Capitol fountains are almost done for the state’s 150th birthday

The Nebraska State Capitol is an iconic building in our state, but there is something missing—courtyard fountains.

They’re the last original design element of the capitol that were never completed.

As a gift to the state for Nebraska’s 150th birthday, a group of former and current lawmakers pushed to have the building finished as architect Bertram Goodhue envisioned in the 1920s.

"The 150th anniversary of the state is of course something to celebrate and we’re delighted we can celebrate the completion of the capitol in the same time frame,” Former State Senator Bob Wickersham said.

The fountains weren’t done in the 30s when the capitol was built because of budget restraints during the great depression.

In 2014, senators put aside more than $3 million to complete them.

This Goodhue sketch is all architects had to work with for the design.

They wanted to stay true the original vision, but powered with today’s technology.

"When it came time to complete this element, we wanted to make sure we remain faithful to the design intent of the architect,” Capitol Commission Preservation Architect Matthew said.     

The project is more than halfway complete.

The capitol is waiting for some of the bronze bowls and relay the tiles to finish  the walkways in the western courtyards.

Organizers hope to have the fountains running by summer.

"I think the expressing our desire to stick to it as they did and to complete this great project says again something about the people of the state of Nebraska,” Wickersham said.

Project supporters are also hoping to have additional landscaping put into the courtyards, which was not included in the budget.

They’re trying to raise private funds now.