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Locating the Site

Map 2: The Original Plat of Lincoln, 1867

Original Plat of Lincoln, NE, with key
(Nebraska State Historical Society)

This is the plat for the new capital city of Lincoln, drawn before any new buildings were constructed. A "plat" is a map of a town, used for legal titles. Properties are identified in this map by blocks. Within each block are individual lots, meant as the location for buildings. To promote the new city, the plat identified areas reserved for certain public uses and institutions. The plat made provisions for a courthouse, public market, parks, a state university, a state historical association and library, and schools. Although not denoted on the map, lots were offered to religious institutions for churches.

The large "State House Square" was the designated location for the new capitol building. Nebraska Secretary of State Thomas P. Kennard and Auditor John Gillespie bought lots for their private homes. The lots were in close proximity to the new capitol building.

Questions for Map 2

1) What institutions were included on the original plat? Why might the map have shown the location of places before any buildings were built? Why were certain blocks reserved for certain purposes? How might that be useful in planning and promoting the city? Would you want to move to a city like the one in the plat?

2) If you were planning a city, what buildings, institutions, and other places would you be sure to include on the map? Why would you include them?



Click for a larger version of Map 2.

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