New York State Capital Building
many state capitol buildings which are inspired by Classical
architecture, the New York capitol building takes
its inspiration from the Hôtel de Ville in Paris.
The building history is complicated, extending over
a quarter of a century and involving the efforts of
four architects. Thus the Capitol demonstrates various
The Capitol was initially designed
by Englishman Thomas Fuller, who also designed the Parliament
buildings in Ottawa, Canada. However, the Capitol that
Fuller envisioned was never completed.
Henry Hobson Richardson In 1876,
Fuller was replaced by two prominent American architects,
Leopold Eidlitz and Henry Hobson Richardson. Working
together to evaluate and modify Fuller's design, they
transformed the Capitol from a good building to a great
Spanning four decades, the finished Capitol took 32
years to build, from 1867 to 1899. The final cost was
a staggering $25 million dollars. Today, that same structure
would cost a half billion dollars to build.
Four hundred feet long and three hundred
feet wide, the Capitol has five stories with a full
basement and attic. It is constructed principally of
gray granite and has walls over sixteen feet thick at
With the change in architects, the
exterior design became a "battle of styles",
in which Italian Renaissance, Romanesque and French
Renaissance were blended. However, much the real beauty
of this building lies within.
Guided tours of the New York State
Capitol are available seven days a week. If you are
planning on being in the Albany area, and are interested
in a guided tour of the Capitol, call your local Assemblymember
or contact the Office of General Services - Visitor
Assistance at (518) 474-2418 for tour times.