Patience pays off

Midland Engineering replaces the copper roofs on the Nebraska State Capitol

The Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln, an Indiana limestone-clad building with a 400-foot-tall domed tower rising from its base, succeeds two territorial capitols and two state capitols.

The Nebraska Territory was created in 1854, and controversy regarding the Omaha location of the territorial capitol was not resolved until 1867 when Nebraska became a state. The Nebraska Legislature voted to construct the first state capitol at the western edge of settlement in the state in the village of Lancaster.

The village, which was to include the Nebraska State Capitol and the state's university, penitentiary and state hospital, was renamed Lincoln, and construction of the first state capitol commenced in 1867.

Built from 1867-68, the first state capitol was a two-story native limestone building with a central cupola. Because of poor construction and inferior building materials, the building soon began to crumble. Construction of a second state capitol building at the same site was completed in 1888; however, the building experienced the same problems. In 1919, the state legislature passed a bill to provide for construction of a third state capitol building, as well as provisions for a capitol commission to oversee its construction.