Clio Logo

New York's fourth and current capitol building, this historic structure was completed in 1899 for the cost of $25 million. When completed, the capitol had set the record for the most expensive government building of the 19th century. The building was almost completely destroyed by a fire twelve years after its completion. The New York capitol building is one of only ten state capitols to not inlcude a dome. The capitol building is open for daily tours.

  • Spanning four decades, the finished Capitol took 32 years to build, from 1867 to 1899.
  • Firefighters control the blaze inside the capitol on March 29, 1911

Three teams of architects worked on the project, beginning with crews under the leadership of British architect Thomas Fuller in 1867. The project moved slowly, with only three stories of the structure completed in the next eight years. American architects Henry Hobson Richardson and Leopold Eidlitz continued the project and the two men both added elements of their own preferred styles. 

 A fire nearly destroyed the entire structure in 1911, but the structure was saved by firefighters who put up a heroic stand inside the assembly room. Although they were able to stop the blaze before it consumed the entire building, the state library was a nearly complete loss and nearly half a million books and over a quarter million one-of-a-kind documents were destroyed. Once they had prevented the fire from engulfing that room, they had stopped the fire from spreading and were able to begin salvage operations. 

New York State Capitol, Wonders of the World Databank, Public Broadcasting System (accessed 11/16/2017).