Archaeology Magazine

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Historic Limestone Blocks Surface at Nebraska’s Capitol

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Nebraska Capitol Blocks LINCOLN, NEBRASKA—Workers installing fountains in the northwest courtyard of the Capitol building in Lincoln uncovered blocks of limestone that were probably part of the façade of the city’s previous capitol building. “Most people don’t even know what the previous building looked like, so to be able to put your hands on it is kind of fun,” Matt Hansen, Capitol Commission architect, told the Lincoln Journal Star. Lincoln’s first Capitol building was constructed in 1867, but its stone soon crumbled, and construction on the second building began in 1881. Upon its completion in 1888, a crack was found in the south wall of the east wing, and the building soon proved to be too small. In 1915, construction of the present building began around the second one, which was eventually torn down. Only one of its limestone blocks had been saved. The newly unearthed blocks will be kept in the Capitol Commission’s masonry shop. To read in-depth about historical archaeology in the United States, go to "Letter From Philadelphia: City Garden."

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