Fountain project almost complete at Nebraska State Capitol

Published: Jun. 29, 2017 at 11:40 AM CDT
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A project nearly 100 years in the making will soon be complete at the Nebraska State Capitol.

Four bronze fountains have been installed in the courtyards of the Capitol, and water is now flowing through them.

The fountains were actually included in the original design for the building, which was constructed from 1922 to 1932.

The addition of the fountains was postponed during the Great Depression due to budget constraints.

After more than 80 years, the fountain project broke ground in 2015—with hopes of getting finished in time for Nebraska’s 150th birthday.

“I’ve seen these drawings and the design of this fountain bowl in the drawer upstairs for years,” said Bob Ripley, Administrator of the Nebraska State Capitol. “I kept hoping at some point I might live long enough to see them in place, and fortunately, I have.”

Each bronze fountain weighs 2,600 pounds. They were delivered in two pieces and welded together after arriving at the State Capitol.

The fountains each have intricate details on the sides to help commemorate the history of Nebraska. Eight diamond panels circumscribe the outside of each bowl.

“The eight symbols were chosen from Native American icons for water or water-related symbols,” said Ripley. “We worked very hard at trying to pick graphic symbols that were as close to being used by Nebraska tribes as we could.”

Although the fountains are installed, and the project is nearing the end; there is still work to be done.

Ripley says the plan is to add colored tile to the inside of each bowl and complete landscaping work in the courtyard.

“Once we get the landscaping done in the courtyards, we’ll pretty much have the building completed as originally envisioned in the early 1930s.”

For more information on the project and to keep up with progress on the courtyards, click