Author Archives: Bryce Hastings

Has Anybody Here Designed a State Capitol?


Did any of the ten architectural teams competing in the 1920 design competition for the Nebraska State Capitol have previous experience in the design of a State Capitol?

McKim, Mead & White Architects of New York had designed the Rhode Island State House in Providence, Rhode Island that was constructed from 1895–1904. McKim, Mead & White was one of the most prestigious and internationally recognized architectural firms of this era. The firm was a major training ground for other prominent architects of the period. Continue reading

Nebraska’s State Capitol – Build Us a Tower



Nebraska State Capitol

The Nebraska State Capitol, constructed in Lincoln from 1922 to 1932, is not the only State Capitol that has a tower that provides functional office space as a centerpiece rather than an empty-spaced dome. The development of high-strength steel structural shapes and the invention of the elevator in the late19th century made the high-rise office tower possible. The Nebraska State Capitol 13-story tower rises 400’ above the ground.

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The Liberty Memorial – A Tale of Two Cities



The Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri was designed in 1921 as memorial to the fallen soldiers of World War I.

The Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln, Nebraska was designed in 1921 to house the three branches of state government and as a memorial to Nebraskans who had died in World War I.

Thomas Kimball, an Omaha architect, was elected national president of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1919 and served in that capacity for two years. A major issue confronting the national AIA at that time was the use of wide-open, free-for-all design competitions as a means of selecting architects for civic buildings. Kimball led the AIA effort for regulated design competitions each directed by a competent architectural advisor of the highest standards. The regulated design competitions would include a contract between the client and a selected group of architects who would receive payment for their work. A program for the competition and a construction budget would be prepared. A jury of architects would determine the winner of the competition. A typical jury might include an architect selected by the client, a second selected by the architectural advisor, and a third selected by the first two jurors.

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