"We have the responsibility as a State to be able to have a beautiful spot that highlights our State Capitol. And right now, that responsibility is in upgrade mode...the beautification, the revitalization of Nebraska's Centennial Mall."
Jeff Searcy, Chair of the Nebraska Capitol Environs Commission
There has been talk about renovating Centennial Mall in the past. Is it really going to happen this time?
Previous plans to upgrade Centennial Mall did not identify funding sources. At this time, the City of Lincoln has committed $3 million of tax increment funding (TIF) generated by private development of Lincoln Mall to fund many of the “essential” elements of the plan. A fund-raising team has begun working to reach out to possible financial partners and to develop a statewide campaign to raise additional funding for Centennial Mall.
How much will it cost?
The total cost to renovate Centennial Mall has not been finalized but preliminary initial cost projections indicate that the cost could be between $7 and $10 million.
Where will the additional funds come from?
The City hopes to secure funding support from other public entities that benefit from the Mall -- Lancaster County, State Government, Federal Government, and the University of Nebraska. In addition, a statewide fund-raising campaign is anticipated.
Who owns and maintains Centennial Mall?
Centennial Mall is located within the former street right-of-way of 15th Street, and extends north seven blocks from the State Capitol to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. Approximately 70% of the buildings located on the Mall are owned by the US Government, State of Nebraska and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The City of Lincoln owns the Mall property, which is maintained by the Lincoln Parks & Recreation Department. The fund-raising effort will include an endowment to fund repair and replacement of elements on the Mall into the future.
Why is it so important to renovate Centennial Mall?
In the last 40 years, the infrastructure and landscape plantings along the Mall have become aged to the point of deteriorating condition and are beyond the point of practical repair. The renovation will create durable accessible walkways and address safety, liability and accessibility issues.
How will the design of Centennial Mall be affected if the use or ownership of Pershing changes?
Centennial Mall will be designed for optimal flexibility in order to accommodate a wide variety of activities and uses. Even if Pershing is not a city auditorium in the future, this area of Centennial Mall will likely continue to attract large events like the Star City Parade and state festivals that take advantage of the Capitol view and wide right-of-way.
What will the renovated mall be like?
The design of Centennial Mall will celebrate Nebraska’s legacy of stewardship. It will reference imagery found in the Capitol – particularly the friezes, “Traditions of the Past,” “Life of the Present,” and “Ideas of the Future” -- as they pertain to our relationship with Nebraska’s land and resources. It will highlight innovative leaders like J. Sterling Morton and George Norris, and our unique institutions like the Natural Resources Districts and the Unicameral. It will also look to the future by incorporating new innovative “green” strategies for addressing storm water management, energy use and natural resource utilization, and demonstrating best practices for sustainability. Finally, it will celebrate the legacy and vision of the University as a leader in learning, research and innovation.
Who is the design team for Centennial Mall?
The Clark Enersen Partners, Bahr Vermeer & Haecker, Olsson Associates and Tom Laging and Associates are the design team for the Centennial Mall renovation project.
When will construction begin?
Construction of the Centennial will likely occur in phases over multiple years. The timing of construction is contingent upon fund-raising efforts.
How can I stay involved?
Public presentations on Centennial Mall will take place throughout November, December and January. Project updates and a calendar of events will be posted here.