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New York State Capitol

State Street, Between S. Eagle and Swan Streets
Albany NY United States

Construction Dates
Floor Count5
Basement Floors1
Building Uses
 - capitol building
 - government
Structural Types
 - highrise
Architectural Style
 - beaux arts
 - chateau
 - classical
 - renaissance revival
 - romanesque
 - glass
 - stone
 - granite
 - brick

 Heights ValueSource / Comments 
Spire220 ftJim Jamieson, Capitol Architect, 5/8/2006

• Architect(s): Thomas W. Fuller (original), Leopold Eidlitz, Isaac G. Perry, and Henry Hobson Richardson.

• It is one of only 10 capitol buildings in the United States not topped by a dome, massive granite building crowning a hill overlooking downtown Albany.

• The exterior facade reminds a giant French chateau, with 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 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.

• Because so many architects worked on the design of this structure, it is often referred to by historians and architectural enthusiast as a "The Battle of Styles". The firt team was conducted by British architect Thomas W. Fuller from 1867 to 1875, developing the plan, general massing and exterior decoration. A proposed tower could not be built because of soil conditions. After 8 years of work with only three floors completed, he was substituted by Leopold Eidlitz and Henry Hobson Richardson, lead architects from 1875 to 1883. Eidlitz designed the north and east facades and the Assembly Chamber, and Richardson the west and south facades along with the Senate Chamber. Construction was completed under architect Isaac G. Perry from 1883 to 1899, doing carving and interior paneling.

• The architectural styles present on this building including Romanesque, Italian Renaissance, French Chateauesque, and Beaux Arts.

• The design of this capitol building was inspired by the design of the Hotel de Ville (City Hall) of Paris.

• Originally built atop quicksand, the sand was removed during its long construction and replaced by concrete to stabilize the foundation.

• The west end was damaged by fire in 1911 and was fully reconstructed. Also, The Senate Chamber was restored by architect John Messick between 1978 and 1982 and Restoration of the Assembly Chamber began in 1997 under Françoise Bollack Architects.

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