Architecture Highlights of Albany

Road Trip in Numbers
October 5, 2011
Bohemian Beaches:Tarabin, Sinai, Egypt
October 21, 2011

Architecture Highlights of Albany

Empire State Plaza
The Egg and Corning Tower of the Empire State Plaza

Empire State Plaza

The State Museum, Albany
The grand vision of Nelson Rockefeller, the Empire State Plaza was constructed between 1959 and 1976 at a cost of $1.7 billion. The 40-block zone displaced thousands of residents but is credited with the revitalization of downtown Albany. Some of its 11 buildings include the New York State Museum, the Egg (preforming arts center), and the 42-floor Corning Tower which has free observation deck.


New York State Capital

Inside New York State House
Begun in 1867, this stunning building took 32 years and $25 million to complete. It took several different architects over the years, which probably explains the mélange of architectural styles, from Italian Renaissance to Romanesque to French Renaissance. Although it doesn’t seem like much, the cost in today’s figures would be a staggering ½ billion dollars. Don’t miss the “Million Dollar Staircase”. Tours are offered 7 days a week at selected times.


State University of New York

What was once the administrative offices of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad, this building is handsome enough to be the Parliament building of some country. Today it’s occupied by the State University of New York. The giant weathervane at the top is a replica of The Half Moon, Henry Hudson’s ship.


Albany City Hall

Albany City Hall
City Hall was constructed between 1880 and 1883 and houses the first municipal carillon in the United States. It was equipped with 60 bells in 1927 and is still played today.


New York State Education Building


This building features 36 Corinthian Columns—the longest colonnade in the United States.


Alfred E. Smith Building


Completed in 1928, this Art Deco skyscraper has 34 stories and is the second tallest structure in Albany.


Union Station

Union Station
The Station received 96 trains per day in 1900, 121 per day during World War II, and served as the Capital District’s main railway station until 1968.


Check out my Flick gallery for more photos from Albany.

Spread the love
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno has been traveling the world and writing about it for the better part of 20 years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad magazine. He blogs at Bohemian Traveler and edits the independent travel magazine He most recently set up a tour company offering authentic, small group tours at Unquote Travel. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


  1. Juno says:

    How many columns? THIRTY SIX COLUMNS!! I can still hear Norman’s voice… Great post about Albany! And thanks for linking my photo post!

  2. Michael Bugno says:

    Great post, your pictures make it more beautiful than I remember the downtown being! Where’s Lucci’s Barber Shop? And Clayton Place – did you climb the tree in the backyard??

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *