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NY - Albany: New York State Capitol | by wallyg
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NY - Albany: New York State Capitol

The New York State Capitol, completed in 1899 at a cost of $25 million (roughly half a billion current dollars), was the most expensive government building of its time. Inspired by the Hôtel de Ville, it is one of only ten state capitol buildings in the United States without a dome.


Construction began in 1867 under British architect Thomas Fuller, who is credited with the plan, general massing, and exterior decoration. After eight years of work with only three floors completed, in 1875 he was by Lieutenant Governor William Dorsheimer in favor or Leopold Eidlitz and Henry Hobson Richardson, the later of whose influence can be seen in the building's Richardsonian Romanesque features. Eidlitz designed the north and east facades and the Assembly Chamber, and Richardson the west and south facades along with the Senate Chamber. Upon his election to governorship, Grover Cleveland reviewed the mounting costs of construction and replaced Eidlitz and Richardson with Isaac G. Perry in 1883 to complete the project. Perry is credited with much of the building's carving and interior paneling. The west end was damaged by fire in 1911 and was fully reconstructed. The Senate Chamber was restored by architect John Messick between 1978 and 1982. Restoration of the Assembly Chamber began in 1997 under Françoise Bollack Architects.


The exterior of the lower three floors is designed in the manner of the French Second Empire with Doric and Corinthian columns, arched windows, and rusticated stone work. The fourth floor is Romanesque. On the fifth floor the towers, cornices, and dormers suggest the style of Francis I. The pedestals and balustrades of the monumental front staircase and the many chimneys are French Renaissance.


Notable architectural features include its interior "Million Dollar Staircase." The exterior, reminiscent of a giant French chateau, features pyramidal red tile corner roofs at the corners connected by long gray slate roofs; high dormers; chimneys, and balustrades; and a monumental eastern staircase extending 166 feet from the building. The Capitol exterior is made of white granite from Hallowell, Maine, and the building incorporates marble cut by state prisoners at Sing Sing. The granite structure is 220 feet tall at its highest point.


National Register #71000519 (1971)

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Taken on August 6, 2009