Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.

Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.
Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Lincoln, Nebraska Capitol Volksmarch, Part 2 - Friday, June 2, 2017

Continued from Part 1...

So, we were still hungry and no other restaurants were in sight. What was in sight was Lincoln's Capitol. 

After we went inside, we shopped in the Gift Shop. Susan asked the clerk if there was a cafe in the building. Turns out there was and we made our way there post haste. Lunch was simple but good.

I was more interested in seeing the interior of the Capitol than Susan and Darren. While they finished their lunch, I took off and told them I'd meet them in 15 minutes.
Lincoln, Nebraska Capitol - "The Tower on the Plains"
On the second floor, there is so much to see! Part of it made me feel like I was in a cathedral in Europe, part of it reminded me of an art gallery. My happy feet were dancing all over the place discovering new (to me) things.

Doors to a mysterious room--
no indication of what was in there
Looking up, there was a rotunda, but it wasn't at the top of the dome as in most state capitals. What is surprising to me is that this Capitol is 14 stories tall! Their dome is 110 feet above the second-floor foyer. From the capital's brochure I learned the following: "Virtues Which Sustain Society" is the name of the artwork in the rotunda. The winged figures form a celestial rose of Virtue.

The figure atop the OUTSIDE of the Capital Dome is the Sower, as in sower of seeds.
Looking up to the rotunda
The Vestibule floor under the rotunda has a mosaic that represents Cosmic Energy.

The Foyer floor: Past, Present and Future Life on the Plains. On the floor: Earth Mother provides Nebraskans with food, water, and agricultural riches. The prehistoric life of Nebraska winds around Soil, Water, Fire, and Air in a circuitous design.

The three floor medallions in the foyer represent the earth and its plant and animal life.
Floor medallion in the Foyer
In the arches, around the circular ceiling mosaics of the past, present and future, activities of society and all cultures are represented. On the walls are six Venetian glass wall murals.
Foyer ceiling 
Venetian glass wall mural
Pretty chandelier
A big surprise was the Memorial Chamber on the 14th floor. I had no problem roaming around on my own. I found the elevator to go up on my first try. When I stepped off the elevator I felt like I was in a maze. You see, there are passageways with steps up and down that lead to the observation decks. Then there are dark passageways to the interior of the Memorial Chamber. 

Here is what the brochure says about the Memorial Chamber:
"Amber glass and black marble create a dignified chamber where public heroism is honored. Italian Porto Oro marble panels rise up between the eight murals. The Vermont Verde Antique marble walls are trimmed with Belgian black marble. The blue and gold Guastavino tile dome symbolizes the dome of the sky above the plains of Nebraska with a red and gold sunburst shining 70 feet above the floor. The star-like chandelier, formed by interlocking tetrahedrons, features corn and sunflower motifs. Two bronze plaques memorialize those who fell in the Civil War; Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and the 1868 Memorial Day Proclamation. A third plaque honors slain president John F. Kennedy. Abraham Lincoln's final words from his second inaugural address form the gilt-on-marble border beneath the murals."
View of downtown from the observation deck
Memorial Chamber dome with
tetrahedron chandelier
Honors generations of Nebraskans
who served in the U.S. military
Citizen sandbagging crew helping their neighbors
1879 Omaha trial of Ponca Chief Standing Bear
View of railroad yard from observation deck
From the 14th floor Memorial Chamber, I went back to the second floor to meet up with Susan and Darren. We did a little more exploring, then continued our walk.
Looking down a Capitol hallway
On the floor between Foyer and Vestibule
Art deco lights
A better photo of the Rotunda
We still had a long day ahead of us, so we hurried through the rest of the walk. Here are some photo highlights...

St. Mary's Catholic Church
Another exterior view of Lincoln's Capitol
Great quote over one Capitol entrance door
Art work on a building
Beautiful, big trees providing shade
Toward the end of our Volksmarch, we walked through a beautiful Sunken Garden. In the shady upper area of the garden were a lot of hostas. In the lower portion were ponds and beautiful landscaping.

"Reveille," by Wayne Southwick, M.D.
Sunken Garden from above
"Rebekah at the Well,"
by David R. Young (2005)
Fish pond
After our walk, we hightailed it to Kearney, Nebraska to see The Great Platte River Road Archway. In 2012, Bob and I visited this attraction which spans I-80. You learn the history of westward expansion in dioramas, all the way from Native Americans up to about the 1950s. It costs $12 (adults) to get in, but they do offer some discounts. 

The Great Platte River Road Archway

Me and Susan in front of the
Lincoln Highway signpost
Oregon Trail diorama

If you are tired of sitting as you travel across I-80, stop in at this wonderful attraction. Your admission includes a headset and you go through the Archway at your own pace. It usually takes about an hour. There is a lot of history to read and lots to listen to in your headset. Outside, across the pond, you can walk to see a Plains Indian sod ceremonial chamber and other buildings.

As soon as we finished at the Archway, we hopped in the car for our long drive to Pierre, South Dakota. Somewhere along the way, about 8:00 p.m., we stopped at Subway for dinner. 

Driving through rolling hills and grasslands, our car startled many ring-necked pheasants out from the sides of the road. We also saw our first pronghorn antelope!

Massive dark clouds were north of us and we had a lightning show as we headed into Pierre. Somehow we missed most of the rain, only a few light showers moistened the van. Our arrival time into Pierre was 10:00 p.m. This was a long day...too long! (We had left Belleville, Kansas at 8:00 a.m.)

Our trip is awesome so far. It's just going to get better. I hope you made it to the end of this day's two-part blog. Travelbug out.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please let me know what you think, your experiences, and constructive criticism to make this blog stronger.