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February 10, 2015

A renowned architect’s influence in Lincoln, Nebraska

Wells Fargo Center, at the corner of 13th and O streets in Lincoln, Nebraska, was built by the firm of architect I.M. Pei in 1976.

“There's a sense of pride, I think, that the entire community has about this building.”

That’s the viewpoint of Wells Fargo Communications Consultant Robin Schelstraete, who was there when the building at the corner of 13th and O streets in Lincoln, Nebraska, was dedicated in 1976. Wells Fargo Center, considered a downtown landmark, was built by the firm of I.M. Pei, the architect known for works such as the Louvre Pyramid in Paris, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

Retired architect James Stange was with the Lincoln architecture firm originally hired to construct the building. When the bank wanted a nationally known firm to be a part of the project, I.M. Pei won the business for his firm. James worked with him personally and remembers the experience fondly.

“[Pei’s former firm partner] Jim Freed was the basic designer of this facility,” James remembers. “In our meetings in New York, Pei always sat in on them, and he’d be there a couple hours and comment and talk and ask questions.”

The building as it appeared at the time of its 1976 dedication. Photo by Gorchev & Gorchev Photography.
The building’s dedication plaque, noting the architects of record.
A ficus tree planted in 1976 still grows today in the Wells Fargo Center’s lobby.
The building under construction in early February 1975. Used with permission, Davis Design.
The bank lobby as it appeared in 1976. Photo by Gorchev & Gorchev Photography.
The bank lobby as it appears today.
Architect I.M. Pei. Photo by Victor Orlewicz, courtesy Pei Cobb Freed & Partners
The building as it appeared at the time of its 1976 dedication. Photo by Gorchev & Gorchev Photography.
The building’s dedication plaque, noting the architects of record.
A ficus tree planted in 1976 still grows today in the Wells Fargo Center’s lobby.
The building under construction in early February 1975. Used with permission, Davis Design.
The bank lobby as it appeared in 1976. Photo by Gorchev & Gorchev Photography.
The bank lobby as it appears today.
Architect I.M. Pei. Photo by Victor Orlewicz, courtesy Pei Cobb Freed & Partners
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