State Capitol Building, Lincoln, Nebraska

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J. Stephen Conn on May 8, 2011

The Nebraska State Capitol building in Lincoln is the third to be built on the site. The design, by architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, was chosen from a nationwide competition in 1920. It is a 400-foot-tall domed office tower topped by a 19-foot-tall statue, "The Sower." This has been called the nation's "first truly vernacular State Capitol." None built before it had departed radically from the design of the National Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Inside the building is the Governor's Suite, chambers for the Supreme Court , State Senate, House of Representatives and other offices. There is an observation deck on the 14th floor and a 112-foot-tall rotunda in the center. Many outstanding works of art may be seen throughout the building - which is itself a work of art.

On the spring afternoon when I first visited the Capitol in Lincoln the State Legislature was in session and the place was a beehive of activity. I stood beneath the rotunda and watched as a few feet away a State Senator was being interviewed by a television crew. What impressed me was how important the Senator seemed to think his remarks were, and how very inconsequential his words and posturing really was in the greater scheme of things. The scene reminded me of the way I used to feel when I was a syndicated newspaper columnist and interviewing many well known celebrities and politicians. At that moment I felt very thankful that I am now retired (at least semi-retired) and out of the rat race.

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  • Uploaded on May 8, 2011
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    by J. Stephen Conn