CITY OF LINCOLN HISTORY

Lancaster County

In 1854 Congress established the Nebraska Territory which initially was divided into nine counties. What is now Lancaster was part of Cass County.

On March 6, 1855 the territorial legislature passed a law establishing the name and the first boundaries of Lancaster County. The county's name first appeared on a map in 1857. The county was organized on an autumn day in 1859 when a meeting was held on the east bank of Salt Creek near what is now the train depot. On October 10, 1859 county officers were elected. In 1863, the boundaries of the county, as we know them today, were formed. In 1864 a village called Lancaster was platted and served as the county seat.

Lincoln

Three commissioners, appointed by the Legislature to select a capital for the new state of Nebraska, made their historic decision on July 29, 1867. The capital, called Lincoln, would be located on the site of Lancaster, a tiny settlement of 30 inhabitants, near Salt Basin in Lancaster County.

When Nebraska was a territory, there was dissatisfaction, particularly among those living south of the Platte, with the choice of Omaha as the capital. A drive to move the capital began as soon as Nebraska was admitted to the Union. David Butler, governor at that time, sympathized with the anti-Omaha group.

In a special session, the Legislature passed a bill to provide for the location of the seat of government of the State of Nebraska, and the erection of public buildings thereat. The bill established a commission made up of the Governor, Secretary of State, and Auditor. The commission was to select a site of not less than 650 acres from state-owned land within Lancaster, Seward, Butler and/or Saunders counties. The name of the town was to be Capital City.

J.H.N. Patrick, a Douglas County Democrat, proposed changing the name to Lincoln. Patrick thought the name Lincoln would discourage Democratic votes from south of the Platte, thus enabling Omaha to become the capital. Republican Abraham Lincoln, then president, was not the universally admired hero he is today. But Democrats south of the Platte wanted the capital and refused to let politics sway their loyalty to their district. They voted unanimously for relocation of the capital, which would be called Lincoln.

Lincoln was incorporated on April 7, 1869 as a village. On March 18, 1871 it was reorganized into a Second Class City with its own charter as provided by the state legislature for cities between 1,500 and 15,000 population.

                                                Photograph of Thomas P. Kennard House

                                                          Imagine starting a city from scratch!

Dedicated as the Nebraska Statehood Memorial in 1968, the Kennard House is the oldest standing structure in Lincoln's original plat. At the 1869 italianate home of Nebraska's first Secretary of State, Thomas P. Kennard, In 1869 Nebraska was a newly formed state and the capital city of Lincoln an isolated village on the prairie. To demonstrate their own confidence in the future of the prairie capital and to instill confidence in others, the three principal officials of the state government constructed imposing masonry houses. These three buildings of permanence were in a town otherwise uncertain of its future economy, even of its future physical existence.Of these three buildings, only the residence of Secretary of State Thomas P. Kennard still stands. It is the oldest house within the original plat of Lincoln. In 1966-68 it was dedicated as the Nebraska Statehood Memorial. Renovated and partially restored, it remains a monument to all the men and women who had the optimism and courage to build a future on the treeless prairies of Nebraska.

The oldest residence in Lincoln has been restored to the 1870s with tours available year round.

History of the City Seal

The City Seal, in one form or another, has been a symbol of Lincoln government for nearly 100 years. A profile of President Abraham Lincoln, whose name was given to the capital city, has been a part of the Seal since 1895 when it appeared in the Citys first revised ordinance book.

The inscription, "Incorporated March 18, 1871," is included on the Seal in a half circle around the head of Lincoln and the word "Seal" below.

During Lincoln's centennial in 1967, the City Council amended the Seal to include the founding date of July 29, 1867, and the corrected incorporation date of April 7, 1869.

Lincolns Flag City Flag

The City of Lincoln's flag is patterned after an entry submitted by Mrs. J.E. Fiselman in a 1931 flag design competition. The winning entry depicts Lincoln's role as an agricultural center and the capital of Nebraska.

The flag's background is blue and it includes a shock of wheat, two yellow ears of corn with green husks, and Nebraska's Capitol Building. At the flag's dedication ceremony, Acting Mayor Blake reminded citizens of the importance of Lincoln's agricultural heritage.

Lancaster County Flag County Flag

In 1983, County Commissioner Jan Gauger suggested that a contest be held to design a county flag.

In an unanimous decision, the County Board selected a flag designed by Doug Daharsh. The green flag includes the County-City Building and two horse-drawn plows at the center. It joined four other flags displayed on poles at the east entrance of the Hall of Justice.

Lincoln Today

Today, Lincoln is Nebraska's second largest city with a population of about 201,250. It's a city of diverse cultural, educational and economic opportunities.

Government is its biggest employer with city, county, state and federal offices located here. The State Capitol is one of our major tourist attractions.

The University of Nebraska's athletic endeavors are well recognized. On football game days, Memorial Stadium becomes Nebraska's third largest city when 76,000 people watch the Big Red Cornhuskers.

Wesleyan University and Union College are also located in Lincoln.

There are plenty of entertainment opportunities in Lincoln. Our institutions of higher learning play a major role in Lincoln's cultural and entertainment life. The Lied Center, located on the edge of UNL's downtown campus, opened in 1990 and showcases musical and dramatic performances by internationally known performers. The Nebraska State Fair is held in early September and the Fairgrounds also offer horse racing. Lincoln is also rich in historical attractions, parks, gardens, zoos and annual special events.

Over the years, Lincoln's downtown has evolved into an entertainment, mixed-use, and retail/office center. The historic Haymarket District is located on the west edge of the downtown. Lincoln has several major shopping areas and a large shopping center is located between Cotner Blvd. and 66th St. on "O".

Lincoln's industrial base is strong and growing. Several important industries established before the turn of the century are based in Lincoln, and new ones are added each year. Some of the manufacturing firms located here include: Goodyear Tire and Rubber; Outboard Marine Corporation; Dorsey-Sandoz Laboratories; Harris Laboratories; Kawasaki Motors Corp.; Cushman Inc.; Yankee Hill Brick Manufacturing, and Gooch Milling and Elevator Company. In all, there are more than 200 firms representing more than 100 kinds of manufacturing. One of our largest industries is insurance, with more than 20 companies based in Lincoln.

Lincoln offers many opportunities for people to become involved in the decision making process. Citizens interested in being appointed to advisory boards, committees or commissions should contact the Mayor's office.

Lincoln's reputation as one of the finest cities in the Midwest to raise a family is well-deserved. But Lincoln gained this reputation because its citizens are willing partners in making Lincoln an even better place to live.

The County-City Building

The process of planning a joint County-City Building dates back to the 1940's. Ground for the $5 million complex at 10th & Lincoln Mall was not broken until 1966. The buildings five floors house both City and County agencies, including the Mayor, City Council, and County Commissioners. County, District, and Juvenile Courts are located in the building.

In 1989, construction began on a new detention center just south of the County-City Building. The building is connected to the County-City Building now known as the Hall of Justice by elevated walkways. It was dedicated in 1991 and houses County and City prisoners and some administrative offices.


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City of Lincoln/Lancaster County

Planning Department/Parks & Recreation Department
Wilderness Park
History

Located along the western edge of Lincoln, Wilderness Park is a 1475 acre undeveloped park that has been allowed to let nature rule. It is not a true wilderness, however it does provide visitors the opportunity to understand nature and gives the sense of wilderness within an urban area. It provides Lincoln with a park that is not manicured or developed like most other urban parks, but instead maintained so wilderness values are enhanced. Owned by the County, the property is managed by the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department.
Discussions about acquiring the property for a park began in 1906 when Professor E.H. Barbour envisioned wooded parks along Salt Creek, Oak Creek, Antelope Creek, and Dead Man's Run. While Antelope Creek was already on its way to becoming a park, the Salt Creek woodlands remained in private ownership until the 1960's, when discussions once again surfaced about acquiring the area for park property.


The Salt Valley Watershed District had been looking at some way to retain water upstream of Lincoln where the creek had been channelized. It was thought that if the land upstream from Lincoln could remain unchanneled, it would serve as a natural flood retention area. During this time, the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department had been considering acquisition of part of the property for a "primitive type" park. After determining that the land could be acquired and serve both purposes, a committee of Lincoln leaders was formed to provide guidance for acquisition of the land. By 1972, acquisition of all parcels was finalized and a master plan for the park was developed.

It was estimated in 1972 that 750-800 acres, or about 54% of the park, was covered with trees at this time and that the remaining 600-650 acres, or 46% of the total park acreage, was non-wooded and consisted of cultivated fields, abandoned fields, hedge rows, railroad and highway right-of-ways, Salt Creek, dwellings, dumps, and the like which had a mixed vegetative cover or no cover at all.

The master plan developed for the park included a fauna and flora inventory as well as a conceptual idea of how to develop and manage various areas of the park. Many ideas were implemented including constructing parking lots, hiking, biking and equestrian trails, and providing programming for schools and families. Ideas not implemented included construction of a fence around much of the park and developing an arboretum introducing new ornamental species. This area would function as a park through which people could drive or walk through as well as providing a greenhouse for propagating these new species.

Wilderness Park holds a lot of Lincoln's history. Much of the reason why the property remained undeveloped was because of the Atchison and Nebraska Railroad that was completed along the east side of Salt Creek in 1877, and the Union Pacific Railroad that paralleled its course. These lines and the fact that much of the park was in a floodplain deterred any major development on the property.

The southern portion of Wilderness, near 27th and Saltillo Road, was settled in the 1860's. It was settled by John Cadman, an individual who saw great potential for the area as a short-cut between Nebraska City and Fort Kearney. The residents constructed a bridge over Salt Creek that would accommodate heavy wagons. This was a popular route that linked the river port community of Nebraska City with the Oregon and Mormon trails. It was estimated that by 1865, 75% of the westward traffic followed this cutoff route. The village of Saltillo included a stage station, blacksmith shop, a school house and church. Saltillo however faded into obscurity around the turn of the century. The original plat for Saltillo was abandoned just last year.

In the 1930's the southern area of Wilderness where the community of Saltillo was originally located, was known as Auto Park. The Lincoln Auto Club leased the land and put up picnic tables, a shelter, fireplaces, and baseball diamond. A flood in 1942 swept through this area and closed down the club. The building that was at this location was taken down two years ago. Since becoming part of Wilderness Park, the building had served as storage for the Parks and Recreation Department and at one time served as a satellite Nature Center for the Pioneers Park Nature Center.

In 1888, the north end of what is now the Day Camp Area of Wilderness Park had been developed into Lincoln Park. This area could be reached by horse-drawn buggy or trolley car. It consisted of 200 acres of magnificent shade trees and grassy plots for picnics and activities. Lincoln Park Restaurant was located in this area, a favorite place to eat. Visitors to the area could spend the afternoon boating on mill pond. The pond was formed behind a dam that Colonel Crabb had built to trap and divert water through a gully and then over the water wheel of a grist mill. The grist mill ceased operation, however the pond remained and supplied excellent boating and fishing. There was square dancing in the dance hall, concerts in the open-air pavilion, and games in the oriental style arcade.

In 1897, the Nebraska Epworth League began to hold annual assemblies at Lincoln Park. Called Chautauquas, these gatherings were a forum for religious training, social acquaintance, rousing speeches, and music. By 1903, The Epworth League purchased 40 acres south of Lincoln Park to be used just for these meetings. This area is referred to now as the Epworth Area of Wilderness Park. It also had a lake that was the result of damming an abandoned creek channel and pumping water to fill it. This area became Epworth Lake Park, with 857 tent sites staked off, flanking shady avenues having the ability to accommodate 2,500 people as well as a 70 x 70-foot Great Hall that could seat 4,000 people. Lincoln Park changed to more of an amusement park during this time. It also changed its name to Electric Park in 1916. Electricity brought to the area allowed for lights, a Ferris wheel and a merry-go-round. There was a mile-long race track and hippodrome Theater.
Lincoln Park was eventually closed as a result of an amusement development called Burlington Beach. Burlington Beach was located where Capital Beach Lake is today. The land where Lincoln Park was located, was acquired by Burlington Railroad to pump fresh water from an improved dam that once was used for the grist mill. Water in the Burlington area was salty causing corrosion to the locomotives. This land was eventually rented to the Boy Scouts who developed Camp Minus-kuya. They built a swimming pool, Long House, and a lodge with cooking and dining facilities. There also was a suspension bridge and cable-and-pulley crossing. The scouts used this property until it became Wilderness Park. (This editor was familar with this cable crossing of salt creek and the log cabin as a member of Boy Scout Troop 22 in the 1950's).

The age of the radio in the 1930's brought a decrease in the attendance at Epworth since people could hear religion, music, drama, and comedy right in their homes. A Flood in 1942 destroyed the buildings in Epworth Park, the dam was dynamited for flood control. The old arch that spanned the entry remains as well as relics of structures that were once there. This area was purchased by Arnott Folsom who willed it to the City of Lincoln with request that it be included in Wilderness Park. This is the only section of the park that is owned by the City of Lincoln.

Many changes have taken place since the area became Wilderness Park. Old fields have been left to run their course and eventually become a part of the forest that was there, other fields have been planted with trees and native grasses. Areas where cattle once grazed are slowly recovering. Today park visitors have the opportunity to sense what the first pioneers sensed when they came through and to sense an unmanicured environment so typical with other parks. The park is a place to discover and explore and to provide a sense of wonderment for those that visit.

Source: This article was prepared by the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department, and appeared in the May 17, 1998, edition of the Lincoln Journal-Star. Some of the information was drawn from the article, "A Park Called Wilderness," written by Bill Beachy for the February 1981, Nebraskaland Magazine.

 The Lincoln Regional Center Historical Marker

In 1868, the Nebraska Legislature authorized the construction of a facility to care for mentally ill persons. The 160 acre site was located just north of the village of Yankee Hill and Southwest of Lincoln, Nebraska, the newly established State Capitol. Through this area ran the Nebraska City - Fort Kearny cuttoff, a wagon road used in the 1860's to transport freight from the Missouri River to military posts and settlements in the Platte Valley

The Nebraska Hospital for the Insane opened on December 1870 and was destroyed by fire the following April. A new building was completed in 1872. The name of the facility was changed to the Lincoln State Hospital in 1921 and then to the Lincoln Regional Center in 1969. From an initial total of less than 50 patients, the number of patients has varied as methods of diagnosis and treatment of mental illness have changed. In 1955, the patient census was 1750. By the 1980's, with modern medicines and an emphasis on out-patient care, the Hospital had fewer than 250 residence.

This by the Department of Public Institutions, NSHS

Double click on the thumbnail pictures to bring them to full size.

                     NATIONAL REGISTERED HISTORICAL SITES IN LINCOLN

Nebraska State Capitol Nebraska State Capitol (NHL) [LC13:D08-001]

The capitol was constructed in 1922-32 and was designed by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, one of America's foremost architects. The structure evolved through an elaborate competition that was widely publicized in journals and newspapers. Goodhue's design incorporated a 400-foot tower as the major architectural feature, producing a modernistic skyscraper. The building is rich in decorative art and symbolism and demonstrates the skills of sculptor Lee Lawrie and Dr. Hartley Burr Alexander, a professor of philosophy at the University of Nebraska. The capitol, located in Lincoln, is internationally recognized as a building of outstanding architectural distinction.

Ferguson House  William H. Ferguson House [LC13:D08-003]

Built in 1909-11, the house is an excellent example of the Renaissance Revival style. It was designed by Cleveland architects Searles, Hirsh, and Gavin. William Henry Ferguson was a Lincoln capitalist and entrepreneur, probably best known as a successful grain merchant.

Kennard House  Thomas P. Kennard House (Nebraska Statehood Memorial) [LC13:D08-004]

The Italianate brick house was built in 1869 as the residence of Secretary of State Thomas P. Kennard, one of three commissioners who selected Lincoln as the state capital. In 1965 the state legislature designated the Kennard House, located in Lincoln, as the "Nebraska Statehood Memorial" and directed the Nebraska State Historical Society to restore it.

Harris House  Harris House [LC13:D08-009]

The house, located in Lincoln, is a fine example of the Neo-Classical Revival style. The large frame dwelling was built in 1901-3 for Sarah F. Harris, widow of George Harris, who served as a land commissioner for the Burlington and Missouri Railroad. He was responsible for inducing immigrants to purchase land along the Burlington Railroad in Nebraska. John F. Harris, a son, donated the land that became "Pioneers Park" in honor of his parents in 1928.

Scottish Rite Temple  Scottish Rite Temple [LC13:D08-013]

Lincoln's Scottish Rite Temple is a reinforced concrete, Neo-Classical Revival style building sheathed in Indiana limestone. The temple's most prominent feature is a colossal order of ten Roman Doric columns on the front facade. By 1916 when the temple was constructed, there were seventeen Masonic organizations in the city. On April 6, 1916, Lincoln's Delta Lodge of Perfection No. 4 voted to build a new Scottish Rite Temple. The building was designed by Ellery L. Davis, Lincoln's leading architect in the first half of the twentieth century.

YWCA Building  Young Women's Christian Association Building (YWCA Building) [LC13:D08-018]

The Young Women's Christian Association of Lincoln was organized in 1886, incorporated under Nebraska law in 1893, and chartered as a member of the YWCA National Board in 1897. The Georgian Revival building was completed in 1932 on the site of the original facility. The three-story, H-shaped building is brick with limestone trim and was designed by the Lincoln architectural firm of Meginnis and Schaumberg.

Synagogue Tifereth Israel Synagogue [LC13:D08-264]

The former Tifereth Israel Synagogue is a fine example of Neo-Classicism as used in small-scaled synagogue architecture in the early twentieth century. Located in Lincoln the building is easily recognizable as a Jewish house of worship by the prominent Star of David on the front facade. The Tifereth Israel Synagogue was dedicated on May 25, 1913, and served the Orthodox Jewish congregation until the late 1950s when a new synagogue was built.

Antelope Grocery  Antelope Grocery [LC13:D08-364]

Built in 1922 as a mixed use (commercial and apartment) building, the two-story brick and stucco structure incorporates architectural elements common to Period houses. The Lincoln architectural firm of Fiske and Meginnis designed the building to be compatible with the surrounding Lincoln residential neighborhood.

Rock Island Depot  Rock Island Depot [LC13:D09-001]

The Lincoln depot is one of Nebraska's finest remaining nineteenth century railroad depots and an excellent example of the Chateauesque style. Few exterior alterations have occurred since the depot's construction in 1892-93. The building has been adapted for various commercial uses in recent years.

Syford House Lewis-Syford House [LC13:D09-002]

The French Second Empire dwelling was constructed about 1878 for the Reverend Elisha M. Lewis, a Presbyterian missionary. The house is Lincoln's best example of this style. The house was later sold to the Syford family, who owned it from approximately 1904 to 1965, when it was donated to the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation.

Taylor House  Eddy-Taylor House [LC13:D09-356]

Located in Lincoln, the house is a fine product of the Queen Anne style executed in brick. Constructed about 1891 by a local developer, Ambrose Eddy, the house was sold in 1902 to William George Langworthy Taylor, a distinguished member of the University of Nebraska faculty.

Williams House Royer-Williams House [LC13:D09-383]

Constructed in the late 1880s in Lincoln, the Royer-Williams House is a fine product of the Queen Anne style. The frame dwelling was originally built by Henry Royer, a carpenter, and later used as a residence by Hattie Plum Williams, a University of Nebraska scholar whose pioneering work in ethnic studies related to the Germans from Russia.

Fraternity House Phi Delta Theta Fraternity House [LC13:D09-511]

Located in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln environs, the three-story Art Deco building is sheathed in Kansas limestone. Martin I. Aitken designed the chapter house in 1937. A Lincoln native who graduated from the University of Nebraska and from Yale School of Architecture, Aitken established an architectural practice in Lincoln around 1937. In later years he was affiliated with the firm Aitken, Hazen, Hoffman, and Miller.

Bell House  Jasper Newton Bell House [LC13:D10-120]

Located in Lincoln's near northeast suburb, the Jasper Newton Bell House is one of the most notable dwellings in the Clinton and Malone neighborhoods. The one-and-one-half-story frame house is a fine, simplified Renaissance Revival rendition of the popular "square" or "cubic" type house, one of Nebraska's most common house types. The house probably was built by its owner, Jasper Newton Bell, a carpenter.

State Arsenal  State Arsenal (Nebraska National Guard Arsenal Building) [LC13:D11-017]

The State Arsenal, built in 1913, was the first permanent facility provided by the Nebraska legislature for support of the Nebraska National Guard, successor to the Nebraska Volunteer Militia. The two-story, rectangular, concrete and brick building was used by the guard as a warehouse until 1963, when it was transferred to the state fair board. Today the building, located in Lincoln, serves as a museum.

Municipal 
  Plant Municipal Lighting and Waterworks Plant [LC13:E06-002]

The A Street Power and Water Station, a flat-roofed structure of red brick with stone and brick trim, is an industrial building designed in the Neo-Classical Revival style by Fiske and Meginnis, a local partnership especially active in municipal architecture in the 1920s. In 1904 Lincoln voters authorized a municipal electric plant to pump water and light streets. It was located near the well on A Street. In 1913 the city authorized sale of power to consumers, much enlarging the kilowatt capacity of the A Street plant. In the spring of 1921 the city council voted to build a new combined pumping station and powerhouse, with a substantial increase in generating capacity. The current building was constructed in 1921-22 after the approval of bond issues for water system and municipal lighting improvements. It has been rehabilitated as residential units.

Nimrod Ross House [LC13:E08-236]

The Nimrod Ross House in the Woods Park neighborhood of Lincoln is a small, single-story wood-frame cottage constructed in 1903. It is significant for its association with broad patterns of employment opportunity for the African American community in the city.

Wyuka Cemetery Wyuka Cemetery [LC13:E09-001]

The cemetery is important to the history of landscape design as one of the few, and the oldest, examples of a "rural" or "park" design cemetery in Nebraska. It was established in 1869 by the Nebraska legislature as a state cemetery for the infant city of Lincoln.

Trago T. McWilliams House [LC13:E11-090]

Constructed in 1890 the Trago T. McWilliams House in the Clinton neighborhood of Lincoln is a small, single-story wood-frame cottage. It is significant for its association with Trago T. McWilliams, whose work as an advocate for the betterment of Lincoln's African American community and as a churchman was recognized by governors, mayors, the religious community, and the broad Lincoln community.

Christian Record Building  Christian Record Building [LC13:F03-113]

The Christian Record Building is located in the College View neighborhood of Lincoln, near the campus of Union College. The two-story brick and limestone structure, erected in 1936, displays elements of the Art Deco style. It was designed and built by local contractor, Felix A. Lorenz, a graduate of Union College. The Christian Record Association was founded in 1899 in Battle Creek, Michigan, with support from the Seventh-Day Adventist General Conference. In 1900 the association began publishing The Christian Record, the oldest continuously published Braille periodical in the United States. The association later relocated in Lincoln. The Christian Record Building is the only remaining historic structure associated with the organization.

Library College View Public Library [LC13:F03-282]

The building reflects the state of the art in design and use for library buildings erected in smaller communities during the first two decades of the twentieth century. Designed in a simplified Neo-Classical Revival style, the library was constructed in 1914 in the town of College View (now a neighborhood in southeast Lincoln) with funds from an Andrew Carnegie grant.

Fairview  William Jennings Bryan House (Fairview; NHL) [LC13:F06-001]

For fifteen years, Fairview was the Lincoln home of William Jennings Bryan, a nationally known political leader and orator. Bryan held lawn parties, public receptions and political rallies at Fairview. Designed by Lincoln architect Artemus Roberts, and built in 1902-3, the house is a fine example of the Queen Anne style in transition and incorporates Neo-Classical Revival elements in its design.

Old Main  Old Main, Nebraska Wesleyan University [LC13:F12-001]

The three-story Richardsonian Romanesque structure was constructed as the main building for the Nebraska Wesleyan University campus in 1887-88. It was designed by architects Gibbs and Parker of Kansas City. "Old Main" is a campus landmark, reflecting the early history of the Lincoln-based university.

Apartments St. Charles Apartments [LC13:F12-225]

When St. Charles Apartments were built in 1923-24, University Place, Nebraska, was an incorporated town with a population of about 5,000. Universitv Place was annexed by Lincoln in 1926. St. Charles was designed to accommodate sixteen dwelling units and was the first brick apartment house built in University Place and the only one erected before annexation. The building, which incorporates Neo-Classical Revival motifs, was constructed by William Henry Seng, a major contractor in the University Place area during the 1920s and 1930s.

Bank First State Bank of Bethany [LC13:G11-198]

The former bank, built about 1914 in the town of Bethany (now a neighborhood in northeast Lincoln), is a one-story brick building with simple Neo-Classical Revival trim. It is the most substantial commercial building remaining from the period before Bethany's annexation by Lincoln in 1926. The bank was founded in 1904 with C. W. Fuller, a Bethany grain elevator owner, as president. The bank failed in 1930. The building has since served various educational and commercial purposes.

Whitehall Whitehall (Olive White House) [LC13:G12-011]

The Neo-Classical Revival style house was built for Mrs. Olive White, widow of C. C. White, owner of the Crete Mills from 1888 to 1895. Mr. White was a member of the Nebraska Wesleyan University's Board of Trustees for many years and an avid supporter of the institution. After her husband's death, Mrs. White moved to Lincoln, where she built the residence in 1910 near the Wesleyan University campus. Since 1926 the house has been used by the state of Nebraska as a home for children.

 Lincoln Army Air Field Regimental Chapel [LC13:B15W-001]

The Lincoln Army Air Field Regimental Chapel was constructed in May 1942. The building is significant for its association with the World War II Lincoln Army Air Field. It is also significant as a good representation of building technology used in World War II.

Watkins House Albert Watkins House [LC13:C07-791]

The Watkins house, built in 1887, is significant as the residence of Albert Watkins, an early Nebraska historian who wrote and edited one of the first scholarly histories of the state. He occupied the house for the final thirty-six of his forty-one years in Lincoln. No other property exists that was as directly associated with Watkins, especially during the entire span during which he produced the Illustrated History of Nebraska. Furthermore, no other property as clearly associated with an early historian of Nebraska appears to exist.

Apartments President and Ambassador Apartments [LC13:C08-026]

The President and Ambassador Apartments, located in Lincoln, are a pair of five-story, flat-roofed, apartment buildings. They were constructed in 1928-29 of reinforced concrete with red brick veneer and limestone trim. They are outstanding examples of the final stage of historic apartment construction in Lincoln. They are very prominently sited adjacent to the State Capitol and possess a high degree of integrity.

Bank Building  First National Bank Building [LC13:C08-299]

The First National Bank Building, constructed in 1910-11, is significant for its association with the First National Bank, a financial institution that was influential in the development of the city of Lincoln. The building also has architectural significance as a representative example constructed in the Commercial-style.

Locomotive C.B.&Q. Locomotive No. 710 [LC13:C09-149]

The Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Steam locomotive No. 710 is a 4-6-0 "Tenwheeler" steam locomotive built in Havelock (now part of Lincoln) in 1901 and rebuilt in Havelock in 1928. The seventy-eight-ton coal-burning locomotive and its eighteen-ton tender were built for mainline passenger service and were rebuilt in 1928 for branchline freight and passenger work.

Woods House Woods House [LC13:D05-470]

The Frank and Nelle Woods House, constructed in 1915-16, is a uniquely large and well preserved example of the Italian Renaissance Revival-style in Lincoln. Designed by Chicago architect Paul V. Hyland, the house is situated on a very large urban lot, the most prominent setting in the innovative Woodscrest Addition. It retains a high degree of interior and exterior integrity, as well as significant features of its designed landscape.

Gillen House  Gillen House [LC13:D06-714]

The Frank and Emma Gillen House is a two-and-one-half story, period revival-style, single family residence located in Lincoln. The brick and stucco veneered house was originally constructed in 1903-04, then substantially remodeled to its present appearance in 1918-19. A garage was constructed as part of the 1918-19 remodeling. The interior and exterior of the house remain almost entirely intact.

Apartments   Apartments Palisade and Regent Apartments [LC13:D07-830]

The Palisade and Regent Apartments are significant as representative examples of large and ornate apartments built at the end of Lincoln's second historic apartment "boom," which occurred during the 1920s. They are also significant for their use of a richly textured, polychromatic terra cotta block, which was a rare building material in Lincoln, used only in 1928 and 1929, which corresponds with their construction dates.

Murphy-Sheldon House Murphy-Sheldon House [LC13:D08-387]

The Murphy-Sheldon House was built ca.1889. It is significant as one of the most ornate examples of the Queen Anne style in Lincoln, and one of the most intact, with its rare surviving features including its elaborate main porch, carriage porch, carriage house, and interior elements.

Brown House Guy A. Brown House [LC13:D08-490]

Constructed ca. 1874, the Guy Brown House is a two-story vernacular wood frame Italianate-style residence. It stands as a rare remnant of Lincoln's original residential development and is one of the first generation homes in the city. It is an illuminating example of Italianate house design with considerable historic integrity. The house was converted into a duplex in the 1930s. The modifications of the 1930s are significant in their own right, without obscuring the original design.

Greek Row Historic District [LC13:D09]

The "Greek Row" of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is significant in the areas of education and of community planning and development. These houses were not just residences, but an environment that promoted character and social position for many young college students. The clustering of the houses was the result of many factors, which include the expansion of the city campus due to the doubling of enrollment, the adoption of the Seymour Plan, and the university's inability to provide student dormitories.

Kiesselbach House Kiesselbach House [LC13:E11-013]

The Kiesselbach House, constructed in Lincoln in 1913, is significant for its association with Dr. Theodore Alexander Kiesselbach, a pioneering Nebraska researcher in corn and other crops. Among other accomplishments, he developed the corn hybrids that significantly increased farm production and income throughout the state. No other historic property is as clearly or closely associated with Kiesslbach and his research.

Beattie/Miles House Beattie/Miles House [LC13:G11-156]

The Beattie/Miles House is significant in the area of architecture as the finest extant example of a Queen Anne-style residence in the community that was known as Bethany Heights (now part of Lincoln). This house is also significant for its important association with the founding of Nebraska Christian University and settlement of Bethany Heights. The Beattie/Miles house is the last remaining building that was associated with the college and retains its historical integrity.

Lancaster Block Lancaster Block [LC13:G14-001]

The Lancaster Block, constructed ca. 1890, is significant for its role in the early development of the city of Havelock. It was directly associated with the initial settlement of the town, built by the land development company which platted Havelock as the first substantial business block in the town, and erected even before Havelock's incorporation. The building was also the venue of the strikers' meetings during the Burlington Shop strike of 1922. That strike was the major precipitating event in Havelock's decline during the 1920s, leading to its annexation by Lincoln in 1930.

 

Rural Sites

Schrader Schrader Archeological Site [25-LC-01]

Situated on a terrace of Salt Creek near Lincoln, the Schrader Site is a late prehistoric community. Pottery vessels and other artifacts retrieved from three earthlodge ruins attribute the site to the Smoky Hill Phase (A.D.950-1350), a cultural manifestation in eastern Kansas and southeast Nebraska.

Herter Farmstead Herter Farmstead [LC00]

The Herter Farmstead is located near Lincoln. Its operations began in 1876. The farmstead is a rare and well-preserved collection of agricultural buildings that reflect farming in Nebraska in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Herter House is a good example of a vernacular interpretation of the Queen Anne, free classical style.

Peterson Farmstead Peter Peterson Farmstead [LC00-021]

The farmstead, located on Salt Creek uplands in northeastern Lancaster County, is a well-preserved and unique example of rural architecture in Nebraska. The late nineteenth century farmhouse is a distinctive example of the Queen Anne style and features a prominent tower. The large barn features two prominent octagonal cupolas. Natives of Sweden, Peter and Christina Peterson were active in the agricultural advancement of the local Swedish community.

Retzlaff Farmstead Retzlaff Farmstead (Stevens Creek Stock Farm) [LC00-022]

Located in the picturesque Stevens Creek valley near Lincoln, the farmstead includes nineteen separate structures arranged in a courtyard fashion. The original homestead was acquired in 1858 by Charles Retzlaff, a native of Germany, and expanded in 1861 and 1873. The farm operation has grown and prospered through four generations of the Retzlaff family. Major buildings of the farmstead include the Charles Retzlaff house, a one-and-one-half-story limestone structure built in 1867; and the horse barn, an impressive structure dating from 1901.

Nine-Mile Prairie Nine-Mile Prairie [LC00-075]

Nine-Mile Prairie, consisting of 228 acres of native prairie, is located northwest of Lincoln. The prairie was so named in the 1930s because of its location exactly nine miles from the Lincoln City Square. It was a principal site for the pioneering studies of plant ecology by Dr. John E. Weaver of the University of Nebraska. Weaver, the "founding father of modern plant ecology," began his study of the prairie in 1917. In the 1920s the prairie was a site for University of Nebraska student research projects under Dr. Weaver's direction. The prairie continues as a research and educational site for students and nature study and conservation groups.

Ehlers Round Barn   Ehlers Round Barn Ehlers Round Barn [LC00-035]

The Ehlers Round Barn is a well-preserved example of a true round barn. Constructed over a two-year period from 1922 to 1924, the Ehlers barn is one of the few extant examples of a true round barn in the state.

Buffalo at the park  Pioneers Park  Pioneers Park [LC00-045]

Pioneers Park, located just outside Lincoln, is significant for its association with local and federal unemployment relief programs of the 1930s such as the Works Progress Administration, the National Youth Administration, and the Civil Works Administration. These programs were established during the Great Depression to provide employment in public works of lasting value. Additionally, the park benefited from local unemployment relief programs, implemented in the late 1920s. The park is also an excellent example of a large scale park with distinctive designed features such as allees, vistas, winding roads, path systems, and sculptural focal points. Work on the park began in 1928 with the final historically significant components of the original plan being implemented in 1939.

bridge Beal Slough Bridge [LC00-102]

According to Lancaster County bridge records, the present bridge replaced an old pony truss in 1937. The bridge was a collaborative project between the county and the WPA. Public works programs of the 1930s allowed federal funding, for the first time, to be used for construction of urban roads and bridges. As a result, aesthetic concerns came to the forefront. The rigid frame design, which had been developed in New York in the early 1920s, gained popularity as both a picturesque and practical alternative. Use of rigid frame construction, as well as the bridge's wide roadway and ornamental concrete balustrade, are evidence that the Beal Slough Bridge was considered an important entryway to the city of Lincoln. The Beal Slough Bridge is technologically significant as a well preserved, early example of concrete rigid frame bridge construction in Nebraska.

bridge Olive Branch Bridge [LC00-103]

Though never as popular as the pony truss, the truss-leg bedstead was a standard bridge type marketed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The structure acted as a rigid frame, with its upright end posts extended below the truss to form the supports. This was both the strength and weakness of the bedstead truss. The combined super-and substructure reduced costs somewhat, but bedsteads were prey to flood and collision damage and suffered from inherent structural weakness relating to compression stress in the lower chords. As a result, although the bedstead enjoyed a brief popularity in Nebraska around the turn of the century, all but a few have been demolished. Located near Sprague the Olive Branch Bridge was constructed in 1897 and is distinguished as the oldest of the remaining bedsteads in Nebraska.

Charlton house William H. Charlton House [LC00-127]

The Charlton house, constructed ca. 1872 is significant as a very early, well-documented, and well-preserved work of a pioneer Lincoln architect, Artemas Roberts. He was active in Lincoln from 1870 until about 1904, and occasionally returned to the city to carry out projects through the 1910s. Among the major projects of this local master were the original Lincoln High School (1872), First Congregational Church (1883), the A. J. Sawyer House (1887), the Herpolsheimer Department Store (1880s), and Fairview (the W. J. Bryan home, 1902). Of Roberts' many Lincoln-area buildings, the only extant structures are a small number of houses, of which Fairview is the most prominent, and the Charlton house, by far the earliest. The house, located near Roca, is the clearest demonstration of his training, skill, and style at the very beginning of his career in Lancaster County.

Urban Sites

Oliver J. and Anna Burkhardt House [LC13:C06-340]

Built in 1903, the Oliver J. and Anna Burkhardt House in the Near South neighborhood of Lincoln is a small, on and one-half story, wood-frame Prairie Box style residence. It was the home of two of Lincoln's most influential and beloved African American residents from 1903 to 1945. The house is regarded as a rare property type in Lincoln.

South Bottoms South Bottoms Historic District [LC13:C07]

The South Bottoms Historic District, a predominantly residential area, with a park, school, churches, commercial buildings, and agricultural outbuildings, is located on the flood plain of Salt Creek along Lincoln's western edge. Built and occupied almost exclusively by Germans from Russia who emigrated to this area from the Volga River region, the district occupies approximately seventy-four square blocks and comprises over 1,000 properties. The largest and probably the most distinct urban ethnic neighborhood in the state, the South Bottoms exemplifies the importance of immigrants in settling the cities and towns of the Great Plains. With the predominant Volga-German culture of the neighborhood, the district portrays the architectural character of an Old World village.

Tyler House  William H. Tyler House [LC13:C07-001]

The house was built in 1891 for William Tyler, who established the W. H. Tyler Stone Company in Lincoln. Tyler built the dwelling as a showplace to demonstrate various residential uses of stone. James Tyler, a talented architect and brother of William, designed the brick and sandstone dwelling according to the formal characteristics of a typical Queen Anne dwelling, with Richardsonian Romanesque motifs.

Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church and Parsonage [LC13:C07-152]

The Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church and its parsonage, located in Lincoln, have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1986 as contributing properties within the South Bottoms Historic District. This individual listing establishes the further significance of the church and parsonage for their association with African American ethnic history in the city, as the continuing home of the first African American church established in Lincoln, and for the church's broad-based contribution to its community.

Terrace Houses    Terrace Houses  Nineteenth Century Terrace Houses of Lincoln [LC13:C08]

Three buildings, Barr Terrace, Lyman Terrace, and Helmer-Winnett-White Flats, are the only remaining nineteenth-century terrace or row houses in Lincoln. The major period of interest in the terrace house as a building type occurred in the city in the late 1880s and 1890s. Row houses were typically built by individuals seeking a maximum number of rents per land unit.

Telephone Company Nebraska Telephone Company Building [LC13:C08-005]

The three-story commercial building was designed in the Renaissance Revival style in 1894 by Thomas Rogers Kimball of the architectural firm of Walker and Kimball. Occupied in 1896, it was probably the first building erected as a telephone exchange in Lincoln. Constructed to sustain the loads of the telephone equipment and to provide a modern, fire resistant structure, the building is an early product of the communications industry in eastern Nebraska.

Metropolitan Apartments Woods Brothers Building [LC13:C08-006]

The Woods Brothers Companies, which were formed in 1889 in Lincoln by Mark, George, and Frank Woods, played a major role in the real estate development of the city. Many of the first Lincoln neighborhoods, including Lincolnshire, were platted, developed, and sold by the Woods Brothers Companies. Designed in 1914 by the Woods Brothers Construction Company and completed in 1916, the building incorporates Neo-Classical Revival elements. It was the home office of the Woods Brothers Companies until 1939.

Apartments Metropolitan Apartments [LC13:C08-239]

Built in 1916-17 during Lincoln's first apartment house construction "boom," the nine-story concrete and brick building was ranked as the city's tallest apartment building. Erected for William B. Shurtleff, Lincoln builder and investor, the Metropolitan offered such luxuries as an ice machine to supply apartment iceboxes and optional maid service.

Terminal Building Terminal Building [LC13:C08-298]

The ten-story reinforced concrete office building is sheathed in white-glazed terra-cotta on the principal facades above the storefront level, while the remaining facades are faced with brick. The building was planned in 1915 and erected in 1916 as headquarters for the Lincoln Traction Company. The Lincoln Traction Company, formed in 1897 as a reorganization of the Lincoln Street Railway Company, was the major street railway company in the city from 1909 until the end of streetcar service in 1943. Designed by architect Paul V. Hyland of Chicago, the Terminal Building is the city's best example of a Commercial style office building.

Golds Gold and Company Store Building (Gold-Brandeis Building) [LC13:C08-301]

William Gold, a native of New York, established "The Peoples' Store," a modest retail business in 1902. The firm was incorporated in 1915 with William Gold as president and son Nathan as vice-president and was later renamed "Gold and Company." The building is a landmark in Lincoln's downtown business area. The oldest section, erected in 1924, is six stories high and displays Gothic Revival detailing. Additions were made in 1929, 1947, and 1951, and illustrate the phenomenal growth experienced by the store. In 1964 Gold and Company merged with Omaha's J. L. Brandeis and Sons, and the business was named "Brandeis, Gold's Division" until 1980 when the store was closed. The building has been rehabilitated for retail and office space.

City Hall U.S. Post Office and Courthouse (City Hall) [LC13:C09-001]

The building was constructed in 1874-79 incorporating Gothic Revival and French Second Empire style elements in its design. Originally designed by Alfred Mullett, supervising architect of the United States Treasury, the building was redesigned by William Potter, who replaced Mullett in 1875. The limestone structure is one of downtown Lincoln's oldest buildings and perhaps its finest remaining example of nineteenth century architecture. Originally built as Lincoln's United States Post Office and Courthouse, the building later served as the City Hall. In 1978 restoration began, and the building is now being used by civic groups.

Burr Block Burr Block (Security Mutual Life Building) [LC13:C09-002]

The Security Mutual Life Building, a ten-story skyscraper, is a unique product of early twentieth century businesses on 0 Street, Lincoln's main thoroughfare. Occupying the former site of the Burr Block, the structure was substantially rebuilt and transformed into the present Security Mutual Life Building in 1916. For over four decades the building housed offices for the Security Mutual Life Insurance Company. It is now known as Centerstone and houses commercial and rental residential space.

Veith Building Veith Building [LC13:C09-005]

The Veith Building is one of the oldest commercial buildings in Lincoln and is an outstanding example of late nineteenth century commercial architecture. Constructed in 1884 as a grocery by the Veith family, it features excellent cast iron and pressed metal detailing.

Architecture Hall Old University Library (Architecture Hall) [LC13:C09-007]

The Old University Library, constructed 1891-95, is the oldest existing building on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's downtown campus. Designed by the architectural firm of Mendelssohn, Fisher and Lawrie of Omaha, the two-and-one-half-story brick building incorporates Richardsonian Romanesque styling in its design. The library has been adapted to a variety of educational functions. It is currently occupied by the College of Architecture.

Lincoln Life building Lincoln Liberty Life Insurance Building [LC13:C09-048]

The building, located in downtown Lincoln, was constructed in 1907-8 as the five-story Little Building and then redesigned in 1936 for the Lincoln Liberty Life Insurance Company by the architectural firm of Meginnis and Schaumberg. The remodeling, which included the addition of a sixth floor, transformed the building into a prominent Art Deco style structure.

YMCA Building Hotel Capital (YMCA Building) [LC13:C09-109]

The Hotel Capital opened on May 19, 1926, and provided hotel accommodations in downtown Lincoln for more than four decades. In 1962 Bennett S. Martin purchased the hotel and donated it to the Lincoln YMCA. The eleven-story brick building is an outstanding product of the Georgian Revival style and is probably the best remaining example of an early twentieth century hotel building in Lincoln's central business district. The upper floors of the building have been rehabilitated as rental residential units; lower levels still house the YMCA offices.

Hayward School Hayward School [LC13:C10-110]

Hayward School was built in 1903-4, with additions completed in 1913 and 1925. Each building phase displays a distinct style of public school architecture. The original school is at the center of the present structure and was designed by architect James H. Craddock, with Late Renaissance Revival detailing. The two additions display Neo-Classical and Georgian Revival elements and are the work of the Lincoln architectural firms of Davis and Berlinghof, and Fiske, Meginnis, and Schaumberg respectively. Named for U.S. Senator Monroe L. Hayward, the school served the German Russian community in the North Bottoms area of Lincoln. It operated a special program from November to May when the "beet field children" returned from working in the sugar beet fields of western Nebraska.

Alexander House Ryons-Alexander House [LC13:D05-002]

The house, built in 1908, is important as the residence of Dr. Hartley Burr Alexander, philosophy professor of the University of Nebraska. Dr. Alexander's contributions in the fields of philosophy, architecture, and anthropology are nationally and internationally recognized, while his contributions in literature and the performing arts were widely acclaimed. The builder of the house, William B. Ryons, was a long-time vice-president of the First National Bank in Lincoln and son of Irish-born Joseph L. Ryons, for whom Lincoln's Ryons Addition and Ryons Street were named.

Frank M. Spalding House [LC13:D05-463]

The Frank M. Spalding House is a two and one-half story Mission Style residence in Lincoln. It was constructed in 1908-10 as the first residence in the Sheridan Place addition. The house is an important work of master architect Ferdinand C. Fiske and is the best representative example of Mission Style architecture in the city. It retains lavish original interior finishes in wood and tile, and its exterior stone construction is very distinctive.

Ziemer House Arthur C. Ziemer House [LC13:D06-002]

The house, built in 1909-10 for Arthur C. Ziemer, is an excellent example of the Shingle style. The dwelling's romantic external appearance provides a striking contrast with the use of almost totally classical motifs for the interior. Mr. Ziemer was an early resident of Lincoln, working briefly as an interior designer and later becoming a practitioner of Christian Science.

B'Nai Jeshuran  Temple of Congregation B'Nai Jeshuran [LC13:D06-004]

Located in Lincoln the Temple exemplifies the early twentieth century eclectic architecture of temple building types and incorporates Byzantine and Moorish design elements in its ornamentation and general massing. The large brick structure, designed by Lincoln architects Davis and Wilson and built in 1923-24, features a prominent central octagonally-shaped dome that rises above the roof line. It continues in use as a synagogue.

Mt. Emerald Historic District Mount Emerald and Capitol Additions Historic District [LC13:D07]

The historic district comprises twenty blocks of residential and religious structures dating from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Mount Emerald and Capitol Additions area of Lincoln was a middle- and upper-middle-class residential neighborhood, whose residents reflected the governmental, educational, and commercial character of the growing city. The Capitol Addition was platted in 1870. The oldest houses in this portion of the district date from the 1880s and include notable residences such as the R. 0. Phillips House, an impressive Richardsonian Romanesque dwelling, and the James Wampler House, a fine product of Italianate design. The Mount Emerald Addition was platted in 1904. The most substantial building in the district is the First Plymouth Congregational Church, a Lincoln landmark dedicated in 1931.

Yates House [LC13:D07-001]

Built in 1891 from a design by architect Ferdinand C. Fiske, theYates House is prominently located on a large corner lot in Lincoln. The house is a two and one-half story frame Late Victorian/ Queen Anne residence with Eastlake design influence. The house retains a high degree of integrity in its elaborate detailing, massing, and extensive ornate porches.






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