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Law College (Old)

Vital Statistics






The Assenmacher Co.



Also Known As:

Former Law, Architecture Hall

The original charter of the University of Nebraska, developed by Augustus Harvey in 1869, included a College of Law, although more than two decades passed before law was taught at the University. Formed in 1891, the Law College took over the work of an independent, privately owned law school. Originally law classes were taught in University Hall, along with nearly everything else. As the College grew and developed into a three year professional school, taught by permanent faculty, the need for a new building became more pressing. Finally, in 1911, legislative funding provided for the construction of a new law school building at 10th and R streets.

Late in 1911 Berlinghof & Davis signed a contract with the Board of Regents to provide architectural services for the Law School building. This contract was the result of efforts on the part of Ellery Davis, a Lincolnite who had received his degree in architecture from Columbia University in 1909 and returned to Lincoln to join established architect George Berlinghof, in practice. In spring of 1911 Chancellor Avery and Regent President Allen were authorized to secure architectural services for the development of a campus plan. Although the campus planning contract, along with the contract for the School of Medicine building in Omaha, was ultimately awarded to Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge, of Boston, Berlinghof and Davis were awarded the contract for the Law School building on the city campus. This was the first of many University buildings that Davis would design, although the only one that Berlinghof & Davis would design as a team.

The Law College was constructed of red, matte faced brick with terra cotta trimmings, steel and reinforced concrete construction, and steel book stacks located in the original Law Library housed on the third floor. The building underwent remodeling on several occasions: in 1928 thirty two new windows were installed on the third story in what had been solid brick, as part of the redesign of the library; in the early 1950's these windows were replaced with modern casement style windows. In 1957 a library stacks addition was added to the north end of the building.

The entire building underwent total renovation and significant alterations when it was incorporated into the renovation/redesign of the old Library, converting both buildings into what is now the College of Architecture building complex. The original 1912 entry and east façade were retained and incorporated into the Architecture Hall link area.

Source Information:
Archives and Special Collections, UNL Libraries