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Lincoln, Nebraska

HistoryEdit Main article: History of Lincoln, Nebraska Further information: Timeline of Lincoln, Nebraska history Pioneer LincolnEdit Prior to the expansion westward of settlers, the prairie was covered with buffalo grass. Plains Indians, descendants of indigenous peoples who occupied the area for thousands of years, lived in and hunted along Salt Creek. The Pawnee, which included four tribes, lived in villages along the Platte River. The Great Sioux Nation, including theIhanktowan-Ihanktowana and the Lakota located to the north and west, used Nebraska as a hunting and skirmish ground, although they did not have any long-term settlements in the state. An occasionalbuffalo could still be seen in the plat of Lincoln in the 1860s.[15] FoundingEdit Lincoln, as seen in 1868 Lincoln was founded in 1856 as the village of and became the county seat of the newly created Lancaster County in 1859. The village was sited on the east bank of Salt Creek. The first settlers were attracted to the area due to the abundance of salt. Once J. Sterling Morton developed his salt mines in Kansas, salt in the village was no longer a viable commodity.[16] Captain W. T. Donovan, a former steamer captain, and his family settled on Salt Creek in 1856. In the fall of 1859, the village settlers met to form a county. A caucus was formed and the committee, which included Captain Donovan, selected the village of Lancaster to be the county seat. The county was named Lancaster. After the passage of the 1862 Homestead Act, homesteaders began to inhabit the area. The first plat was dated August 6, 1864.[15] By the close of 1868, Lancaster had a population of approximately 500 people.[17] The township of Lancaster was renamed Lincoln with the incorporation of the city of Lincoln on April 1, 1869. In 1869, the University of Nebraska was established in Lincoln by the state with a land grant of about 130,000 acres. Construction of University Hall, the first building, began the same year. State CapitalEdit See also: Nebraska State Capitol The capital of the Nebraska Territory had beenOmaha since the creation of the territory in 1854; however, most of the territory's population lived south of the Platte River. After much of the territory south of the Platte River considered annexation toKansas, the territorial legislature voted to locate the capital city south of the river and as far west as possible. Thomas P. Kennard house Prior to the vote to remove the capital city from Omaha, a last ditch effort by Omaha Senator J. N. H. Patrick attempted to derail the move by having the future capital city named after recently assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. Many of the people south of the Platte River had been sympathetic to theConfederate cause in the recently concluded Civil War. It was assumed that senators south of the river would not vote to pass the measure if the future capital was named after the former president. In the end, the motion to name the future capital city Lincoln was ineffective and the vote to change the capital's location south of the Platte River was successful with the passage of the Removal Act.[18][19] Goodhue-designed Nebraska State Capitol Nebraska was granted statehood on March 1, 1867. The Removal Act called for the formation of a Capital Commission to locate a site for the capital on state owned land. The Commission, composed of Governor David Butler, Secretary of State Thomas Kennard and Auditor John Gillespie, began to tour sites on July 18, 1867 for the new capital city. The village of Lancaster was chosen, in part due to the salt flats and marshes.[10][20] Lancaster had approximately 30 residents. Disregarding the original plat of the village of Lancaster, Thomas Kennard platted Lincoln on a broader scale. The plat of the village of Lancaster was not dissolved nor abandoned; Lancaster became Lincoln when the Lincoln plat files were finished September 6, 1867.[21]To raise money for the construction of a capital city, a successful auction of lots was held. Newcomers began to arrive and Lincoln's population grew. TheNebraska State Capitol was completed on December 1, 1868; a two story building constructed with native limestone with a central cupola. The Kennard house, built in 1869, is the oldest remaining building in the original plat of Lincoln. In 1888 a new capitol building was constructed on the site of the first capitol. The new building replaced the former structurally unsound capitol. The second capitol building was a classical design, designed by architect William H. Willcox.[22] Construction began on a third capitol building in 1922. Bertram G. Goodhue was selected in a national competition as its architect. By 1924, the first phase of construction was completed and state offices moved into the new building. In 1925, the Willcox designed capitol building was razed. The Goodhue designed capitol was constructed in four phases, with the completion of the fourth phase in 1932.[23] The completion of the original Goodhue design will be finally realized with the completion of the capitol fountains within the four interior courtyards of the capitol building in 2017.[23] Growth and expansionEdit Government Square; U.S. Post Office and Courthouse (1879-1906), City Hall (1906-1969). The worldwide economic depression of 1890 saw the reduction of Lincoln's population from 55,000 to 37,000 by 1900. Volga-German immigrants from Russia settled in the North Bottoms neighborhood and as Lincoln expanded with the growth in population, the city began to annex towns nearby. The first town annexed was Bethany Heights in 1922. Bethany Heights was incorporated in 1890.[16] In 1929, the city annexed the town College View. College View was incorporated in 1892. Union College, a Seventh Day Adventist institution, was founded in College View in 1891. In 1930, the city annexed the town of Havelock. Havelock actively opposed annexation to Lincoln and only relented due to a strike by the Burlington railroad shop workers which halted progress & growth for the city.[16] The Burlington & Missouri River Railroad's first train arrived in Lincoln on June 26, 1870, soon to be followed by the Midland Pacific in 1871 and theAtchison & Nebraska in 1872. The Union Pacificbegan service in 1877. The Chicago & North Westernand Missouri Pacific began service in 1886. TheChicago, Rock Island & Pacific extended service to Lincoln in 1892. Lincoln became a rail center hub.[16] Detroit-Lincoln-Denver (D-L-D) Highway monument As automobile travel became more common in the U.S., the needs for better roads in Nebraska and throughout the U.S. grew. The Omaha-Denver Trans-Continental Route Association in 1911, with support from the Good Roads Movement, established the Omaha-Lincoln-Denver Highway (O-L-D) through Lincoln. The goal was having the most efficient highway to travel on throughout the state of Nebraska, from Omaha to Denver.[24] In 1920, the Omaha-Denver Association merged with the Detroit-Lincoln-Denver Highway Association. As a result, the O-L-D was renamed the Detroit-Lincoln-Denver Highway (D-L-D) with the goal of having a continuous highway from Detroit to Denver. The goal was eventually realized by the mid 1920s; 1,700 mi (2,700 km) of constantly improved highway through six states.[25] The auto route was a tourist magnet and traffic was heavy. Businesses were built and facilities were established in towns along the route in order to keep up with traveler demand. In 1924, the D-L-D was officially designated as Nebraska State Highway 6. In 1926, the highway became part of the Federal Highway System and was renumbered U.S. Route 38.[26] In 1931, U.S. 38 was renumbered as aU.S. 6/U.S. 38 overlap and in 1933, the U.S. 38 route designation was dropped. Arrow Sport, Lincoln Airport. In the early years of air travel, Lincoln had three airports and one airfield.[27] Union Airport, was established northeast of Lincoln in 1920. Charles Lindbergh learned to fly at the Lincoln Flying School April 1, 1922. The Lincoln Flying School was founded by E.J. Sias in a building he built at 2145 O Street.[28]The flying school closed in 1947. Some remnants of the old airport can still be seen today in-between N. 56th and N. 70th Streets, north of Fletcher Avenue; mangled within a slowly developing industrial zone. Arrow Airport was established around 1925 as a manufacturing and test facility for Arrow Aircraft and Motors Corporation, primarily the Arrow Sport. The airfield was located near Havelock; or to the west of where the North 48th Street Small Vehicle Transfer Station is located today. Arrow Aircraft & Motors declared bankruptcy in 1939 and Arrow Airport closed roughly several decades later.[29] An existing Arrow Sport can be seen on permanent display, hanging in the Lincoln Airport's main passenger terminal.[27][30] The city's small municipal airfield in 1930 was dedicated to Charles Lindbergh and named Lindbergh Field for a short period of time as another airfield was named Lindbergh in California. The airfield was north of Salt Lake, in an area known variously over the years as Huskerville, Arnold Heights and Air Park; and was located approximately within the western half of the West Lincoln Township.[31][32][33] The air field was a stop for United Airlines in 1927 and a mail stop in 1928.[34] In 1942 the Lincoln Army Airfield was established at the site. During World War II, over 25,000 aviation mechanics were trained with over 40,000 troopers being processed for combat. The Army closed the base in 1945. The Air Force reactivated the base during the Korean War in 1952. In 1966, the base was closed and Lincoln annexed the airfield, including the base's old housing units to the west.[31] The base became the Lincoln Municipal Airport under ownership of the Lincoln Airport Authority. Around the turn of the 21st century, the airport was renamed the Lincoln Airport. The authority shared facilities with the Nebraska National Guard, who continued ownership over some portions of the old Air Force base.[35] During the 1960s, the two main airlines serving the Lincoln Airport were United Airlines and the original Frontier Airlines. As train, automobile, and air travel increased, business flourished, and the city prospered. The population of Lincoln increased 38.2% from 1920 to a population of 75,933 in 1930.[36] Revitalization and growthEdit Lincoln on a late Sunday night. The downtown core retail district from 1959 to 1984 saw profound changes as retail shopping moved from downtown to the suburban Gateway Shopping Mall. In 1956, Bankers Life Insurance Company of Nebraska announced plans to build a $6 million shopping center next to their new campus on the east-side outskirts of Lincoln. Gateway Mall was completed and open for business at 60th and O streets in 1960.[37][38] By 1984, 75% of Lincoln's revenue from retail sales tax came from within a one-mile radius of the Mall.[39] With the exodus of retail and service businesses, the downtown core began to decline and deteriorate. The Nebraska legislature in 1969 legislated laws for urban renewal and shortly thereafter Lincoln began a program of revitalization and beautification of the city. Most of the urban renewal projects focused on downtown and the Near South areas. Beautification included new street lighting. Many ideas were considered and not implemented. Successes included Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, designed byPhilip Johnson; new branch libraries, the First National Bank Building and the National Bank of Commerce Building designed by I.M. Pei.[40] In 1971, an expansion of Gateway Mall was completed. Lincoln's first woman mayor, Helen Boosalis, was elected in 1975. Mayor Boosalis was a strong supporter of the revitalization of Lincoln with the downtown beautification project being completed in 1978. In 1979, the square-block downtown Centrum was opened and connected to buildings with a skywalk. The Centrum was a two-level shopping mall with a garage for 1,038 cars. With the beautification and urban renewal projects, many historic buildings were razed in the city.[40] In 2007 and 2009, the city of Lincoln received beautification grants for improvements on O and West O Streets, west of the Harris Overpass, commemorating the history of the D-L-D.[25][41] Vietnamese refugees, from the fall of Saigon in 1975, established a significant ethnic community with businesses along the 27th Street corridor alongside Mexican eateries and African markets.[42] Lincoln was designated as a "Refugee Friendly" city by the U.S. Department of State in 1990. In 2000, Lincoln was the 12th largest resettlement site per capita in the country.[43] The decade from 1990 to 2000 saw a population growth never seen before.[44] North 27th Street and Cornhusker Highway were redeveloped with new housing and businesses built. The boom housing market in south Lincoln created new housing developments including high end housing in areas like Cripple Creek, Willamsburg and The Ridge. The shopping center Southpointe Pavilions was completed in competition of Gateway Mall. In 2001, Gateway Mall was purchased by Westfield America Trust.[45] Westfield renamed the mallWestfield Shoppingtown GatewayWestfield Gateway.[46] Westfield made a $45 million makeover of the mall in 2005 including an expanded food court, a new west-side entrance and installation of an Italian carousel.[47] In 2012, Westfield America Trust sold Westfield Gateway to Starwood Capital Group. Starwood reverted the mall's name from Westfield Gateway to Gateway Mall.[45][48] Since 2012, Starwood Capital Group has made incremental expansions and renovations.

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