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Location DB > United States > New York > Albany > New York State Capitol
New York State Capitol
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 Database Info
created by Dotsebeil on 7/11/2007 7:10 PM
last modified by Dotsebeil on 7/11/2007 7:45 PM
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled by its creator as Public, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.

 Basic Information
Type: Building
Status: Active
Accessibility: Easy
Recommendation: check it out if you're nearby
 Physical Information
State Street
Albany, New York
United States
Owner: NYS Government
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  •  Hazards
     Interesting Features
    The carving, specifically in the million dollar staircase, is absolutely stunning. The entire building is made from granite, sandstone, and marble.
     Security Measures
  • 24 hour guard
  • locked gates
  • welded doors
  • cameras
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1867
    Closed: 0
     Required Equipment
     Recommended Equipment

    History from
    The Capitol was initially designed by Englishman Thomas Fuller, who also designed the Parliament buildings in Ottawa, Canada. However, the Capitol that Fuller envisioned was never completed.
    In 1876, Fuller was replaced by two prominent American architects, Leopold Eidlitz and Henry Hobson Richardson. Working together to evaluate and modify Fuller's design, they transformed the Capitol from a good building to a great one.
    Spanning four decades, the finished Capitol took 32 years to build, from 1867 to 1899. The final cost was a staggering $25 million dollars. Today, that same structure would cost a half billion dollars to build.
    Construction on a new ceiling for the Assembly Chamber began in 1888. The ceiling was supposed to be made of solid oak. Instead, the contractor substituted panels made of oak and papier-mache, a cost-cutting material not authorized by the legislature. Discovery of the substitution caused much controversy.
    Twenty-two years later, in 1911, a horrendous fire swept through the Capitol, causing wholesale destruction to everything in its path. The flames roared wildly through both the State and Assembly libraries reducing them to ashes.

    The Capitol fire then raced toward the Assembly Chamber. It was certain, if the fire engulfed the largest room in the Capitol, the entire building would be lost.

    In a twist of fate, the Capitol was saved from total destruction. The progress of the fire was slowed by the papier- mache ceiling in the Assembly chamber. These controversial panels absorbed the water that was poured into the Capitol from the fire fighter's hoses.
    The most prominent interior features of the Capitol its the three major staircases.
    Lavishly carved in a variety of stone and crowned with magnificent skylights, the staircases are three of the most admired features of the Capitol.
    The Senate and Assembly Staircases were designed by Leopold Eidlitz with the Assembly staircase being the first to be completed. The stone carving on this staircase, although more subtle and restrained than that of the others, is still impressive.
    The Great Western Staircase, also known as the Million Dollar Staircase, took an unheard of 14 years to construct, from 1883-1897 and cost, more than one million dollars. The delays in constructing this magnificent staircase were two-fold. Designed by Henry Hobson Richardson and built by Isaac Perry, the staircase contains 444 steps and reaches 119 feet high. is renowned as an outstanding example of American architectural stone carving excellence.
    Over 500 stone cutters and carvers were employed at various times. Many were Europeans who had mastered their trade in their homelands of England, Scotland and Italy.
    Their main task was the carving of various prominent people into the stone as ordered by chief architect Isaac Perry. He wanted 77 in all. What's remarkable is these 77 faces, along with countless other designs, were sculptured from existing stone walls.
    Using only ladders and scaffolding, often in very uncomfortable positions, these stone artists spent years, at a salary of five dollars a day, sculpturing some of the finest stonework found anywhere in the world.
    Among the 77 famous faces beautifully carved into the sandstone staircases are such famous Americans as Washington, Lincoln, Grant, and Susan B. Anthony - each etched with astonishingly fine detail.With the stone gallery of prominent Americans out of the way, Perry decided to allow his elite group of carvers to sculpt the faces of friends, relatives, and people seen on the streets.

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     Photo Galleries
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    Phone Photos
    Wed, Jul 11th, 2007
    posted by Dotsebeil
    16 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Better photos
    Fri, Feb 1st, 2008
    posted by Dotsebeil
    14 pictures

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     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

    This location has not yet been rated by a moderator.
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by TurboZutek on 7/23/2008 12:31 PM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Jul 23 08 at 12:31, TurboZutek validated this location
  • on Feb 1 08 at 15:05, Dotsebeil updated the main picture
  • on Feb 1 08 at 15:02, Dotsebeil updated gallery picture Million Dollar Staircase 012
  • on Feb 1 08 at 15:02, Dotsebeil updated gallery picture Million Dollar Staircase 011
  • on Feb 1 08 at 15:00, Dotsebeil updated gallery picture Million Dollar Staircase 012
  • on Feb 1 08 at 15:00, Dotsebeil updated gallery picture Million Dollar Staircase 011
  • on Feb 1 08 at 15:00, Dotsebeil updated gallery picture Million Dollar Staircase 010
  • on Feb 1 08 at 14:59, Dotsebeil updated gallery picture Senate Chamber Hallway
  • on Feb 1 08 at 14:59, Dotsebeil updated gallery picture Senate Window
  • on Feb 1 08 at 14:59, Dotsebeil updated gallery picture Million Dollar Staircase 009
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