The New York State Capitol is the capitol building of the U.S. state of New York. Housing the New York State Legislature, it is located in the state capital of Albany on State Street in Capitol Park. The building, completed in 1899 at a cost of $25 million (roughly half a billion current dollars), was the most expensive government building of its time. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1979. The Capitol was constructed between 1867 and 1899 and inspired by the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) in Paris, France. Three teams of architects designed it. The building is constructed in both the Romanesque and Renaissance revival styles. This has led some historians to dub it "The Battle of the Styles." Notable architectural features include its interior "Million Dollar Staircase" and massive, 166-foot (51 m) long exterior Eastern Staircase. The Capitol exterior is made of white granite from Hallowell, Maine, and the building incorporates marble cut by state prisoners at Sing Sing. The granite structure is 220 feet (67 m) tall at its highest point, and it is one of ten U.S. state capitols that does not have a domed roof. Underground tunnels connect it to the Empire State Plaza and Alfred E. Smith Building. The building's exterior is currently undergoing restoration. The Capitol initially featured two large murals by Boston artist William Morris Hunt painted directly onto the sandstone walls of the State Assembly. The two enormous works, called The Flight of Night and The Discoverer, each some 45-feet long, were later covered up when the Assembly's vaulted ceiling proved unstable and the ceiling was lowered four feet below the murals. Earlier, the murals had been damaged by moisture in the building and had begun to flake. Plans for later murals by Hunt were scrapped when funding fell through, and some have speculated the artist's suicide might have resulted from his depression over the murals.

Three teams of architects worked on the design of the Capitol during the 32 years of its construction. They were led by:
  • 1867-75: Thomas Fuller
  • 1875-83: Leopold Eidlitz and Henry Hobson Richardson
  • 1883-99: Isaac G. Perry
Construction began in 1869. Lieutenant Governor William Dorsheimer dismissed Fuller in favor of Eidlitz and Richardson. According to one source, it "was Richardson who dominated the final outcome of the grand building, which evolved into his distinguished Romanesque style" (which came to be known as Richardsonian Romanesque). Eidlitz and Richardson, however, were dismissed by Grover Cleveland upon his election to governorship and his review of the mounting costs of construction. He hired Perry to complete the project. The cost of constructing the building was twice that of the United States Capitol. This building was never completed to its original drawn specification. Its design called for a dome which was never built although the stairs to the dome are still in the building today. During construction this project ran out of money many times and took money from other accounts to keep construction moving forward.


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