Items tagged with 'Capitol'

Capitol Hauntings 2018

New York State Capitol night noir filter

The annual Capitol Hauntings tours at the state Capitol building start up September 17 this year. That's two weeks earlier than in past years, an expanded scheduled the state Officer of General Services says was prompted by popular demand.

Blurbage for the free tours:

In tales that mix history with the macabre, tour guides will tell stories about the night watchman who died in the Capitol fire of 1911 and who some believe still makes his rounds today. They also recount tales of the two United States presidents who visited the Capitol after they died.
Find out where the Assembly Chamber's "lost" murals are located and what happened to the tormented artist who created them. Walking among the gargoyle-like carvings and strange carved faces, visitors will discover the location of the Capitol's "secret demon" and evidence of a curse the demon may hold on the Capitol will be revealed, along with other dark secrets.
The tour lasts about an hour, but the chilling, ghostly tales might haunt you forever.

The tours will be offered Monday-Friday at 1 pm and 5:30 pm and Saturdays at 1 pm. (No tours on Columbus Day.) The schedule runs through November 2.

Registration for the tours opens next Monday, August 27 (see the link above). And, as indicated, these tours do fill up very fast -- especially the 5:30 pm and Saturday slots. So if you interested in going, it's worth picking out a date and being ready to register for it next week.

10 facts about Philip Sheridan, whose statue has stood in front of the state Capitol for 100 years

Philip Sheridan statue NYS capitol

You know, this statue.

One hundred years ago today, on October 7, 1916, the statue that stands in front of the state Capitol was unveiled. The monument honors Philip Sheridan, one of the most famous Union generals of the Civil War -- and an Albany native (maybe, probably).

We suspect if you stopped the many people passing by the statue each day in downtown Albany, few would be able to tell you much about Sheridan. It's just one of the many monuments that dot the city. But the unveiling of the sculpture was a big event a century ago.

So, who was Sheridan? Well, like a lot of historical figures, he's considered a great hero -- and a villain -- depending on the context.

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Capitol Hauntings tours 2016

creepy state capitol

The popular Capitol Hauntings tours at the New York State Capitol start back up again next Monday, October 3 and run (weekdays) through Halloween. And registration is now open. The tours are free.

Tour blurbage:

Does the night watchman who died in the Capitol fire of 1911 still make his rounds?
Which two United States Presidents visited the Capitol after they died?
What happened to the "lost" Capitol murals and their eccentric artist?
Does the secret demon carved in stone hold a Capitol curse?
Come to the New York State Capitol for a special tour that explores these questions and other legends connected with this historic building.

There are two tours each day, at 12:30 pm and 5:30 pm. These tours are very popular and fill up quickly -- especially the 5:30 pm slots. So if you'd like to go, grab your spots soon.

image: NYS Office of General Services

Capitol now offering Saturday tours

state capitol interior archesThe tour program at the New York State Capitol is now offering tours on the second Saturday of each month. The first one is this Saturday, August 8 at 11 am and 1 pm. The tours are capped at 25 people each, and pre-registration is required. They're free.

In recent years Capitol tours were only available during the day Monday through Friday. So the Saturday tours are opportunity for people who otherwise wouldn't have been able to make it during the week to take the tour.

And you should take the tour. The state Capitol is a remarkable building, full of different architectural styles, art, and all sorts of history and stories. You can also get a look at the once-again-open Hall of Governors. Also: It's all looking sharp after years of renovations and restorations.

By the way: Keep an eye out for the very popular Capitol Hauntings tours this fall -- they fill up very quickly.

A plan for the state to remake a part of downtown Albany -- before the Empire State Plaza

1911 plan for area around Capitol in Albany

The Empire State Plaza and its history are getting a lot of attention this summer because it's the 50th anniversary of the official cornerstone being laid for the ESP (the exact anniversary was this past Sunday). And even in non-round number years, the ESP gets a lot of attention in discussions about the history, architecture, and planning of downtown Albany. Because of course.

But here's something new to us -- Albany Archives pointed it out to us this week -- so maybe it will be to you, too: There was was a proposed plan for the state to remake the area near the Capitol in Albany that pre-dated the ESP -- by more than 50 years. And the plan helps add some context for how things actually did turn out.

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Today's moment of winter, before and after

snowstorm 2015-01-27 before and after

There are sliding before-and-after photos at that link below.

Monday afternoon ahead of the forecasted icy, snowy apocalypse we snapped a few "before" pics. And then Tuesday afternoon we snapped a few after pics.

Mix to combine, and... today's moment(s) of winter, sliding between before and after.

Capitol Hauntings Tour 2014

creepy state capitol

Registration is now open for the annual Capitol Hauntings Tour at the state Capitol. Tour blurbage:

Does the night watchman who died in the Capitol fire of 1911 still make his rounds?
Which two United States Presidents visited the Capitol after they died?
What happened to the "lost" Capitol murals and their eccentric artist?
Does the secret demon carved in stone hold a Capitol curse?
Come to the New York State Capitol for a special tour that explores these questions and other legends connected with this historic building.

Tours start Monday, October 6 and run Monday-Friday through October 31 (except Columbus Day) at 12:30 pm and 5:30 pm. The tours are free they are very popular, especially the 5:30 pm tours. So if you're interested in going on the tour, you should sign up as soon as possible.

image: NYS Office of General Services

Scenes from the rally to repeal the NY SAFE Act

rally to repeal ny safe act new york state capitol 2013-02-28

Thousand of people rallied outside the Capitol Thursday for the repeal of the NY SAFE Act. Among those there: NRA president David Keene (Cap Con/NY Now has video). And Carl Paladino was also there, apparently in low-profile mode. [TU CapCon] [State of Politics]

A lot of the talk from the speakers was you might expect at a rally against a gun control law: a focus on the 2nd Amendment (and other rights), freedom, charges of government overreach, chants of "Cuomo's gotta go." And there were also some of the caricatures you might expect -- both in the people rallying, and in their messages (there were at a few führer references).

But there was also a lot of talk about things you might not expect if you're only familiar with these sorts of rallies via blurbs on the news. And it's the kind of stuff you could easily come across at, say, an anti-fracking rally (or whatever the issue): the importance of voting and voter registration, paying attention to what you're elected representatives are doing, problems with the legislative process and back room dealing.

Here are a bunch of scenes from the rally...

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Capitol Hauntings Tour 2012

creepy state capitol


Registration is now open for the popular Capitol Hauntings Tour at the state Capitol. From the blurbage:

Does the night watchman who died in the Capitol fire of 1911 still make his rounds? Which two United States Presidents visited the Capitol after they died?
What happened to the "lost" Capitol murals and their eccentric artist?
Does the secret demon carved in stone hold a Capitol curse?
Come to the New York State Capitol for a special tour that explores these questions and other legends connected with this historic building.

Tours start October 9. They're offered Monday-Friday (schedule post jump). You can register online.

The tours -- especially the evening times -- tend to fill up quickly. So if you'd like to go on a tour, head over to the website and sign up sooner rather than later.

And, hey, the tours are free.

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Capitol crane finally coming down

crane over capitol building

Not a permanent design feature, apparently.

So it turns out that big crane at the Capitol wasn't actually part of the building. Who knew, right? Twelve years of crane occupation will do that.

From a Cuomo admin press release:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the crane serving the Capitol restoration project will be permanently dismantled beginning today. The highly visible 274-foot-high red tower crane will be taken down more than a year ahead of initial estimates, continuing the Governor's efforts to accelerate work and cut costs on the Capitol restoration project. ...
The crane will be taken down using a "climber" machine that will remove vertical sections of the crane and then slide them out to the jib of the crane, which will then lower the sections to the ground. One additional ground mobile crane will also be brought in to help disassemble the lower parts of the crane and the jib and the counterweights. It is anticipated that the crane will be completely dismantled by the end of the week.
Several major projects have been completed since Governor Cuomo announced the project acceleration in May 2011. These include the completion of the Assembly skylight, renovation of Tower Hall, removal of exterior scaffolding, and re-opening West Capitol Park. The entire project is expected to be completed this fall, more than two years ahead of schedule.

The de-cranement will involve some lane reductions on Washington Ave this week. Details post jump.

By the way: Here's a photo from a few years back taken from the cab at the top of the crane.

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Paterson opens African American Experience exhibit at Capitol


David Paterson was back at the New York State Capitol today. Paterson joined Andrew Cuomo for the unveiling of the new exhibit in The War Room at the State Capitol, The African American Experience in New York.

Among the items on display: one of Louis Armstrong's trumpets, also includesa letter from writer Langston Hughes to W.E.B. DuBois and a Syracuse University trophy from Jim Brown.

Speaking to the press and the crowd at the opening, Paterson recalled Carl McCall's $1 million campaign for Lt. Governor in 1982, joking about how he, himself managed to become the first African American Lt. Governor and then Governor of New York State. "I just answered the phone. Didn't spend a dime."[Albany Watch]

If you stop by the exhibit, you may also want to check out the Hall of Governors and the restored skylight. [Wall Street Journal]

The Capitol is now restored -- more or less

capitol assembly staircase skylight unveilingA 5th floor balcony -- bathed in light from the newly open skylight for the Assembly staircase -- is Capitol Tonight Nick Reisman's pick for the "coolest" place in the Capitol. And it is rather cool. That's a photo of the recently unveiled skylight on the right. Nick has his own small photoset over at the State of Politics post.

The unveiling of the skylight was part of the Cuomo admin's recent announcement of the completion of the "major restoration projects" at the Capitol. The admin is now projecting that the entire Capitol restoration project will be "substantially completed" by this fall. That's ahead of schedule -- the original 14-year project (!) was slated to be finished in 2014. (As it happens, that sort of timeline is just about right for New York -- original construction of the Capitol lasted three decades.)

The Cuomo admin also recently launched a website that includes info and photos about the Capitol's various exhibits and tours.

Earlier on AOA: After Andrew Cuomo ordered the the Capitol's Hall of Governors re-opened to the public in January 2011, Akum checked it out -- including its "fascinating journey through the history of facial hair."

photo: Cuomo administration Flickr

Capitol Haunting Tours 2011

creepy state capitol

Even more ghoulish than usual.

Registration is now open for the popular Capitol Hauntings Tour. From the blurbage:

Does the night watchman who died in the Capitol fire of 1911 still make his rounds?
Which two United States Presidents visited the Capitol after they died?
What happened to the "lost" Capitol murals and their eccentric artist?
Does the secret demon carved in stone hold a Capitol curse?
Come to the New York State Capitol for a special tour that explores these questions and other legends connected with this historic building.

The tours are free, but you have to register for them (you can do it online this year). And the slate fills up quickly. The first tour date is October 11 (a Tuesday) and they run Monday-Friday until Halloween.

Update: The Albany Trolley's ghost tours will also be back this year. They start in mid-October.

Earlier on AOA: Capital Region haunts

image: NYS Office of General Services

Marriage equality rally

Marriage equality crowd.jpg

Today's marriage equality rally outside the Capitol.

Several hundred people rallied outside the state Capitol Tuesday afternoon for a last minute push for marriage equality. The rally included speeches by families, clergy, gay rights activists, union reps and legislators.

Jim Alesi, the first Republican in the state Senate to publicly declare he'd be voting for the Marriage Equality Act, was one of the first people to stand up and speak at the rally. "I'm a Republican," Alesi joked with the crowd. "I was born that way."

The Republican senator said he lost a lot of friends when he decided to vote in favor of marriage equality. "I think I have some new friends," he told the crowd, which cheered in response.

Alesi said that at one point he was anguishing over the vote, but not anymore. "Passing marriage equality is the most important thing I can do, I think, in my 20-year history as a legislator."

"My name begins with A," he told the crowd, noting he's the first Republican called during votes in the Senate. "I am proud to be a Republican. And I will also be proud to be the first Republican to vote for marriage equality in this state."

After the jump, a look at the rest of the rally...

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NYC taxi invasion

taxis at nys capitol

Manhattan to Albany would be a rather expensive fare. (About $300 before tip, according to this fare calculator.)

Summer emails:

NYC taxis have invaded downtown Albany! Apparently they're in town for some sort of protest, but it was strange sight. The photos (attached) doesn't do it justice.

There was a mass taxi sighting at the Exit 24 tolls this morning, too.

The cabs are part of a rally against legislation that would let livery drivers in the city pick up passengers who hail them in northern Manhattan and the four non-Manhattan boroughs (the cabs are upset because they say the law would cut into their business). The Bloomberg admin is pushing the legislation, and apparently it's trying to route around a city council traffic jam. [NY Post] [NYT] [Gothamist]

More photos via Summer after the jump.

Update: Sean reports that many of the taxis were ticketed.

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Capitol camp-in

Capitol Protest 1 2011:03.jpg

Protesters at the Capitol

The New York State Capitol was hopping last night.

While legislators worked late into the night to get budget bills passed, hundreds of students, teachers and other activists turned up to protest cuts in the proposed $132.5 billion state budget. [TU]

They planned strategy, gave testimony, marched and chanted their way up the Million Dollar Staircase to the Senate and Assembly chambers. There they camped out, told their stories to each other and chanted some more. Most of the folks we saw were protesting education cuts. There were also health care and housing advocates and public employees.

We were there around 8 pm and the halls outside the senate and assembly chambers were packed -- but the crowds seemed pretty peaceful. The galleries for both the Assembly and Senate had been closed to the protesters. Ron Canestrari said the protesters "threatened us" and could have disrupted the proceedings of both houses. It looks like there was only one arrest -- and it involved a cymbal. There was also some heated negotiation over pizza. [WXXI] [Buffalo News] [TU Capitol Confidential] [TU Capitol Confidential]

After the jump, a little more of what things looked like, and some video to help give you a sense of the protest.

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What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.


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