessions please contact the Tourism Supervisor at (402) 471-0449. Please contact the Tourism Supervisor with any questions about photography and videography in the Nebraska State Capitol.
Can we bring our lunch or snacks to the Capitol?
Visitors are encouraged to eat their lunches and snacks in the courtyards or on the pedestrian mall north of the Capitol. Picnics are not allowed in the public areas of the Capitol. The cafeteria is open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday.
Where can we park a RV while visiting the Capitol?
One hour recreational vehicle parking is allowed south of the Capitol , turn right from K Street onto 16th Street east of the Capitol, go two blocks, then turn right on G Street. Parking is indicated by bus parking signs.
Can the public visit the Governor’s Residence?
The public is welcome to tour the Residence on Thursday afternoon between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. For information please call (402) 471-3466.
When is the legislature in session?
The Unicameral Legislature begins in January of each year and meets 90 legislative days in odd numbered years and 60 legislative days in even numbered years. The Legislature holds public hearings during the first half of each session.
How big is the Nebraska State Capitol?
The Nebraska State Capitol is 400 feet tall and the square base of the Capitol is 437 feet on a side.
When was the building constructed?
1922 - 1932
How much did it cost?
Who was the architect of the Nebraska State Capitol?
Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue
Was the Capital always in Lincoln?
No, the territorial Capital was in Omaha, only since statehood in 1867 has Lincoln been the Capital.
Who thought up the ideas for the artwork in the Capitol?
University of Nebraska Professor of Philosophy Hartley Burr Alexander
How tall is the Sower, the statue on top?
The Sower is 19 1/2 feet tall on a 12 1/2 foot tall base of corn and wheat shocks.
What’s in the Capitol tower?
Where is the museum that used to be in the Capitol?
The Nebraska State Historical Society’s Museum of Nebraska History, is located at 15th and P Streets. Please call (402) 471-3270 for more information about the Museum of Nebraska History. The Nebraska Hall of Fame, administered by the Nebraska State Historical Society, is located in the Capitol.
Are You Interested in Seeing the Building in Person?We're open 7 days a week, so plan a visit here. Then, explore some photos and perhaps read more about the Memorial Chamber.
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 was constructed over a ten year period in four building phases. Construction began in 1922 and was completed in 1932. Total cost of the building was just under $10 million.
Capitol quick facts
- Construction started in 1922, completed in 1932.
- The architect was Bertram G. Goodhue.
- There are 15 floors above ground.
- The building is 400 feet tall.
- It is the third Nebraska State Capitol.
- It cost $9.8 million in 1932 dollars.
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- Saturday ⁄ Holidays: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Sunday: 1 to 5 p.m.
- Tours Available on the Hour
(Except at Noon)
- Open every day except Thanksgiving Day, the Friday after, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.