Posted by: RasmaSandra | October 18, 2018

Touring Albany

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Albany is the capital of the state of New York.

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In downtown Albany, you can enjoy relaxing at the Empire State Plaza which has reflecting pools, an art-filled underground shopping concourse and The Egg performing arts center. On both ends of the plaza, you’ll find the New York State Capitol and the New York State Museum.

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The Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza is a complex of state government buildings. It is also known as the Empire State Plaza and at times South Mall. There are many different buildings that make up this complex among them the Mayor Erastus Corning 2nd Tower, the Robert Abrams Building for Law and Justice, and the Swan Street Building.

The plaza also has shade trees, water fountains and a skating rink. It features many special events.

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An impressive building the New York State Capitol houses the New York State Legislature and sits prominently on the Empire State Plaza in Capitol Park. It was built between 1867 and 1899. The ground floor features the Classical Romanesque style, the second and third floors the Renaissance Classical style and the fourth and roof floors the Victorian Romanesque style.

The building is a National Historic Landmark and listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. You can book a tour.

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Egg Performing Arts Center is part of the Empire State Plaza and among the top Albany attractions. It was named for its unusual shape and from a distance looks more like a sculpture than a building. It is home to two theaters the Kitty Carlisle Hart Theater for large musical productions and the Lewis A. Swyer Theater for smaller events.

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The Corning Tower on the plaza is a skyscraper and state office building with an observation deck on the 42nd floor. It is also known as the Mayor Erastus Corning 2nd Tower. Erastus was mayor of Albany from 1941 to 1983. At 589 feet in height, this is the tallest building in the state of New York outside of NYC.  The observation deck offers great views of the city and the Hudson River.

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Washington Park is a lovely park with over 100 species of trees like giant oaks and miniature bonsais. It is a great place for walking, picnics, jogging, biking, bird watching, and fishing. Every spring the popular Tulip Festival gathers people from all over the country. It is home to the unusual Lakehouse Amphitheater which hosts special events and concerts. All through the park are statues and monuments. You can enjoy a game of tennis and children can have fun on the playground.

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The New York State Museum offers collections, exhibitions, programs and publications in the fields of history, science, art, and anthropology. It has made its home in the Cultural Education Center. Here visitors can find four million scientific specimens and a whole lot more.

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The USS Slater is a destroyer escort historical museum ship that is moored in the Hudson River. It launched in 1944 and served in the US Navy and the Greek Navy. The ship counts as a Cannon-class destroyer escort ship that was named after Frank O. Slater, a sailor killed during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. It has been designated as a US National Historic Landmark. One hour guided tours are available and it also features youth group overnight camps.

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Historic Cherry Hill was built in 1787. It was home to Philip and Maria Van Rensselaer, a powerful and rich Albany family. Today this is one of the most important landmarks of this period in the history of the city and the history of this family. The home was bequeathed to the state of New York and opened as a museum in 1964. There are over 70,000 personal objects, art pieces, documents, decorative arts, furnishings, and photographs. A range of educational programs are offered and guided tours for visitors.

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Palace Theater

is a historic theater in the Clinton Avenue Historic District. It is known for its Austrian Baroque interior with murals on the walls, red marble staircases and the chandelier in the lobby. It is home of the Albany Symphony Orchestra. The theater offers more than 150 events each year among them a classic movie series, comedy acts, concerts, and plays.

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The Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center is an information center, museum, and planetarium. It has found its home in an old water pumping station. It offers exhibits on Albany’s history, the USS Albany Heritage Exhibit, and other exhibits and events.

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At the center, you’ll find the Henry Hudson Planetarium. It gives public planetarium shows once a month and private group shows can be arranged. The outdoor courtyard can be rented for special occasions like parties and meetings.

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The Albany Institute of History and Art is devoted to the art, culture, and history of Albany and the Upper Hudson Valley area. It was founded in 1791 which makes it one of the oldest museums in the U.S. It is housed in three buildings.

The Rice Building is a late 19th-century Beaux-Arts mansion.

The main building is a 1920s Classical Revival structure.

The last is a modern glass building that connects the other two. Its collection includes more than 20,000 objects among them ceramics, drawings, furniture, historical artifacts, paintings, and sculptures.

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The Albany Pine Bush Preserve is a nature preserve known for its rare inland pine-barren ecosystem.

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The terrain consists of pine-scrub oak barrens, sand dunes, hardwood swamps, and forests, ponds and deep ravines.

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Among the wildlife here are coyotes, deer, foxes, hawks, owls

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and an endangered butterfly known as the Karner blue butterfly. There are more than 18 miles of trails and activities here are biking, cross-country skiing, hiking, and horseback riding. The Discovery Center has interactive displays and indoor and outdoor classrooms.

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Schuyler Mansion is a historic museum house in Albany. It was built between 1761 and 1765 for Philip Schuyler, a Revolutionary War general, and a U.S. Senator. This is a Georgian-style brick mansion and a National Historic Landmark listed on the US National Register of Historic Places. The two and a half story house faces the Hudson River. The interior has artifacts of family members, decorative arts, furniture and paintings all from the 18th century. The Visitors Center offer an orientation exhibit and guided tours are available.

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The Albany Distilling Company is a small locally-owned distillery. It was established in 2011 and is close to the original 18th-century distillery. It produces Ironweed Bourbon Whiskey made from water, New York State whole grain, and yeast then aged in oak barrels. Quakenbush Still House Original Albany Rum is made from water, wild yeast, and Caribbean cane. These are just some of the products produced here.

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Distilling company bar and bottle shop

Tours are available.

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Lark Street is a historic street and at times referred to as the “Greenwich Village” of the Albany Capital area. This is home to antique shops, art galleries, bars, coffee houses, restaurants, and ships. You can see 19th-century brownstone buildings and cobblestones. Local musicians perform on the street and several major festivals take place here every year.


Albany City Hall is a historic building and the seat of government for the city. It was built in 1883 in the Romanesque style. There is a 202-foot tall carillon tower which is one of the few municipal carillons in the U.S. It was built by the John Taylor Company from England and was added in 1927 as a memorial to the soldiers who lost their lives in WW I. It is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It is home to the office of the mayor, city and traffic courts and other city service offices.

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The Ten Broeck Mansion is a historic house museum. Originally is was known as Prospect and built between 1797 and 1798 by General Abraham Ten Broeck. It overlooks the Hudson River and is surrounded by formal gardens. Originally built in Federal style it was renovated in the Greek Revival style. The house is a museum with decorations and furnishings from the mid-19th century. Tours are available.

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