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“Great Architecture but it symbolizes NYS problems in its size” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza

Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza
Ranked #8 of 64 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: Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Stairs / elevator
Glen Head, New York
Level Contributor
264 reviews
116 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 272 helpful votes
“Great Architecture but it symbolizes NYS problems in its size”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2014

I'd seen this when seeing the State Capitol in Albany. As a former NYS resident, I see why the state taxes are so high and why the state government is so big yet ineffective in seeing this place. In no other state have I yet to see a State Capitol complex that is this large and out of control. The Plaza is very impressive Architecturally don't get me wrong but because it is named after a Governor who NYS was better off without and because it reflects so many of the above stated issues, it would be immoral to give it a higher rating. Prospective Tourists and NYS residents outside of Albany need to see this because if they look between it all, they will understand why there are so many problems in NYS.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank conrade886
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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133 reviews from our community

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Cohocton, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Excellent”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 25, 2014

Buildings are beautiful was a nice walk through the courtyard. Centrally located to alot of the bldgs we wanted to see and museum and such.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Lisa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Slidell, Louisiana
Level Contributor
253 reviews
101 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“Summer at the Plaza”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 23, 2014

I was lucky enough to be in town on a Wednesday night for the Summer at the Plaza free concert, which this night featured Shaggy and Bootsy Collins. A great venue with lots of seating and a beautiful view of the Egg and the Capital building. The crowd was fun and there was food available for purchase, though not as large of a variety as I would have hoped for. I'm used to funnel cakes, but really enjoyed the fried powdered sugar dough sticks.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank RiverlanGone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lenox, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
60 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Urban planning nightmare”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2014

This once used to be a neighborhood, now it's a "plaza" that is empty of activity save a few days out of the year. It was recently named one of the worst public squares In the world by the Atlantic magazine. The NYS museum is here, Corning observation tower, and the Capitol building, but the plaza itself is nothing to see.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Al J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ghent, New York
Level Contributor
312 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Architecture, politics and history”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2014

The modern-style, Edward Durell Stone designed "Empire State Plaza, a nearly 50 year-old monument to government was erected at the direction of then Governor Nelson Rockefellar in part to disrupt the historic Albany democratic machine. The city's landscape was forever changed and the move to suburbanization commenced with the destruction of Albany's downtown neighborhoods. The flying saucer shaped theater and gardens are especially interesting and lovely. The adjacent museum is worth a visit. The view from the top of the Corning Tower is an Albany must-see. Downtown commerce was forever changed by this immense structure.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Judith S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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