Items tagged with 'The Capitol'

Capitol crane needs repair

capitol crane 2010The state Office of General Services announced today that the 274-foot-high crane that's being used to repair the roof of the Capitol needs repairs of its own.

So, how does one repair a crane that tall? With two other cranes. From the release:

... While conducting a routine inspection last week, the tower crane engineers employed a magnetic flux test and discovered suspected imperfections on some of the welds on the crane's eight foot turntable.
As a precautionary measure, a replacement turntable will be installed. In its present state, the 274-foot-high crane is safe and poses no threat to the surrounding area. Crews will work 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, until the maintenance is completed.
The turntable, which is the part of the crane that the 275-foot boom swivels on, will be removed using a 550 ton crane. A smaller "assist" crane will construct the larger crane on-site. The large crane will then replace the existing turntable with the new one.

Gulp. Repairs start Monday. All the craning will prompt "traffic adjustments" on Washington Ave next week, and part of the sidewalk on that Capitol side of the street will be closed. The full release is after the jump.

By the way: the Capitol crane is 0.47 Cornings tall. Here's a photo taken from the top of the crane a few years back.

Earlier on AOA: That's a really big crane

photo: Andy Kainz

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Our sexy forefathers

By Akum Norder

Thumbnail image for war room detail.How about a little eye candy for Valentine's Day?

The halls of government may not be the first place you think to go to admire the male physique. (Insert Christopher Lee joke here.) But take a gander at the ceiling of the War Room in the state Capitol.

It's a tour through New York's violent past, as depicted in the impressively muscled ceiling murals:

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Walking the Hall of Governors at the Capitol

Hall of Governors at NYS Capitol

Where governors walked. And, just recently again, the rest of us.

By Akum Norder

Architecture, at its best, creates buildings that not only shelter us, but that reflect something of our values or ideals. Churches inspire our eyes to soar upwards, awed by dappled light through stained glass. Banks are designed (well, they used to be designed) to look solid, strong, unshakeable.

State capitols usually feature a central, light-filled rotunda for this very reason. It's a manifestation of our democratic values: government as something open, transparent, accessible, welcoming to all.

And then there's New York.

"Open, accessible and welcoming" are words few would apply to New York's state Capitol. You're more likely to hear things like "labyrinthine," "dark," "can't get anywhere unless you already know where you're going." If we see architecture as a representation of government, then, well, you might say we have the state capitol we deserve.

With that said, it's an absolutely beautiful building. And now we can see a little bit more of it.

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State historical artifacts on display

benedict arnold pass

A pass Benedict Arnold wrote for "Mr. John Anderson," who was actually British major John Andre.

A group of rarely-displayed historical New York artifacts will be on display at the Capitol Wednesday and Thursday. Included in the exhibit:

  • Handwritten draft of George Washington's Farewell Address
  • Leaves from Washington's copy of A Representation of the Cloathing of His Majesty's Household and of all the Forces upon the Establishments of Great Britain and Ireland (the uniform book)
  • Washington's dress sword
  • Benedict Arnold / John AndrĂ© papers (evidence pointing to Arnold being a traitor)
  • A print of John AndrĂ© crossing the Hudson River (based upon his own drawing of the event)
  • Engrossed copy of the U.S. Constitution (original copy sent to New York State for ratification)
  • DeWitt Clinton's writing desk and chair

The exhibit is open to the public from 10 am to 4 pm (you need reservations on Wednesday; they're not required on Thursday).

You can also view the artifacts online.

Earlier on AOA: The story of Thaddeus Kosciuszko, whose plans for West Point Arnold tried to sell to the British

image via NYSED Office of Cultural Education

Snowy Capitol

state capitol snow 2010-11-08

Brian was nice enough to share this photo with us from Monday.

We like the way the snow dusts the roof of the Capitol and how it defines the shapes in Capitol Park.

photo: @bkraus

Ghost tours at Canfield Casino and the Capitol

The Canfield Casino in Saratoga will be featured tonight on the SyFy channel's Ghost Hunters ("At this 19th Century casino, all bets are off!").

Said one of the curators at the museum there to the Post-Star: "I don't know if I believe in ghosts or not... If there is something here, it is mischievous." The ep runs tonight at 9 pm.

There are ghost tours at the casino this Saturday from 5:30-8:30 pm. They're $7 and reservations are required.

Spooky capitol: There are haunted tours at the NYS Capitol again this year. They're free, but you need a reservation. They've been very popular in the past.

Where to eat like a state politician

dale miller exterior

The state Senate Democrats are apparently big fans.

After the Daily News mentioned that the state Senate Democratic campaign committee spent $26,000 in Albany restaurants over six months, we were curious about where these politicians were eating.

So we looked it up in the campaign finance disclosure reports. The lists -- for the campaign committees for both parties and chambers -- are after the jump.

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A tomato plant grows in Albany

capitol tomato

Will it have tomatoes before the budget's finished?

Eileen sent along this pic this afternoon:

Found this tomato plant today growing in a crack of the sidewalk next to The Capitol on Washington Ave. Good to know something is thriving in Albany.
Maybe a tomato seed from a lunch truck vendor's sandwich found a good place to grow.
I'm trying to figure out what I can do to help keep it from getting cut/stepped on/destroyed. Maybe tomorrow I'll go over and try and protect it somehow with a gardening stake.

How great would it be if that plant bore tomatoes? There's just something hopeful about it.

It reminds us of the corn growing in the sidewalk in Watervliet spotted by Renee last summer.

(Thanks, Eileen!)

The Capitol on a cold holiday night

capitol holiday night

What you can't see is the Sheridan statute shivering.

Chuck Miller sent along this nice holiday photo he took at the Capitol last week. We like the way the non-Christmas tree and Sheridan are silhouetted.

Said Chuck in an email: "It must have been about 5 above zero when I took that photo Wednesday night. BRRRRRRRRR."

photo: Chuck Miller

A few steps into the past

capitol staircase shorpyThe vintage photo blog Shorpy featured a 1905 photo of the capitol's Great Western Staircase yesterday. Be sure to click through to see the large versions of the photo.

That staircase has quite the history. From a state assembly tour of the capitol:

The Great Western Staircase, also known as the Million Dollar Staircase, took an unheard of 14 years to construct, from 1883-1897 and cost, more than one million dollars. The delays in constructing this magnificent staircase were two-fold. Designed by Henry Hobson Richardson and built by Isaac Perry, the staircase contains 444 steps and reaches 119 feet high. is renowned as an outstanding example of American architectural stone carving excellence.

Here's a more extensive photo tour of the staircase on the site Northeast Architecture, which includes more of the history behind the steps.

From a 1894 NYT article about work on the capitol:

The greatest architectural work on this continent has just been completed in Albany -- in the construction of the western staircase of the new Capitol. Architects who have seen it declare that for originality of design, for beauty, and for accuracy of finish its equal does not exist even in the old country.

The staircase includes the busts and faces of a bunch of historical figures -- a list that was not without some controversy. From a 1898 NYT article:

In carving heads on the great Western staircase in the Capitol, the features of half a dozen men who were prominent only in the local affairs of Albany were made. This has caused considerable ill-feeling, even among Albanian, and it is a question of but a short time, when the faces in stone will be "worked over" from those of obscure persons into those of historical nes.

(Thanks, James G and Dan!)

photo via Shorpy

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