In 1874 construction began on Lincoln's first U.S. Post Office and Courthouse on a block originally intended as a market square. The building was completed by 1879 at a cost of about. $200,000. Alfred B. Mullet, supervising architect of the U.S. Treasury and his successor, William Appleton Potter, prepared the design. The building is of brick, faced with Nebraska limestone, and blends Gothic Revival and French Second Empire styles.
In 1906, when a new post office and courthouse was completed on the northeast corner of this block, the federal government sold the old building to the city for $50,000. It served as Lincoln's city hall until 1969, when a new county-city building was occupied. Deed provisions required Old City Hall to remain in municipal use or it would revert to federal ownership.
In 1969 Old City Hall was one of the first Lincoln buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Lincoln/Lancaster County Historical Society advocated its preservation, and federal, city, and community support accomplished its renovation. It continues to house city and community agencies.