The Striking New York State Capital Complex in Albany: Empire State Plaza   Leave a comment


The Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza (known commonly as the Empire State Plaza, and less formally as the South Mall) is a complex of several state government buildings in downtown Albany, New York.

The complex was built between 1965 and 1976 at an estimated total cost of $2 billion. It houses several departments of the New York State administration and is integrated with the New York State Capitol, completed in 1899, which houses the state legislature. Among the offices located at the plaza are the Department of Health and the Biggs Laboratory of the Wadsworth Center.




Architectural style Modernist, Brutalist, International





The buildings constituting the plaza include:

  • the four Agency office buildings (numbered “Agency 1” through “Agency 4”)
  • the Mayor Erastus Corning 2nd Tower
  • The Egg (a theater)
  • the Cultural Education Center (State Museum, Library, and Archives)
  • the Robert Abrams Building for Law and Justice (known previously as the Justice Building)
  • the Legislative Office Building (LOB)
  • the Swan Street Building (sectioned into “Core 1” through “Core 4”)



The buildings are set around a row of three reflecting pools. On the west side are the four 23-story, 310-foot (94 m) Agency towers. On the east side is the Egg (Meeting Center) and the 44-floor (589-foot (180 m)) Erastus Corning Tower, which has an observation deck on the 42nd floor. On the south end is the Cultural Education Center, set on a higher platform; and on the north end is the New York State Capitol. While the Capitol predates the plaza, it is connected to the Concourse by an escalator which allows underground access to the rest of the plaza, most notably (to the New York State Legislature, at least), the Legislative Office Building.



The Egg, a 450 seat theatre.



The New York State Capital Building center.




Posted December 3, 2016 by markosun in Buildings, Cities

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