Ne­braskan revival: Lin­coln restor­ing buzz of ’20s hey­day

Cap­i­tal city and col­lege town draw­ing tourists with youth­ful, cre­ative vibe and Art Deco ar­chi­tec­tural gems down­town

StarMetro Edmonton - - DAILY LIFE - Kathryn O’Shea-Evans More Lin­coln sites and sights at thes­tar.com/travel

Back in the 1920s, Ne­braska’s cap­i­tal had a mar­ket­ing slo­gan: “Lin­coln — A City Wor­thy of a No­ble Name.”

To­day, it holds up more than ever in the cre­ative­meets-col­le­giate down­town in this tidy me­trop­o­lis of 280,364 res­i­dents, which is home to the Univer­sity of Ne­braska and a grow­ing im­mi­grant pop­u­la­tion (now nearly 9 per cent of city dwellers).

The in­creas­ingly buzzy down­town is lur­ing vis­i­tors with re­cently opened shops and wa­ter­ing holes. And, be sure not to miss the 1932 Art Deco Capi­tol build­ing, with its mo­saics by mu­ral­ist Hil­dreth Meiere and 14th-floor views of the Great Plains.

The Other Room is a speakeasy-in­spired bar (bring cash and put your phone on silent) tucked in a brick-walled al­ley in down­town Lin­coln’s Hay­mar­ket dis­trict. The joint was a James Beard Award semi­fi­nal­ist in 2015. It uses more than 12 house­made bit­ters in its cock­tails. Try the frothy Po Boy Punch (co­gnac, pecan bit­ters, egg white and nut­meg).

Stella Col­lec­tive fea­tures Ne­braska-made wares, with cloth­ing, plant and house­wares shops un­der one roof. Finds in­clude Omaha-made Ben­son Soap Mill, which blends cof­fee shop castoffs (like pre­vi­ously steeped chai tea) into their body prod­ucts, and Lin­coln’s own Wax Buf­falo soy can­dles as well as vin­tage fur­ni­ture.

RANA YOUNG PHO­TOS/THE NEW YORK TIMES

The Shel­don Mu­seum of Art, a Philip John­son-de­signed jewel box of a build­ing, was built of traver­tine mar­ble with gold leaf ceil­ing de­tails in Italy, then metic­u­lously re­con­structed at the Univer­sity of Ne­braska in 1963. Trea­sures in­side in­clude Ed­ward Hop­per’s “Room in New York” and Ge­or­gia O’Ke­effe’s ef­fer­ves­cent “New York, Night”.

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