Downtown Lincoln, Nebraska, Walking Tour, North of O Street
Four museums, Old City Hall, & Lincoln's version of Cheers Bar, wedged between O Street and the U Nebraska Lincoln campus
Operated by the Nebraska Historical Society, the Museum of Nebraska History preserves and promotes the state's rich cultural and social history. It features exhibits on statehood and the territorial period, a children's museum entitled Investigation Station, a look at Native American history through The First Nebraskans, and rotating special exhibits dedicated to the experiences of all Nebraskans over the past two centuries. The Society was established in 1878. In all, the museum houses 125,000 Nebraska-related artifacts and other items.
NSHS is a state agency dating back to 1878 that operates historic sites throughout the state and maintains archives and journals dedicated to Nebraska History. The headquarters in Lincoln contain administrative offices and a research library that serves as the central repository and archive of Nebraska history consisting of the state library and archives, administration, and research and publications division. The Society is operated by the state of Nebraska.
The Sheldon Museum of Art houses both the Sheldon Art Association collection founded in 1888, and the University of Nebraska collection, initiated in 1929. Together they comprise more than 12,000 works of art in all media. This comprehensive collection of American art includes prominent holdings of 19th-century landscape and still life, American Impressionism, early Modernism, geometric abstraction, Abstract Expressionism, pop, minimalism and contemporary art. In the Sculpture Garden, more than 30 monumental sculptures are exhibited year-round and include major works by Gaston Lachaise, Jacques Lipchitz, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, David Smith, William Tucker, Bryan Hunt, Mark di Suvero, Michael Heizer and Richard Serra.
As the name indicates, the Great Plains Art Museum features art depicting the natural and cultural history of the Great Plains, which stretches from the middle part of southern Canada down to Texas. It was founded in 1981 thanks to a donation by John and Elizabeth Christlieb comprised of a collection of Western art, a library of western Americana, and an endowment. The museum features a variety of artwork including bronze sculptures, paintings, drawings, works on paper, and photographs. These works often depict Native Americans, landscapes, and ranchers. As alluded to above, the museum also features a library which contains 7,500 books of western-related fiction and non-fiction and Canadian plains literature. The museum is operated by the University of Nebraska.
Lincoln City Hall is the former seat of the Lincoln, Nebraska city government. The hall was built from 1874-1879 as the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse. When those federal functions moved to a new building in 1906, the building became Lincoln's City Hall. It was superseded as city hall in 1969 when the city government moved into the City-County Building. The Gothic Revival/French Second Empire-styled building was listed in the National Register in 1969 after it was saved from demolition, and is occupied by city and community offices. The four-story Nebraska limestone-faced structure is one of downtown Lincoln's oldest buildings.
The structure at 816 P Street was built in 1884. Known as the Veith Building, the two-story brick building is one of the oldest commercial buildings standing in Lincoln. Originally, the building was used as a grocery store by the Veith family. The ground floor has been the site of a number of restaurants and now is occupied by Tavern on the Square bar. The upper floor was used as a dance studio in the 1980s; the second story currently houses Bridgepoint Investment Banking's local office. The Veith Building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 for its outstanding example of Victorian commercial architecture in Lincoln.