Friday, April 11, 2008
Trip to Lincoln (Nebraska, that is)
I took a little trip to Lincoln last weekend to go to an honors convocation for Alyx. While there, I took an opportunity to go to the capitol and I took a tour. Nebraska has the only unicameral legislature in the United States. That means they have only one legislative arm. No house and senate or anything like that. And it is a nonpartisan legislature. No one runs on a party ticket. Interesting.
And what makes it even more interesting (to me anyway) is that the state legislature actually began as a traditional bicameral one. It had a house and senate. It was in the 1930s that the state changed systems. The capitol even has two chambers. When the state changed systems, it chose to use only the larger chamber for meetings.
I love the architecture of the building. It is so different from others that I've seen. And it's actually the third building on its site. I can't remember what happened to the original. The second was built from native limestone, was porous and began to crumble. So this one was built. It was actually built in stages around the old one, and the office wings were built first, the skyscraper tower in the center was built last.
It took 10 years to build, and the state allotted 1 million dollars a year. When the money for that year ran out, construction was halted until the next year when the next million dollars would kick in. No debt. Cool.