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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Free Empire State Plaza Tours Mark Site's 50th Anniversary

Capitol Tours Continue Through the Summer

New York State Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn M. Destito announced a new free tour that focuses on the history and design of the Empire State Plaza. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the corner stone laying for the Plaza in June 1965. The 30-minute tours start at 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.Mondaythrough Friday, excluding holidays, through September 4, and no registration is required. The tours start at the Empire State Plaza’s new visitor center and gift shop, located at the north end of the concourse level.
The tours feature highlights of the world-class, 98-acre complex where state government, unique architecture, and modern art share the same space. Visitors will tour the concourse, The Egg Center for the Performing Arts, and outside on the plaza’s main platform where the Capitol, Robert Abrams Building for Law and Justice, Cultural Education Center, Corning Tower, several memorials, agency buildings, and Legislative Office Building are located. Those taking the tour will also learn about the Empire State Plaza Art Collection, which is known as the largest publicly owned modern art collection in the country.
The tours are timed so that visitors can join a walking tour of the state Capitol just before or after they have explored the plaza. People are also encouraged to see the Empire State Plaza at 50 exhibit currently on view at the New York State Museum.

(And, while you're out, make a tour trifecta with a stop at the State Capitol and Corning Tower)

Free Capitol Tours Summer Schedule
OGS will continue to offer tours of the Capitol this summer. Traditional Capitol tours are offered Monday throughFriday at 10 a.m.noon2 p.m., and 3 p.m. There are no public tours on Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays. All tours begin at the base of the Senate staircase on the Capitol’s first floor and last approximately 45 minutes to an hour.
Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more and can be made online at or by calling(518) 474-2418. In addition, visitors may download a self-guided audio tour to use while visiting the state Capitol.
A special tour of the Capitol titled “A Flag for the Ages, Abraham Lincoln and the New York State Capitol” is also being offered the first Thursday of each month from July through September. The hour-long tour starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Capitol’s State Street lobby. Space is limited, so people are encouraged to register in advance online at or by calling (518) 473-7582.
Visitors to the Capitol will be required to pass through metal detectors and have any bags scanned through an x-ray machine. Personal belongings such as backpacks and large bags should not be brought on the tour. Sharp objects, such as pocket knives and nail clippers will not be allowed into the building.
For more information, call the Plaza Visitor Center at (518) 474-2418, email, or visit


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