Official Nebraska Government Website Nebraska State Historical Society

Nebraska National Register Sites
in Buffalo County


Rural Sites

 Kilgore Bridge, pdf [BF00-002] Listed 1992/06/29

By 1915 Buffalo County had spent years maintaining and repairing the long, timber pile Kilgore Bridge over the north channel of the Platte River southeast of Kearney. That February the board of supervisors voted for the structure's replacement. The board adopted standard plans developed by the state engineer, awarded an annual bridge construction contract to the Omaha Structural Steel Works, and then solicited the state engineer's advice on the "most advisable method" to construct a new span at the site of the existing bridge. In June the county placed an order with Omaha Structural Steel for the new Kilgore Bridge: a three-span pony truss on thirty-six-foot steel piling foundations. The bridge is a noteworthy example of the state's then newly-formulated pin/rigid connection technology. Additionally, the Kilgore Bridge is one of the few remaining multiple-span pinned pony trusses in Nebraska.

 George Meisner House, pdf [BF00-021] Listed 1988/06/23

The large two-story frame house was constructed in 1893-94 for George Meisner, a successful rancher and businessman in the Shelton area. Meisner was an avid entertainer and used his home for elaborate dances, parties, and dinners. The property once boasted a fountain, paved pathways with numerous plantings, and a circular driveway, of which only the latter remains. Originally designed as a Queen Anne rural mansion, the dwelling was remodeled around 1915 to reflect the then popular Neo-Classical Revival style.

 Sweetwater Mill Bridge, pdf [BF00-064] Listed 1992/06/29

In November 1908 the Buffalo County Board of Supervisors adopted bridge plans prepared by the Standard Bridge Company as the county standards. The board awarded an annual bridge construction contract to Standard two months later, purchasing numerous small-scale bridges from the Omaha-based firm throughout 1909. Among the structures ordered in May was this eighty-foot pinned pony truss over Mud Creek in Beaver Township. Located at the Sweetwater Mill near the county's northern edge, the truss replaced an earlier bridge at this location, using the existing stringer approaches on both sides of the channel span in conjunction with new H-shaped steel pile bent supports for the truss. Standard completed the bridge later in 1909, using steel components rolled by Illinois Steel Company. Although the pinned pony truss of the Sweetwater Bridge is unremarkable as a typical example of a relatively common structural type, the bridge is significant as one of the earliest and best preserved examples remaining in the state of an original Standard Bridge Company built-up H-pile substructure.

Urban Sites

 John Barnd House, pdf [BF05-085] Listed 1983/03/31

The John Barnd House, located in Kearney, is a large two-and-one-half-story frame dwelling built about 1892, and a good example of the Queen Anne style. Barnd came to Kearney in 1874, established a law practice, and later was elected Buffalo County judge for two terms. In 1888 Barnd established the Mutual Loan and Investment Company of Kearney; the following year he became co-owner of the Commercial and Savings Bank.

 St. Luke's Protestant Episcopal Church, pdf [BF05-124] Listed 1986/12/01

The church, located in Kearney, was constructed in 1908-09. It is the third building to be erected for the congregation. The structure was designed by Chicago architect John Sutcliffe in the Gothic Revival style.

 Kearney Junior High School, pdf [BF05-125] Listed 2000/07/05

Located in Kearney, this Neo-Classical-style building was constructed in 1925 to1926. It is a good and intact example of an early twentieth century junior high school building. The Kearney Junior High School is significant for its contribution to the evolution of educational practices in the city of Kearney.

 Dr. A. O. Thomas House, pdf [BF05-136] Listed 1980/02/28

The Thomas House was designed by Nebraska architect George A. Berlinghof in 1906 in the Neo-Classical Revival style. Dr. A. O. Thomas, a native of Illinois, was the first president of the Kearney State Normal School, now the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

 John J. and Lenora Bartlett House, pdf [BF05-151] Listed 2007/12/27

Located in Kearney, the John J. and Lenora Bartlett House was built in the Kenwood neighborhood which was a development of the Kearney Land & Investment Company. Constructed in 1888, this house is a well-preserved example of residential Queen Anne architecture, a style that was popular from approximately 1880-1910. The style was just beginning to gain prominence in Nebraska during the period in which the house was built.

 George W. Frank House, pdf [BF05-161] Listed 1973/02/23

The George W. Frank House was constructed in an exclusive suburb of Kearney developed by the George W. Frank Improvement Company. Frank was involved in many of the town's industrial and commercial affairs. Built in 1889 of Colorado sandstone, the house represents the prosperity Kearney enjoyed during this period. It is a product of Eclecticism, combining the Shingle style and Richardsonian Romanesque architecture.

 Hanson-Downing House, pdf [BF05-165] Listed 1980/12/10

The Hanson-Downing House, built in 1886, is an excellent example of the American ornamented cottage. The asymmetry of forms, variation in roof sections, and textural variety create a picturesque effect and demonstrate the versatility of wood as a building material. The house was built by Charles E. Hanson and later sold to Wallace A. Downing. Both were businessmen in Kearney.

 Kearney United States Post Office, pdf [BF05-169] Listed 1981/09/17

Completed in 1911, the Post Office Building is a fine example of the Neo-Classical Revival style. It was designed by James Knox Taylor. Taylor's education and early practice was in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1897 he became the supervising architect of the U.S. Treasury. The Post Office Building is a landmark in Kearney and now houses the Nebraska Art Collection, which is open to the public.

 Fort Theater, pdf [BF05-176] Listed 2006/07/12

Located in Kearney the Fort Theater was constructed in 1914 by F.G. Keens. When it opened Keens named the decorative brick theater the Empress. A fire on January 8, 1940, gutted the Empress, but left the main façade of the building intact. After the fire the building was sold to George and Don Monroe. Following a complete reconstruction the renamed Fort Theater opened in late summer of 1940. The Fort Theater continued to operate until the mid-1970s. As a result of its long continuous operation the Fort Theater is significant for its association with the history of entertainment in Kearney.

   Kearney National Guard Armory, pdf [BF05-177] Listed 2009/07/16

Constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1936, the Kearney National Guard Armory is significant for its association with military history in Nebraska and as a community gathering place for local residents. A garage, also constructed by the WPA in 1938, represents the National Guard's transition from horses to motorized vehicles. Furthermore, the Kearney National Guard Armory exhibits the aesthetics and make-work ethos of the New Deal Era.

  Walter Klehm House, pdf [BF05-220] Listed 1999/03/25

The Walter Klehm House, designed in the English Cottage style, is located in Kearney. Historic housing stock in the city predominantly dates from the 1910s through the 1920s, logically coinciding with the largest boom in residential construction. The Klehm house, built in 1931, immediately post-dates this boom and represents a different scale and style of building.

Harmon Park [BF05-418] Listed 2010/12/10

Established in 1876, and greatly expanded in 1924, Harmon Park featured a baseball field, playground, and a formal garden and fountain. During the Great Depression, Harmon Park developed further through a series of New Deal projects, which included the Art Deco style Sonotorium and Bathhouse and a whimsical rock garden featuring an intertwined stream and footpath, a series of lily ponds and even a "lighthouse" observation tower. It is a wonderful example of the creativity and workmanship typical of Depression-era make-work projects.

Masonic Temple and World Theater Building, pdf [BF05-471] Listed 2009/11/10

This impressive four-story brick building has anchored the north end of Kearney's commercial district since its construction in 1927. It has long served its intended dual functions as a stage/movie theater and as Kearney's Masonic Lodge and is significant to the city's social and entertainment history. The building was designed in the Neoclassical style by architect James T. Allen, who had experience in theater design after completing the Roseland Theater in Omaha four years earlier.

 Meisner Bank, pdf [BF14-017] Listed 1999/03/25

Located in Shelton, the Meisner Bank Building was constructed in 1908-10. It is architecturally significant as a well preserved example of a prominent main street bank building. The structure is also significant for its historic association with the commercial development of Shelton.


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Last updated 9 November 2010

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