The New York State Capitol at Albany seen from the top of Corning Tower.
When I was seventeen and had my first state job, I would get off the bus on the north side of the capitol, then walk through to the south side and enter the tunnel to the Empire State Plaza's concourse and on to my office building. Walking through the capitol felt like going back in time, not only because of the building's age and design, but also because of the old-timey newsstands, shoe-shine stalls, telephone booths (for reporters and the public), and cafeteria that lined the north-south corridor at street level.
The north-eastern staircase, on the Assembly side of the capitol.
Most of that is gone now, replaced with not-so-elegant security lines, metal detectors, and x-ray machines. The only security back in the old days were some rather jolly looking men in uniform. There used to be elevator operators in the capitol, too, also victims of modern times.
The Great Western, or Million-Dollar, Staircase.
Our little party wandered around the building, not wanting to take the time for a formal tour. We found our way into the eastern staircase and then to the Senate lobby. We got a peek into the Senate chamber as one of the formal tours was exiting. Then we made our way to the Great Western Staircase, sometimes called the "Million Dollar Staircase." It was quite pricey and controversial when it was built.
The Assembly Chamber, seen from the western gallery.
Finally we found the Assembly Chamber and the gallery was open, so we walked in for a look and some pictures. I remember that at one time the Assembly's carpet was an awful green color. It has thankfully been replaced with a more dignified red.
Ken and Lewis confer, converse, and otherwise hob-nob in the Great Western Staircase.
The whole building has been under renovation for the past few years, but that seems to be winding down now. I did get lost inside a time or two, but I don't think anyone minded too much. We made our way out on the south side of the building onto the vast Empire State Plaza.