Lied Center for Performing Arts
The Lied Center is the home of the performing arts here on the campus of the University. It was constructed in large part due to a donation from the Lied Trust Foundation, worth $10 million dollars (Knoll 177). Ernest F. Lied is whom the foundation is from. He was enrolled at NU in 1925 and received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration in 1927. He moved to Nevada where he made a fortune in land speculation worth approximately $118 million. Along with this donation, $7 million was collected form state funds and $3 million was collected from private donations. With these funds available a building could now be constructed that could hold operas and symphonies. The University of Nebraska Foundation also collected $5 million for maintenance of the building (Michael Hopper). Construction began on October 13, 1986. The building was completed in 1990. The construction of the Lied Center came over much controversy. The architects underestimated the cost of the planned structure so an additional $6 million to $8 million was needed to be raised. This pushed the date to start building back four months. Another argument against the Lied Center was the lack of interest in the project. One regent pointed out that Kimball Hall was never full for performances and he doubted that people would travel across Nebraska to come see a performance. He continued to say that this was a complete waste of resources that could be used for research projects or maintaining some of the buildings on campus (Al J. Laukatis). Nonetheless, The Lied Center was eventually completed. The Lied Center contained a 2,300-seat concert hall, rehearsal halls, conference rooms, teaching spaces, and other facilities. The state is about 1/3 of a football field and has six separate layers, for springiness and safety for major dance troupes. The fire curtain weighs 33,000-pounds and covers an area of 160 feet by 266 feet. A brass railing was installed to the grand staircase to match with the gold-tone tubular lighting in the main hall. A large orchestra pit in front of the stage was also completed (Kennedy).