Smith Building

Smith Building, Albany - United States, William Haugaard

Construction year:
Architect(s): Smith Building
City/Town: Smith Building

The Alfred E. Smith Building, known simply as the Smith Building, is a structure located in downtown Albany, New York across the street from the New York State Capitol and One Commerce Plaza. The building’s namesake, Alfred Emmanuel Smith, was a four-term governor of New York and the Democratic Party’s nomination for the 1928 presidential election. The Art Deco skyscraper has 34 stories and at 118 m is Albany’s second tallest structure. Completed in 1928, it houses offices of the New York State government. Built originally with an observation deck on the 31st floor, the 110-meter-high open-air deck was closed in 1976 when the 180 m 42nd floor enclosed Corning Tower Observation Deck was opened. An extensive renovation of the building began in 2002. This modernization, which cost at least $103 million, is now finished.

Smith Building, Albany - United States, William HaugaardPrior to reconstruction, the building was home to the state Comptroller’s Office. With the renovation complete, the new tenants include the New York State Department of Civil Service, Department of State, New York State Banking Department, New York State Liquor Authority, and Division of the Budget.

The Alfred E. Smith Building has several distinctive features. These include the engraving of the names of all 62 New York State counties around the street-level facade and an Art Deco lobby with a mural depicting famous New Yorkers. An underground tunnel connects the building to the Capitol. The skyscraper is constructed of limestone and granite, and offers spectacular views of Albany and the nearby landscape.

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