Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Visit to the State Capital Building in Albany - Great Western Staircase

Public Photo - others are mine

Last weekend Ed and I stayed in the Hudson Valley. Where we stayed was close to Albany, the New York state capital. We decided to tour the Capital Building, which is supposed to be one of the most beautiful in the US. It is at least one of the more interesting Capital buildings I have seen. Most are traditional in the manor of the US Capital building.

The New York Capital is not this type of building. It is in a style reminiscent of the Guilded Age mansions in Newport Rhode Island, New York City and the Long Island Gold Cost. It was started in 1873. The first meetings were in 1881 and was one of the first public buildings that was electrified. Primary construction was completed in 1899. Fire caused damage in 1911, that was fixed.

In 2010 a project was completed that reopened the skylights, moved offices out of hallways and renovated the building back to its original designed intent. This is the capital building we see today, and it is gorgeous.

This is the "Great Western Staircase". It was refurbished in 2002. The carvings are all from various stone carvers, and most are distinctly different. The stone carvers were given the information on where the stones would go, but many often the details of what to carve were left up to them.

The view from the bottom to up to skylight.

Ed under one of the carvings. A Dragon

Why is a dragon here? Juts because the stone carver wanted it

The Western Staircase has a semi-Moroccan design, all with Scottish stone that was easy to carve.

At the top of the stairs is this hallway outside of the House Chamber.

The hallway above is interesting because of its history. First, it is gorgeous. And no one knows why the palms are there. The palms (different ones of course) haver been there since the building was dedicated. From 1940s through 1998, the hallway was divided in half, with the outside part (overlooking the atrium) turned into offices.

The extra workers moved into various state buildings from the 1960s through the 2000s. Our guide said it was great that the offices put down carpets, because when it was restored, the tile looked great.


This is a detail of the elevator. Also check out the tile on the floor.

More later.

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