Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza

Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza, Albany: Tickets, Tours, Hours, Address, Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza Reviews: 4/5

Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza

Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza
4
Points of Interest & Landmarks
6:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Monday
6:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Tuesday
6:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Wednesday
6:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Thursday
6:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Friday
6:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Saturday
6:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Sunday
6:00 AM - 11:00 PM
About
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.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Popular mentions

4.0
191 reviews
Excellent
81
Very good
74
Average
25
Poor
5
Terrible
6

dotsdashes2017
New York City, NY85 contributions
Not easily accessible on Saturdays?!!!
Nov 2019
I researched and planned this visit for weeks but, when I got there, I found the access to elevators was blocked... on a saturday! The undergroud concourse had great artwork on display but I was very disappointed to miss the Plaza... it was a beautiful day too! Walking around the place, I got a feeling of "Life After People"...almost deserted...
Written November 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Leslie W
Poughkeepsie, NY751 contributions
Beautiful plaza, great contrast with State Capitol
Nov 2019
The plaza, which dates from the era of the Rockefeller governorship (1960s), is an example of mid-century futuristic design, with The Egg, a concert venue, dominating the eastern side of the plaza. The State Museum is at the south end, a somewhat nondescript building given the magnificence of the Egg. Below the plaza level is a mall with shops that are frequented by government workers and tourists alike. It's very quiet on weekends, and most of the shops are closed, but the upper level is blissfully uncrowded and a great place to wander around and enjoy the beauty of the surroundings.
Written November 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

FredShuuz
177 contributions
good place to walk around
Aug 2019
this is right across from the state museum which I think is the highlight of Albany
if you want to walk up to the Carousel floor you have to do it form this plaza
interesting modern art
we liked the yellow one the most
ducks swimming in the pool
a solid 20 minute walk
Written August 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

n s
Toronto, Canada378 contributions
Epic !
Jul 2019 • Friends
Breathtaking. Rockerfeller obviously did not want to be outdone by his contemporaries from the Soviet era.
Written July 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Wesley C
Tucson, AZ6,759 contributions
EXCELSIOR! New York's Government Plaza
May 2019 • Solo
Empire State Plaza was conceived by Gov. Nelson A Rockefeller after a visit by Princess Julianna of the Netherlands. He was embarrassed by the dilapidated buildings around the State Capitol and wanted to build something more reflective of the state's wealth and importance. Construction lasted from 1965 to 1976 at a total cost of almost $2 billion. ESP consists of 11 state office buildings with more than 11,000 employees. The tallest building is the Corning Tower (44 floors) with a great observation deck. The most unique is The Egg (performing arts center). All of the buildings are connected by a series of underground tunnels and concourses. At street level, the buildings surround a huge reflecting pool. There is a Visitors Center on the concourse level (with a gift shop) offering free guided tours seasonally or you can explore on your own. There is plenty of parking nearby and several restaurants. Definitely worth a visit -- especially the Corning Tower Observation Deck.
Written July 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

AndrewW3
Dacula, GA406 contributions
See it at night!
May 2019 • Family
When most people think about visiting a government center, they more than likely anticipate the day time as the best and most appropriate hours. However, the Empire State Plaza, I would contend is best viewed at night. One caution...don't look too deeply into the reflecting pools or you will lose your balance and fall in. Outside of that, enjoy the quiet, beautiful solitude and stark contrast of the white buildings against the dark sky and water reflecting in the pools.
Written July 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Cliff T
Noblesville, IN1,002 contributions
Impressive Fururistic Plaza
Jun 2019 • Friends
The plaza feels very much out of place compared to the old European style Capital building. Its stark modern architecture is in contrast to the rest of the city perhaps to convey that we are in the Empire State. For us, it was nice to walk through, but our main goal was the museum on the other side.
Written June 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

JodieJ220
Greenwich, NY89 contributions
Worth the walk through!
Jun 2019 • Family
Stayed nearby and took an evening walk up through here and all about the area and this is amazing. A massive building, enchanting and elegant and surrounded by beautiful memorials, skyscrapers and mini history lessons everywhere. Well cared for, clean and inviting. Very peaceful and serene to take an after-dinner stroll. Centrally located near museums and art, statues and walkways everywhere.
Written June 2, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Edward W
Thunder Bay, Canada1,641 contributions
Nice to walk through
Apr 2019 • Family
The external plaza feels very much out of place compared to the rest of Albany, and its architecture, while dated seems to give off the exact impression that was intended at the time. For us, it was nice to walk through, but our main goal was the museum on the other side.
Written April 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Bob F
Utica, NY272 contributions
Impressive Place, Under-utilized, Great underground Area, Beautiful Exterior Area
Aug 2018 • Couples
Fountains closed during visit, beautiful reflection pools in summer I'm sure. The Plaza is planned for summer concerts and activities. Great public NY Farmers markets held here and concerts. More organizing signs needed. More public advertising needed to present what goes on. Great underground parking, restaurants, and some shops, exhibits and public events, but could offer much much more.
Written April 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza

Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza is open:
  • Sun - Sat 6:00 AM - 11:00 PM