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The Historic St. Mary's Church is a historic church located in Albany, New York. The church was built in 1867 by architects Charles C. Nichols and Frederick Brown using a mix of architectural styles such as Mannerist Gothic Revival and Italian Romanesque Revival for the interiors. The church has a rich history in architecture and is an important architectural masterpiece today, with all of its careful planning and intricate details. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.
Before downtown Chicago had it's silver 'Cloud Gate', a.k.a "The Bean", architect Wallace Harrison had already perfected the ovoid design with this edifice located in Empire State Plaza. The Egg took 12 years to build, from 1966 to 1978 and unlike the aforementioned Chicago structure, it can hold plenty of people. In fact, as you enter, the hall leads visitors into two theaters. The Lewis A. Swyer Theater and the Kitty Carlisle Hart Theater; both seat 450 and 982 people, respectively. The smaller theater hosts various concerts, lectures, and workshops, and the Hart holds a stage for larger productions like musicals and plays. Despite the performance schedule, people really come to see The Egg's peculiar shape inside and out. It truly is a work of absolute wonder in 20th-century architecture.
A great way to spend a few hours is exploring Empire State Plaza, a massive public works project undertaken during Nelson Rockefeller's term as Governor of New York. The plaza was built over a period of 17 years between 1959 and 1976, and was built around the New York State Capitol building, which already existed on the site. The plaza has many features, including the Egg (a performing arts center), the New York State Museum, the Corning Tower and Observation Deck, four government towers, several monuments and an underground Concourse. Visitors will enjoy spending a few hours exploring this monumental public works project.
The Empire State Plaza Art Collection is a great modern art collection that isn't located in a fancy gallery or museum. In fact, the 92 artworks are located in the underground concourse and they line the main pathway which connects various government buildings in this 98-acre public space. Some of the artists included are Paul Jerkins, Robert Motherwell, Adolph Gottlieb and Alexander Calder. Thanks to Governor Nelson Rockefeller's interest in patronizing the arts, this impressive public art collection was made possible.
The Albany Center Gallery showcases the work of local artists in the Mohawk Hudson Region, an area that encompasses a large radius in the greater Capital District. The gallery displays artists' work in a large area and it uses this space well when it acts as a local farmers' market for area artists to sell their wares. For almost four decades, the exhibits have included mixed-media, photography, paintings, sculpture and video. and today it continues to be a local institution of Art in Albany.
Built in 1931, this former RKO movie theater has provided audiences with thrills off-and-on for nearly a century. After its run as a movie theater, it fell into some disrepair until it was completely renovated in 2003. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and today it showcases a wide variety of musical acts, drama, classic films, comedy, health fairs and other community events. With the renovation, the charming archaic ambiance combined with modernized light and sound systems create a dramatic effect on every performance.
The Erastus Corning Tower is the tallest building in New York State outside of New York City. It is a massive government building that has 42-floors of offices, but the real attraction for visitors is the observation deck. A high-speed elevator propels you up in 30 seconds and then you are entirely enclosed on the top floor, where the views of the Adirondacks and Vermont's Green Mountains are phenomenal. From the deck you can also see the entire city of Albany and the Mighty Hudson. To gain access, go and see security to print up a badge then go to the elevators on the other side.
The Albany Institute of History & Art is dedicated to the preservation of the Upper Hudson River Valley's history. The variety of exhibits range from local craftsmanship to works from the influential Hudson River Valley School with founder Thomas Cole at the forefront. In addition to local oeuvres, impressionist art hangs besides contemporary, all enclosed within one of upstate New York's best museums. Of course like many museums, there are always changing exhibits, openings and shows, however most of the permanent collection presents work from the 17th-Century to present.
This museum is dedicated to the history of this great Northeastern state through a wide variety of collections and exhibits that showcase its cultural and natural history. The building is a marvel itself, finished in 1976, this futuristic, 10-story building contains information about almost every nook and cranny in the Empire State. Some of the highlights include the Herschell-Spillman Carousel, the Great Art Series and the Native Peoples of New York Hall. In addition to great exhibits, the museum also provides educational events and activities for school children throughout the year.
The Van Rensselaer family from the Netherlands had a long and varied history in the development of the Albany and its environs. This house was built in 1797 for Elizabeth Van Rensselaer on one of the many landed estates owned by her uncle. It was named Ten Broeck after Elizabeth's husband and it remained in this line until the Olcott family purchased it 50 years later. Over the next 100 years, generations of Olcotts stayed in the house until it was sold to the Albany County Historical Association in 1948. Since then it has functioned as a museum and historical repository that exhibits artifacts and furnishings from the last two centuries. Visitors can tour the home and gardens upon the hillside as well as embark upon a journey back to the Federal-Colonial era inside the estate. The mansion also holds events throughout the year like jazz music or live theater, and if you're interested into renting out the home, that is also available.
The Capital District encompasses four of the most beautiful counties in upstate New York; Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer and Saratoga, respectively. Other counties could be included in this region, however these particular ones are known for their historic architecture (some farmhouses date from 1728), towns, churches, parks and festivals. It is also a popular region for tourists to come and see the Fall colors in the trees as well as the birthplace of the beloved American potato chip. The primary towns in the Capital District are Troy, Albany and Schenectady, yet there are plenty of others like Gloversville, Saratoga Springs and Schoharie that merit a visit in their own right.
The USS Slater is a World War II destroyer docked on the Hudson River in Albany. It was used during World War II to fight Nazi U-Boats in the North Atlantic and is the only one of these destroyer escorts still on the water in the United States. Following a 15-year restoration, the boat is now completely restored to its original glory; visitors can see where the sailors lived and check out every corner of this ship with one of the amazingly informative guided tours. The Deck-by-Deck tour is particularly popular and offers an interactive experience that's sure to thrill all ages. Besides guided tours, the museum also offers a unique overnight camping activity where tourists get to live like a navy sailor.