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Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza

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Address: 279 Madison Ave, Albany, NY 12242-0001
Phone Number:
+1 518-474-2418
Website
Today
06:00 - 23:00
Open now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 06:00 - 23:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Description:

In June 1965, the cornerstone was laid for what would become The Governor...

In June 1965, the cornerstone was laid for what would become The Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza. Marketed at the time as a "Design for the Future," the Plaza exists today as an icon of 20th century Modernist architecture. The Empire State Plaza features 10 state government buildings set on a six-story platform connected by a quarter mile long underground concourse. The Empire State Plaza is complete with historical attractions, walking tours, modern paintings and sculptures, memorials and remembrances, a performing arts center, 42 story observation deck, ice skating rink during the winter and plenty of music and other entertainment in the summer and fall.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 133 reviews
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  • 49
    Excellent
  • 47
    Very good
  • 14
    Average
  • 4
    Poor
  • 5
    Terrible
Superb views from Corning Tower

We visited this area and travelled to the 42nd floor to enjoy the views of Albany and surrounding areas. An added bonus is that admission to the Tower is free.

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 28 October 2016
James G
,
Colchester, United Kingdom
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133 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 119: English reviews
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 October 2016

We visited this area and travelled to the 42nd floor to enjoy the views of Albany and surrounding areas. An added bonus is that admission to the Tower is free.

Helpful?
1 Thank James G
Lake George, New York
Level Contributor
122 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 October 2016

We went to the South Mall for the playground for toddlers, tucked behind Agency 1 Building--still a great protected spot for little ones. I had forgotten the wonderful Calder sculptures and the great art work that Rocky had commissioned for the South Mall. Worth the walk, though once we got underground there were no signs telling us how to exit.

Helpful?
Thank gormlk
Albany NY
Level Contributor
93 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 October 2016

I work here, so admittedly I may be biased. I frequently take for granted the beauty of the spaces until I see foreign tourists spend hours photographing the buildings, fountains and vistas. Nelson Rockefeller's vision is truly his greatest legacy.

Helpful?
Thank bigguynred
York, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
243 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 October 2016

Worth checking out, especially on a weekend when no one is around. If your into modern brutalist architecture this is your place. Nice mix of gothic buildings in town also.

Helpful?
Thank stevendale
Albany, New York
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 October 2016

In the late sixties, I lived across the street from the Empire State Plaza (then referred to as the South Mall) when they were building it; the pile drivers operated around the clock. When it was finished a couple of years later, I regarded it as a fine example of neo-Nazi architecture: sterile, imposing and unfriendly. Either it's mellowed or... More 

Helpful?
Thank Ellis P
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
14 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2016 via mobile

I stumbled upon the Plaza on a chance trip to the New York State Museum across the street. While it is mostly useful for walking around or just enjoying the view, the arcitecture is stunning and modern, and this is where some of the New York State government offices are housed. I did not get a chance to visit the... More 

Helpful?
Thank youthgoes
Manassas, Virginia
Level Contributor
40 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 September 2016

This is a beautiful plaza, especially to walk around at night for a peaceful walk. The "Egg" is very unique building as well as the other surrounding buildings.

Helpful?
Thank Passportcurrent
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
95 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 September 2016

Nice combination of old and new architecture. Several interesting sculptures as well--particularly the Egg. Visit during the warmer weather when the potted flowers are blooming.

Helpful?
Thank audthad
New York
Level Contributor
60 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2016

In addition to touring the amazing design and architecture of the plaza be sure to check out the observation deck in the Cornell tower as well as the concourse under the plaza. A great place to grab lunch and view an incredible collection of post-modern artwork. The entire plaza feels like a futuristic city landscape.

Helpful?
Thank Charles B
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
31 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2016

Beautiful and clean. We were passing through to get to the museum at the other end. We enjoyed looking at the Egg and all the architecture in the area. We were there on a Friday and there was a farmers market and lots of food trucks. Wished we had time/storage for both, but we did not and I'm sure it... More 

Helpful?
Thank taleoftwokitties

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Chandler, Arizona, United States
over a year ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?