Albany Things to Do

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Best Rated Things to Do in Albany

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    City Hall

    by Bwana_Brown Updated May 29, 2004

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    Albany City Hall

    When standing between the State Capital Building and the columns of the NY State Education building, all you have to do is turn sideways and you can also view the beautiful design of the Albany City Hall. This Romanesque-style of building also highlights one of the characteristics of its designer, Henry H. Richardson. Built between 1880-1883, it features light granite stones off-set with darker stones used for the trim. He was also one of the designers of the State Capital Building located on the same square! There appeared to be lots to do and see here in the heart of the city, but my time was running out and I had to clear out of Dodge!

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    Washington Street Armory

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Nov 24, 2005

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    Washington Street Armory

    One of the first impressive looking buildings that I came across as I drove down Western Avenue and then Washington Street into the heart of Albany was this large brick Armory. Built in 1891 to serve as a military focal point for upstate New York, the grand old structure was retired from active duty 100 years later, in 1991. Standing idle since then, the building has gradually deteriorated. However, a rescue effort was launched in late 2003 when the government turned it over to the Albany Industrial Development Agency for $1. The plan is to spend about $20 million in repairs so the building can now be used to house the city's main library branch. September, 2005 - this just in from ''chizek72": The Washington Street Armory Sports and Convention Arena is now one of New York's premier mid-size venues for sports, entertainment and business. The Washington Street Armory is the home of the Albany Patroons Basketball Team.

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    Classical Greek Building

    by Bwana_Brown Written Apr 18, 2004

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    Formerly the NY State Library

    Another photo of the NY State Education Building, that started its life in 1912 as home to the New York State Library. Designed by Henry Hornbostel, and built between 1908-12, the prominant feature of the structure is its 36 fluted pillars of marble from Danby, Vermont. These huge columns are 90 feet tall and 6.5 feet in diameter at their base. In 1978 the library was moved to a new building specially designed for better preservation of the numerous artifacts in the library collection.

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    Massive Pillars

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Apr 18, 2004

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    Huge Columns of the State Education Building

    I was really impressed by the size and design of the NY State Education Department Building in the centre of Albany, opposite the State Capital Building. The size of the Corinthian columns forming the colonnade along the front of the building was amazing. These columns are reputed to be the tallest in the world of this type.

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    STATE EDUCATION BUILDING

    by moiraistyx Updated Sep 28, 2006

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    STATE EDUCATION BUILDING

    The New York State Education building was completed in January of 1911. It was the first american builidng built soley for the purpose of education. Designed by Henry Hornsbostle and cost nearly 4 million dollars to build. The building follows a neo-classical design and has 36 pillars supporting the weight of the upper floors. Here are some interesting facts about this wonderful building:

    1. The Education Building was dedicated in 1912 and cost was approximately 4 million dollars to build.
    2. The chandelier on the second floor in the rotunda is 70 feet long. It is silver coated and cost approximately 20 thousand dollars.
    3. Underneath exterior of the colonnade is a steel structure covered by Indiana limestone.
    4. The State flag only flies in front of the building when the Board of Education is in session
    5. The front of the Education Building has 36 columns which makes it one of the longest colonnades in the world.
    6. In 1976, the State Museum moved from the top floor of the Education Building to the Empire State Plaza’s Cultural Education Center .
    7. In 1978The State library moved to the utilitarian rooms in the Empire State Plaza’s Cultural Education Center.

    This building in just one of the many beautiful buildings to see in Albany.

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    STATE CAPITAL BUILDING

    by moiraistyx Updated Sep 28, 2006

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    STATE CAPITAL BUILDING

    The state capital building in Albany is one of the most beautiful capital buildings in the US. It is actually the result of over 30 years of work by 4 different architects; Thomas Fuller, Leopold Eiditz, Henry Hobson Richardson and Isacc Perry. Thomas Fuller designed the first two floors with an Italian Renaissance influence, Leopold Eiditz, Henry Hobson Richardson and Isacc Perry used a Romanesque style on the 3rd and 4th floors. Perry is responsible for what has become known as "the million dollar staircase". The capital building at the time it was built was the most expensive public building to be built. On On March 28, 1911 a disatrous fire hit the libray in the state captial building destroying over 450 thousand books and 270 thousand manuscripts.

    Here are some interesting facts about this wonderful work:

    1.The original capitol was designed by Philip Hooker and the cornerstone was laid on April 23, 1806, on the site of the existing Capitol park.
    2. The original Capitol had a time ball which fell every day at noon. It was placed at the top of the building.
    3. It took 32 years to build the present capital building and cost 25 million dollars.
    4. The cornerstone of the present capitol was lost during renovations after the library fire in 1911 and still has not been found.
    5. The Million Dollar Staircase cost more than one million dollars and has no where near one million steps. The faces in the the walls and columns of the staircase are of governors, famous people, and children of the stone carvers.
    6. Each senator receives a new chair, made of red Spanish leather, for the Senate Chamber when he/she is elected. The darker the leather the longer the senator has held office.
    7. In the Governor's Red Room there is gold plate painted on the walls, and a hidden elevator that was built for one of New York's famous governors.

    The Capital Building is currently undergoing extensive renovations, but you can still get free tours during regular business hours.

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    Westminster Presbyterian Church

    by moiraistyx Written Sep 18, 2006

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    THE STEEPLE
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    I attended a confernce held in this church today. I was inspired by the amount of community involvement of this church. Not only is it a great example of 19th century craftmanship, but it's also beautiful on the inside. One of my workshops was in the Well's Room, a small meeting room furnished with antiques and decorated beautifully. I was able to find out a little history about the church such. Construction began in April of 1861 and was finished in October of 1862. The roof was destroyed by a fire in 1928 but was rebuilt. The parish today is actually the result of two parishes combining in 1919. The church has a beautifully landscaped sitting area just outside it's front doors.

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    EMPIRE STATE PLAZA

    by moiraistyx Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    SIDE VIEW OF THE PLAZA
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    Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza commissioned his friend Wallace K. Harrison (see Rockefeller Center) to be principal architect of the Plaza. The Empire State Plaze is one of the most fantastic capital centers in the country. The Plaza encompasses 98 acres of land, and provides jobs to 11,000 people in 10 buildings. Construction of the Plaza began in 1965 and was completed in 1978. Thousands of tourists visit the Plaza every year. It also hosts the New York State Museum, festivals, concerts, ice skating during the cold weather, and many, many other events.

    Tours of the Plaza are conducted Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m and are free of charge. They last about one hour. Tours begin at the Plaza Visitor Center in the North Concourse.

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    ST PETERS PROTESANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH

    by moiraistyx Updated May 1, 2008

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    ST PETERS PROTESANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH
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    On just about any street you walk down in Albany you are bound to find a beautiful church you will want to stop and admire. When SES and I were taking a brief walk up State St. I saw this wonderful church and just had to snap a picture or two, OK three, but who's counting. The current church was built in 1859 after two other churches had been built and demolished for various reasons. The present day church was designed by Richard Upjohn and built nearly identical to his specifications, the exceptions were the placement of the vestry room and the tower. The church is constructed from Schnectady Blue Stone. For further detail about the architecture of the church see the web site.

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    ST MARYS CHURCH

    by moiraistyx Written Sep 20, 2006

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    ST MARYS CHURCH

    The thing that caught my eye about this small but historically significant church was the angel on top of the steeple. For some strange reason I was drawn to this church. After researching it and finding out more about the church I understand why. St. Isaac Jogues blessed this site when he hid in a nearby barn when he escaped from Mohawk Indians. This is the third church to reside on this site. The previous two were torn down to build a larger church to accomodate the growing parish. Construction of the present church began in August of 1867. It was designed in the Romanesque Rivival style by Charles Nichols. The church cost an estimated 100 thousand dollars to build and was dedicated by Reverand John Conroy the second Bishop of Albany.

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    EMMANUEL BAPTIST CHURCH

    by moiraistyx Written Sep 18, 2006

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    EMMANUEL BAPTIST CHURCH

    I was attending a conferance across the street from this amazing looking church. I couldn't resist taking a picture. This is just one of many wonderful churches to be found in Albany. I love the aquare steeple marked by the posts on the 4 corners.

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    St Peter's Episcopal Church

    by mrclay2000 Written Dec 27, 2003

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    St Peter's Episcopal Church

    Set off a block or two from the Romanesque City Hall, Albany's St Peter's Episcopal Church is the second most imposing spire on the city skyline. Built in 1859 and the third church on this site, there are few houses of worship anywhere with a richer architectural heritage. From the buttresses running along the adjacent sidewalk, to the single campanile, to the stained glass windows on all four facades within, St Peter's is justly listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks, a remarkable achievement in a city of remarkable architecture.

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    Albany City Hall

    by mrclay2000 Written Dec 27, 2003

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    Albany City Hall

    Complete with a clocktower and looking much like a medieval church, the Romanesque Albany City Hall is first among the city's listings on the National Register of Historic Places. The architect's fondness for Romanesque features in dark stone setting the trim for lighter granite is a perfect fit for this building, finished in the 1880s. Today it houses the mayoral offices and other civic departments, and remains one of the city's most photographed buildings.

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    State Capitol Building

    by mrclay2000 Written Dec 27, 2003

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    capitol at Albany, based on Paris' Hotel de Ville

    The state capitol building in Albany has one of the most detailed and ornate exteriors among capitol buildings in the United States. One of few without a dome, the structure incorporates few separate architectural styles, leaving today's building appearing little different from a nobleman's palace in the Old World. Inside, the congressional and gubernatorial chambers are posh with marble and ornate trappings. Throughout its architecture, the State Capitol Building rightfully belongs on the list of America's architectural masterpieces.

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    The Egg

    by mrclay2000 Written Dec 27, 2003

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    The Meeting Center (or Egg) at left

    By far the most interesting building on the Empire State Plaza, the Meeting Center (popularly known as "the Egg" from its form) is the only curvilinear building amid the modern complex. Its design at once sets off the plaza as an ultramodern setting, though the other buildings generally follow a strictly functional form. Turning one's back on the state capitol and looking over the plaza, it is the Egg (which holds two auditoriums) which soothes the eye from a endless supply of right angles.

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Albany Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Albany things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Albany sightseeing.

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