The tour will visit areas of the Capitol Building that underwent restoration in 2011 including the Senate and Assembly Staircases; as well as the Hall of Governors and the Hall of New York.
1. Restoring a Landmark: The recently completed and award-winning Capitol roof rehabilitation that includes restoring the Senate and Assembly staircase laylights and skylights. The 2011 restoration of the Assembly Staircase was a central part of the Capitol roof rehabilitation project. All elements of the 1940s renovations were removed, the skylight was reinstalled, the laylight reconstructed, and the staircase’s upper walls and masonry repaired and repainted with precise, historic detail. The laylight crowning the top of the Senate Staircase is designed to diffuse the direct natural light streaming in from the skylight above. The original steel trusses supporting the skylight were left intact and used for the restoration; however, because the laylight structure was removed altogether, its design proved more difficult to reconstruct. Using evidence left behind from the removal of the laylight in the 1940s, architects were able to determine the exact measurements of the laylight’s grid framing. Unfortunately, there are no known images of the original laylight and few clues were found regarding the color and patterning of the glass itself. Unable to produce an exact replication of the laylight, the architects designed the new laylight to be a contemporary interpretation deferential to the significant historic quality of the staircase.
2. The Hall of Governors Over the past two and a half centuries, 56 individuals have served as governor of New York State. Most are memorialized with official portraits painted by leading artists of their day from life sittings during or after their service in the Capitol. Like the leaders they depict, the portraits are an important part of our state’s history. Many of the governors portrayed also served as United States Congressmen, Cabinet members, Supreme Court justices and vice presidents, and four of them were elected president of the United States. However, they are recalled here for the leadership they provided to the Empire State. For more than 100 years, the Governors of New York State have worked in this hallway. Newly redisplayed, these paintings will inspire visitors as well as our future leaders, who will someday be part of New York’s magnificent history.
3. The Hall of New York New York is home to some of the world's most beautiful natural and architectural wonders. Our state's abundance of beauty has drawn artists from around the world and inspired them to capture those scenes and pass them on for future generations' enjoyment. The "Hall of New York" is a sampling of those works, dedicated to the communities that are home to these wonders and the artists who painted them. Many of the artists whose works are displayed here were influential in the artistic community, others are virtually unknown outside of their home towns; however, all of them captured something essential about New York's beauty.