Building a University

Controversy over University Hall started before even the first bricks were layed, when the regents contracted wtih R.D. Silver for $128,000, well over the hundered thousand dollar limit they were given. The regents were so eager to get the building started that the contract was made before the building plans were even finalized. The building had problems from begining to end. The bricks were too soft, the roof leaked, and stoves had to be placed in classrooms because the furnace could not heat them. When the building was finished, three professional architects surveyed the building and deemed it "safe for the present and probably for years to come", but problems persisted, and so did criticism from the community. In the end, almost every part of the building had to be repared but it did give the University fifty years of service.


As you can imagine, this brought plenty of criticism, especially from Omaha who was still bitter about not being the capital city or being chosen to host the University. The Omaha papers constantly bashed the University for every little thing that went wrong and this building was a prime target.