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 operation of Bertram Goodhue’s state Capitol.
Upon statehood in 1867, the Nebraska legislature passed a law removing the capitol from Omaha. Thus, the first Nebraska Capitol Commission was created and given the task of finding a new location for the Capital City. Having established Lincoln as the new capital city, the Commission then set about platting the city and planning for the construction of the first capitol. The Commission was reformed to guide construction of the second capitol in the 1880’s. It was reformed in 1917 to hold a nation-wide architectural competition and oversee the construction of a third capitol. At that time Commission membership included the Governor, the State Engineer and three citizens. Through the years the Capitol Commission has been reactivated to hold mural competitions to complete Hartley Burr Alexander’s thematic program for the capitol. The 2004 legislation creating the Office of the Capitol Commission declared the Nebraska Capitol Commission shall be the custodian of the State Capitol and Grounds. The current Capitol Commission is chaired by the Governor and membership includes the Speaker of the Legislature, the Chief Justice, the Dean of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Architecture, the Executive Director of the Nebraska State Historical Society and one member, appointed by the Governor, from each of Nebraska’s three congressional districts.
The Commission meets quarterly in the capitol to review and oversee the maintenance and preservation of the capitol, to discuss and approve the upcoming budget and projects for the Office of the Capitol Commission and to set administrative rules for the use of the capitol. The Nebraska Capitol Commission annually meets with the Capitol Environs Commission, a joint city/state body, to coordinate the mutual interests of the State of Nebraska and City of Lincoln in protecting and enhancing the capitol, its site and environs.
For more information about the Nebraska Capitol Commission please contact the Capitol Administrator at (402) 471-6691.
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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