Interpreting the Evidence
New York State Capitol, Albany, 1911
Suggested Teaching Instructions
East front of the New York State Capitol, viewed from City Hall, Albany, New York, 1911.
In 1865, the New York State Legislature passed an act authorizing the construction of a new Capitol Building. The act also created a Capitol Commission to oversee the project. In 1867, the Legislature appropriated a quarter of a million dollars for its construction, but warned the Capitol Commission not to exceed $4 million on the project. Thirty-two years and $25 million later, Governor Theodore Roosevelt declared the Capitol complete in 1899. It had cost twice as much as the national Capitol.
According to the design of the original architect, Thomas Fuller, the Capitol was to be built in the Italian Renaissance style with a central courtyard, four main floors, and a large tower. The actual Capitol building is a blend of architectural styles reflecting the five different architects who worked on the project over its long construction process.
How does architecture reflect a society's values and culture?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and explain the influence of culture on the design.
If you took this same photograph today, what building would you see behind the Capitol? When was that building constructed?
Math: How many windows are on the front of the Capitol? Estimate how many windows are on the entire building.
Science: Explore the reasons why the tower on the Capitol could not be built as planned.