Top 10 Liminal Spaces of Downtown Lincoln


Have you ever walked through a place and felt like you were in a dream? The smell of damp carpet and fluorescent lighting, the space is eerie, yet familiar. 

 

One of the many hallways in the US Bank Building.
BY TESSA WISER

With dimly lit staircases and winding hallways that feel stuck in time, Downtown Lincoln has a lot of spaces that are perfect for an adventure during the spookiest month of the year. 

A liminal space is a location that is a transition between two other locations or states of being. They can be abandoned, oftentimes empty. Think of the Skywalks or an apartment lobby at 4 a.m. This makes it feel frozen, slightly unsettling, but still familiar to our lives. 

Here are the top ten places in Downtown Lincoln that show the liminal space aesthetic is the perfect one for Halloween. 

 

10. UBT Place 

Formerly the Wells Fargo Building, the UBT Place building fits right in as they revamp the space. With its empty floors and high ceilings, you feel as if you’re in an apocalypse movie with all the greenery around.

Union Bank and Trust Place have many faux plants that help the staircase have an overgrown look. 

 

9. SCC 

This is the perfect place for the liminal space aesthetic to thrive. SCC’s alabaster halls and clean feel portray a simple place to get to and from class but still feels like there is something human that is missing. 

An Southeast Community College hallway that feels like there is something around the corner. 

The elevator shaft of SCC reflecting the windows on the other wall. 

8. Federal Trust 

Inside is an empty space available that used to be a bank and winding staircases that feel like they come out of nowhere. This is an awesome place to just explore and see where you end up. 

A stairway inside the Federal Trust Building, does a monster loom in the shadow? Only one way to find out...

An old bank or an entrance to the train station to Hogwarts. 

 

7. Bennett Martin Library 

Libraries are always a good place for the liminal space aesthetic. The shelves upon shelves upon shelves of books make it feel like you could be walking in there for ages. Inside, Bennett Martin’s little garden feels overgrown and wild enough that is a little slice of heaven that shouldn’t be touched. 

Rows and rows of books at Bennett Martin.

Bennett Martin's elevator looks out on their public garden. 

Vines grow on the brick exterior of Bennett Martin's public garden, a chipped stepping stone in the water fountain provide a liminal aesthetic to this place. 

 

6. Miller and Paine 

The winding halls inside Miller and Paine provide an almost pink hue to its walls from the overhead lighting. Walking through the halls feels like a place frozen in time. An obsolete bank that used to live inside the hallowed halls of Miller and Paine only adds to the building’s aesthetic.

The walls in this hallway appear pink from fluorescent overhead lighting inside the Miller and Paine Building. 

Down the hall in the Miller and Paine Building is emptied lot where a small bank branch used to stand. 

The elevators heading towards the skywalk makes the tunnel seem like it never ends, even after the doors. 

 

5. US Bank Building 

The occasional water-stained carpet makes the spaces feel more real and less dreamlike. Still, with its empty walls, you can’t help but feel there is something lurking outside the halls.  

A zigzag-y hallway in the depths of the US Bank Building, fit with a small foot tall outpost. 

A water-stained carpet in a hallway inside the US Bank Building, it appears something is lurking behind the glass tiled wall. 

A staircase leads into the many halls of the US Bank Building. 

 

4. Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel  

The consistent patterns of the green railing and the brick walls feel untouched by humanity. Everything inside feels like a repeating pattern that could be a location in a video game. The Cornhusker Hotel provides an industrial color scheme that allows the architecture of the building to stand out.

Tall brick pillar-like walls contrast with the blue-green stair railing inside the Cornhusker Hotel. 

An empty area that feels like something could be hiding in one of the many alcoves.

A beautiful example of the repetition inside the main entrance of the Cornhusker Hotel. 

A winding hallway inside the Cornhusker Hotel leading to the skywalk. There are two locked doors on the side of the hallway, the only way to go is forward.

 

3. Skywalks of Downtown Lincoln 

The Skywalks of Downtown Lincoln feel futuristic or like a fever dream. A hallway floating in between two buildings allows you to look out onto the street while staying out of the elements. These skywalks provide an ominous feeling with their repeated window paneling.

The tinted windows in the skywalk that leads to the US Bank Building, provides a sepia color scheme. 

A railing points the way in the sky walk leading to the Atrium Building. 

The skywalk leading to the Cornhusker Hotel. 

The skywalk on O street. 

 

2. M Street Parking Garage

This space feels like it is pulled straight out of a zombie apocalypse. The unkept interior makes it appear forgotten, and the facade could use a touch-up, but it feels more appropriate just the way it is. 

The top of the M Street Parking Garage.

An abandoned section of the M Street Parking Garage littered with dead leaves. The hairs on your neck stand up as you feel like you are not alone. 

Inside the parking garage where it is lit with mostly natural sunlight through it's windows and industrial lightbulbs. 

Avoid the black void that is swallowing the Sharp Building. 

Down into the parking garage where light is dim, who knows what is lurking down there.

 

And lastly…

1. Atrium Building 

This is the most liminal space in Downtown Lincoln. The inside feels untouched by humanity and the feels like a perfect parallel scene with small touches that make it feel more like a place where people work. The escalators perfectly frame the interior of the Atrium Building, creating a calming atmosphere while making your stomach flop because something is missing. 

A top of the escalators in the Atrium Buidling, the sun shining through the windows brighten the space. 

The top of the escalator is bare, what what lies at the bottom? 

Small tables and chairs are set up for people to enjoy their lunch in the Atrium Building seem untouched. 

The other side of the balcony where the elevators are in the Atrium Building. 

The skylights inside the Atrium Building that gives it the almost blue hue. 

A hallway in the Atrium Building that continues to go on as it curves. 

 



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