State Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks and the Lincoln Parks Foundation invite the public to a Dedication Ceremony and Donor Celebration for Nebraska's Centennial Mall Sunday, October 9 at the State Capitol.
The ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m. at the Capitol Rotunda on the second floor. The program includes a celebration of donors and stakeholders as well as an overview of the revitalized Mall and its features. At about 2:15 p.m., the dedication ceremony led by Mayor Chris Beutler will begin on the Capitol's north steps. Following the ceremony, Lincoln Parks and Recreation Director Lynn Johnson and Historic Preservation Planner Ed Zimmer will give tours of the Mall.
"We are so excited to celebrate Nebraska's Centennial Mall and everyone who played a role in the effort to revitalize one of our State's shining jewels," said Senator Pansing Brooks, who represents District 28 of Lincoln. "After so many years, it is absolutely wonderful to see this Mall, a tribute to our statehood and heritage, come alive once again." She served as a fund-raising campaign tri-chair along with Mary Arth and the late Roger Larson.
Originally constructed in 1967 to commemorate Nebraska's centennial, the Mall had fallen into disrepair, was unsafe and needed to be rebuilt. Three of the original fountains were decommissioned by 2003, and the fountain north of "K" Street was turned off in 2014.
The Lincoln Parks Foundation led a successful $9.6 million fundraising campaign, and phased construction of the revitalization project began in 2012. A total of 130 donors from across the State supported the campaign, which included a $1.5 million endowment.
In addition to the three main fountain and plaza areas, the seven-block revitalized Mall includes durable accessible walkways, historical and educational information, an art alcove and flexible festival space to accommodate a wide variety of activities and uses.
The design was developed by the team of The Clark Enersen Partners, Bahr Vermeer Haecker, Olsson Associates and Tom Laging. The plan was approved by Nebraska Capitol Commission, which is chaired by the Governor, as well as the Capitol Environs Commission.
Commemorative tiles honoring Nebraska leaders, families, businesses and landmarks are placed along the Spirit of Nebraska Pathway, according to Christie Dionisopoulos, Executive Director of the Lincoln Parks Foundation.
The Spirit of Nebraska Pathway is a series of granite and bronze tiles placed along the twin walkways that frame all seven blocks of Nebraska's Centennial Mall. The pathway program is an opportunity to honor or recognize Nebraskans, organizations, businesses and events. All members of the Nebraska Hall of Fame are recognized along the Spirit of Nebraska Pathway. The bronze tiles have interactive QR codes so the public can use their smart phones or computer tablets to access stories of individuals, families, leaders and organizations. Stories also may be viewed at EducationonLocation.org.
For more information about the Lincoln Parks Foundation or Nebraska's Centennial Mall, visit LincolnParks.org or call 402-441-8258.