New Lincoln sculpture also unveiled
The Lancaster County-City of Lincoln Government Center was officially opened today with ceremonies outside the Justice and Law Enforcement Center. Mayor Don Wesely, City Council Chair Coleen Seng, County Board Chair Kathy Campbell and Public Building Commission Chair Larry Hudkins cut the ribbon for the Government Center which includes the County-City Building at 555 South 10th and the Justice and Law Enforcement Center at 575 South 10th.
Public tours of both buildings will be conducted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 6.
Mayor Wesely thanked county and city employees for their patience during the construction and moving process. "What we have created here is the physical environment to provide government services more efficiently," Wesely said.
During the ceremony, a new sculpture of Abraham Lincoln called "The Rail Joiner" was unveiled. The "Pennies for Lincoln" public art campaign raised $17,500 to help fund the sculpture, which is on permanent loan from the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery. The sculpture will be officially dedicated this summer.
In addition to Wesely, Seng, Campbell and Hudkins, speakers included John V. Hendry, Chief Justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court; County Attorney Gary Lacey, who co-chairs the Public Building Commission's Public Art Committee; and Daniel Siedell, interim curator of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery. Former City Attorney Bill Austin, now with Erickson & Sederstrom, was the master of ceremonies. The program also included the Voices of Destiny choir from Lincoln High School who sang "America the Beautiful" and a flag presentation by members of the County Sheriff's Department and the Lincoln Police Department.
The building at 575 South 10th was dedicated in 1970 as the County-City Building. In 1997, it was vacated, with many city and county departments moving to the new building at 555 South 10th. The older building underwent asbestos removal and renovation to provide space for law enforcement and the courts.