I heard a lot about the New York State Capitol building that I decided to go for a day. I took Amtrak and the journey lasted for about 2.5-3 hours. I experienced few breathtaking views during the entire journey.
The Albany State Capitol is stunningly beautiful inside and these pictures will not do it justice. It took over 32 years to construct and today it sits incomplete. This building was completed in 1899 at a cost of US$25 million (equivalent to $735 million in 2017), making it the most expensive government building of its time.
There are free Capitol tours starting from 9am in the morning lasting till 5pm in the evening. The guide was patient enough to explain every detail and friendly enough to let us take as many pictures as we wanted. I was amazed to see the old elevator still working just fine even after a fire disaster which destroyed the entire building calling for a renovation..
We walked through the beautiful corridors.
“Nestled within the labyrinth of stone that is the NY State Capitol lies the Senate chamber, proclaimed the “most beautiful room in America”. Visitors are allowed only into the senate chamber but not allowed downstairs where the actual sessions take place.
This chamber that has been designed by Henry H. Richardson is a haven of beauty and elegance. Mr. Richardson designed the room in Romanesque style which was developed in Italy and Western Europe. His plans included carved Oak for the 50 foot high ceiling, pale grey stone for the two huge decorative fireplaces at the rear chamber, golden Mexican Onyx, Yellow Siena marble from Italy, red-brown granite Scotland, red leather from Spain, Mahogany from Caribbean, pink Knoxville marble and 23-kt leaf covering the walls of the arcade.
Here comes the million dollar staircase. This Great Western Staircase, also known as the Million Dollar Staircase, took an unheard of 14 years to construct, from 1883-1897 costing, more than one million dollars.
It is made of sandstone imported from Scotland. The massive staircase is most notably known for the intricate carvings that decorate the stairs. There are many number of faces carved on the staircase. 77 of which are faces of famous individuals, and the rest are referred to as the ‘Capitol’s Unknowns’, as they remain unidentified. There are over 1000 unidentified faces.
Heading towards the less fancy Lower house.
The walls have beautiful patterns painted and the yellow paint is 23-kt gold.
Finally, the Governor’s War Room has wonderful ceiling paintings depicting the various wars and battles of New York’s history and Lady Liberty in the center of the ceiling.