We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza
Ranked #9 of 63 things to do in Albany
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Stairs / elevator, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Why bother?”
Reviewed April 13, 2013

no parking, nowhere to sit, it's cold windy and gray even on a beautiful day. You would be better off going to the Albany Corning Preserve.

Visited April 2013
Thank guilderlandgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

141 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Staten Island, NY
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“A nice plaza, but not among the late 1800 architecture that surrounds it.”
Reviewed March 26, 2013

I'm not a fan of this type of architecture that dominated the 70s. I can appreciate the layout of the plaza and the fountains and pools (I was there in March, must be stunning in the Spring/Summer). While the buildings seem bland and uncharacteristic compared to the many landmarks surrounding the area (the Capitol, the Education Dept. and several churches) I do like the functionality of navigating across the plaza from the capitol to the NYS Museum. The Egg is interesting, but I would prefer a Beaux Arts performance center that's a piece of art in and of itself. The Corning Building had some nice modern art sculptures in it's lobby. The observation floor is free and offers great views of the city. If you are in the area it's worth strolling the plaza and visiting the observation area.

Visited March 2013
Thank Nicole A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany, New York
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Londoners love it too!!”
Reviewed January 10, 2013

I really enjoy the plaza. I have friends from London who love going there anytime of year. They say we have so many things there that they don't have in their large "Parks". They love the sculptures, abstracts and our fireworks.

Visited December 2012
Thank Sandra S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delmar, New York, United States
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Ugly but good”
Reviewed November 4, 2012

Stop here on a week day in the summer to see Albany go by. There are usually a few food trucks set up, and you can eat, and visit all of the attractions surrounding the plaza. The concourse below is a good way to get around, and runs from the museum to the capitol. The architecture is ugly, but the atmosphere is good on a clear day.

Visited April 2012
Thank Ciaran H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany, New York
Level 6 Contributor
95 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Albany's Skyline Star”
Reviewed November 3, 2012

Designed during the Rockefeller adminstration the Plaza replaced a deteriorating neighborhood in Downtown Albany to house many of the NYS Agencies under a single roof. It connects the NYS Capitol Bdlg to the NYS Museum with a concourse under ground and plaza above. There is an extensive art collection diisplayed on both levels. Observation platform in the Tower bldg. parking is available. Tours are available. Call ahead for times

Visited October 2012
1 Thank Sparkle D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza also viewed


Been to Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing