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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 10, 1976)
wcdnehy, msrch 10, 1970
Nebraska 's state capitol building
called an architectural wonder
on tho map
Ey Ectsis Amnions
Last year more than 115,000 visitors toured the Ne
braska "State Capitol Eldg. They came from all 50 ttates,
and several foreign countries. What did they come to see?
The building's architectural design, said Hugh
Winchester, curator for State Building Services.
The capitol is one of the most modern in the nation,
Winchester said. Its architect, Bertram Goodhue of New
York, was a pioneer in skyscraper design, arfJ in 1922 he
designed the capitol-Nehraska's first skyscraper and one
of the first in the nation, Winchester said.
Goodhue and his assistants wanted something to
"stand out for the people of Nebraska," according to Win
chester. Winchester's office, known to capitol employes as
-Winchester's Cathedral" is full of books, design layouts
and papers on what 'makes the Nebraska State Capitol
unique among capitol buildings.
v Tower is dlstinguEhing feature
Winchester said its tower is what distinguishes Ne
braska's capitol from others.
Goodhue's design marked the beginning of a different
type of architecture, not only for state capitols but for
all buildings, Winchester said. The typical state capitol
before 1922 was a few stories high, with a short dome on
top, he said. y
Nebraska's capitol is "streamlined, much higher than
the others," he said. It is approximately 100,000 feet
high, he added. V
It also was one of the first buildings to have sculpture
on the outside, according to Winchester. It is made out of
a type of limestone called Indiana limestone, which is no
longer used in construction because of its high price, he
said. " . ,
People are amazed at the cost of the building, Win
chester said. Started in 1922, it cost $10 million to build
and was paid for upon completion in 1932, he said.
Today's cost $120 mCIon
Scott McLaughlin, architect for State Building Services,
said it would cost about $120 million today to build the
capitol as it now stands. '
McLaughlin said the building materials used and the
construction of the capitol are "of much superb quality"
that repairs are seldom necessary.
McLaughlin said the capital's construction is compar
able to that of the Parthenon in Greece, built in 400 B.C.
Parts of the Parthenon are still standing and McLaughlin
said he thinks Nebraska's capitol could conceivably last
Ose of seven architectural wonders ' '
The capitol has been called one of the seven architect
ural wonders of the modern world, Wmchester said.
A poll of American architects taken in 1932 inde ed
that they considered it the third wonder, behind I the
Lincoln Memorisl in Washington D.C. and New YorK
City's Empire State Ei f. he said.
Persons from across the globe are aware of the
Nebraska apitolbldg McLaughlin said. .
When McLaughlin worked for an architecture firm in
Hamburg, Germany, he said he told then he was frorn
Lincoln and their flrrt connect u "ts v&sie
Goodhue built that bu2ding."
' Architects and engineers come from around the world
to study the buCding, Winchester said.
McLaughlin said he thinks you could never build a
buZJir.g Die this again " The cooperation between arch
itects and artists who could do murals, mosaics and
sculptures does not exist anymore, he added.
Joleen Kugeinini Capitol Tourism Coordinator, said
about 300 persons participate in the seven capitol tours
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