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The Architect

Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue

Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue was born in Pomfret, Connecticut on April 28, 1869. His early years were spent studying the arts and humanities at home. From his study of the classics, Goodhue learned of the great architectural styles and monuments of the ages. He later used this classical foundation in the design of the Nebraska State Capitol.

Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue

Goodhue, age 38 (Historical Society)

Goodhue’s architectural career began in 1884 with his apprenticeship at Renwick, Aspinwall and Russell of New York City. There Goodhue learned drafting and elements of design and composition. Upon his affiliation in 1891, with Cram and Wentworth, Goodhue refined his use of the Gothic form, bringing its design elements into the 20th Century with recognizable modern iconography.

In 1914, Goodhue established his own firm, wishing to expand his creativity beyond the confines of the Gothic. Goodhue refined classical architectural form with an eye toward a simpler more contemporary American architectural style. However, Goodhue was reluctant to abandon ornamentation completely for the strict geometry of Modernism displayed by his European contemporaries.

Goodhue’s artistic genius was allowed full creative freedom in the competition for the design of the third Nebraska State Capitol, his finest architectural achievement.

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Historic Rooms

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.


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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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1445 K Street
We’re on K, between 14th and 16th Streets
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509–4696
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  • Monday ‐ Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday ⁄ Holidays: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sunday: 1 to 5 p.m.
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