CH 3

West Facade

A Civil Society

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Take a Virtual Tour of the State Capitol. Click HERE to tour the West Facade of Nebraska's Beautiful Capitol.

Image of Nebraska State Capitol West Facade at sundown 0300_0101
© Capitolshots Photography

Bertram Goodhue, the architect of the Nebraska State Capitol, proposed having the building face west instead of north.  He thought the afternoon and setting sun would brighten and beautify his design.

West of the building was the memorial to Abraham Lincoln from the previous Capitol, and the planners were unwilling to move the statue.  Also, the city fathers of Lincoln wanted the Capitol facing north so that it faced the downtown area of Lincoln.

Dedication of Lincoln Monument 0300_0103

The Lincoln Monument on the West Plaza of the Nebraska State Capitol predates the building of the current capitol. In 1903 the Nebraska Legislature created the Abraham Lincoln Centennial Memorial Association and dedicated ten thousand dollars in state funds towards the monument.

The citizens of Lincoln commissioned Daniel Chester French in 1909 to create the statue of President Lincoln placed on the west side of the capitol square. The architectural setting for the monument was designed by Henry Bacon.

The monument was dedicated in 1912 as part of the 2nd Capitol grounds with William Jennings Bryan addressing the crowd. The etching on the monument is that of the Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address delivered at the dedication of the cemetery at Gettysburg Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863.

Gettysburg Address

Put Government to Work

Nebraska’s early government officials weren’t always clear about what their jobs or roles were, but through the years the government has been carefully structured to meet the needs of the state and its citizens. Nebraska’s current government has three branches, and each branch has a specific set of jobs: The legislative branch makes laws, the executive branch enforces laws and the judicial branch decides what is legal. Help the citizen find the right state officials to do handle each request.