11 Most Endangered Historic Places
Industrial Arts Building
Year Listed: 2010
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
In the early days of the last century, the citizens of Lincoln, Neb. were eager to create a grand showcase for their city's most important export – agricultural products.
When a dramatic new 93,500-square-foot trapezoidal red brick exposition space was dedicated in 1913 at the Nebraska State Fairgrounds, local dreams were realized. With Palladian windows, natural skylights, intricate roof trusses and a 4-story fountained interior, the Agricultural Hall, as it was called, was a showstopper.
After a new hall was built in 1948, the old building, renamed Industrial Arts, continued to serve the community for nearly six decades – until 2004, when it closed due to disrepair. For nearly a century, the iconic Industrial Arts Building has showcased the best of Nebraska. Saving this handsome, well-built building and giving it a bright new future is what sustainability and innovation are all about.
In addition to its importance to Nebraska's agricultural history, the Industrial Arts Building has an aviation pedigree. Following World War I, the Lincoln Standard Aircraft Company used the building to assemble airplanes, including the plane in which Charles Lindbergh learned to fly.