Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 027
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$34,200 was paid by the city and $3,000 by the county of Albany. It continued to be used for
city, county, and State offices and courts until about 1832, -when the State became the exclusive
owner and the Capitol was fitted up for legislative and other public purposes. It stands at the
head of State Street, 130 feet above the Hudson, and has in front a park of three acres inclosed by
an iron fence. It is substantially built of stone faced with Nyack red freestone


Tlie State latorary is a fireproof building in the rear of the State House and connected
with it by a long corridor. It is built of brick and iron and faced on its two fronts witli brown
freestone. It is already nearly filled with books, manuscripts, and maps, which the State has been
collecting for many years

The State II all, situated upon Eagle Street, fronting the Academy Park, was finished in 1842.
It is built of cut stone, with a colonnade in front, supported Joy six Ionic columns, and is surmounted
by a dome
.3 It contains the offices of the Secretary of State, Comptroller, Treasurer, Auditor of Canal
Department, Canal Appraisers, Canal Commissioners, State Engineer and Surveyor, Division En¬
gineers, Clerk of Court of Appeals, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Superintendent of Bank
Department, Attorney General, and State Sealer of Weights and Measures,

Tine State Geological and Agricultural Hall, corner of State and Lodge Sts.,
is the depository of the specimens collected during the geological survey, and also contains the
cabinet of the State Agricultural Society

1 It is 90 feet broad, 50 high, and was originally 115 feet long.
In 1854, 15 feet were added to the w. end. The eastern front
has an Ionic portico with four columns of Berkshire marble
each 3 feet 8 inches in diameter and 33 feet high. The north
and south ft-onis have each a pediment of 65 feet base; and the
doorways are decorated with columns and angular pediments
of freestone. The entrance hall is 40 by 50 feet and 16 feet
high, the ceiling of which is supported by a double row of
reeded columns, and the floor is vaulted and laid with squares
of Italian marble. Upon the north side of the hall are the
office of Adjutant General and the Assembly Library, and on
the south side the Executive Chambers. The remainder of the
first story is devoted to the Assembly Chamber with its lobbies
and postoffice. This chamber is now 56 by 65 feet and 28 feet
high. The Speaker's desk is on the w. side, and the desks of the
clerks are upon each side and in front of it. Desks of members
are arranged in semi-circles in front. Upon the^E. side is a
gallery supported by iron pillars. The ceiling is richly orna¬
mented in stucco. Over the Speaker’s seat is a copy by Ames
of a full length portrait of Stewart’s ‘Washington. In the
second story, over the entrance hall, is the Senate chamber, 40
by 50 feet and 22 feet high. The President's desk is upon the
s. side, and the desks of the Senators are arranged in a circle in
front. On the N. side are the library and cloak room of the
Senate, and on the s. the postoffice and room of the Sergeant at
Arms. Over the President’s seat is a crimson canopy, and oppo¬
site are the portraits of Gov. Geo. Clinton and Columbus. The
latter was presented to the Senate in 1781 by Mrs. Farmer, a
grand daughter of Gov. Leisler, and had been in her family
150 years. Over the Assembly lobbies is the room of the
Court of Appeals, and in the third story are the consultation
rooms of this court, committee rooms of both houses, and part
of the Senate Library. The courtroom of the Court of Appeals
contains portraits of Chancellors Lansing, Sandfbi’d, Jones, and
Walworth, Chief Justice Spencer, Abraham Van Vechten, and
Daniel Cady. The inner Executive Chamber has a full size
portrait of Gen. La Fayette, painted when he was in the city in

The roof of the State house is pyramidal, and from the center
rises a circular cupola 20 feet in diameter, supporting a hemi¬
spherical dome upon 8 insulated Ionic columns. Upon the
dome stands a wooden statue of Themis, 11 feet high, holding
in her right hand a sword and in her left a balance.

2 The State Library was founded April 21,1818, and for nearly
forty years was kept in the upper rooms of the Capitol. Its growth
was comparatively slow until 1844, when its supervision was
transferred from the State officers who had been ex-officio trus¬
tees to the Regents of .the University. Their Secretary, the late
Dr. T. Romeyn Reck, was eminently fitted for the task of building
up an institution of this character. The library at the time of
the transfer contained about 10,000 volumes. The number
has increased during the subsequent 15 years to about 53,000.
The present building, erected in 1853-54, is 114 feet loug by 45
broad, was built at a cost of 191,900, and opened to the public
Jan. 2,1855. The first floor is supported by stone pillars and
groined arches, and the second floor and galleries by arched
spans of iron filled with concrete. The roof, rafters, trusses,
pillars, shelves, and principal doors are of iron, and the floors
are paved with colored tile. The first story is devoted to the
law department, and the second story to the general library, in¬
cluding a large number of costly presents from other Govern¬
ments, a valuable series of MSS. and parchments relating to
our colonial and early State history, and an extensive collec¬
tion of medals and coins. The office of the Regents of the Uni¬
versity is in the library, building.

The library, formerly known as the “Chancellors’ Library,”
was divided in 1849, and, with additions since made, now forms
two public libraries, called the “ Libraries of the Court of Ap¬
peals,” one of which is located at Syracuse aud the other at
Rochester. They consist chiefly of law books, and are in charge
of librarians appointed by the Regents and paid by the State.
There is also a small library, for reference, in the consultation
room of the Court of Appeals. Each of the judges of the Su¬
preme Court and the Vice Chancellor of the Second District,
under the late Constitution, held libraries owned by the State,
which are for the use of the four judges of the Court of Appeals
elected by the people of the State at large, and their successors
in office. There is also a small library for the use of the At¬
torney General; and means are annually provided for the in¬
crease of each of these collections, chiefly from the income of
moneys known as the “Chancellors’ Library Fund” and “ In¬
terest Fund,” which are kept invested by the Clerk of the Court
of Appeals for this purpose.

3 This building is 138 by 88 feet and 65 feet high. The ceilings of
the basement and of the two principal stories are groined arches,
and all the rooms, excepting in the attic story, are fireproof.
The basement and attic are each 19 feet, and the two principal
stories each 22 feet, high. The building cost about $350,000.

4 In 1842 the old State Hall was converted into a geological
hall, and rooms were assigned in the same building to the State
Agricultural Society. The old building was torn down, and the
present Geological and Agricultural Hall erected in its place, in
the summer of 1855. The Agricultural Rooms were dedicated
Feb. 12,1857, and the Cabinet was opened to the public Feb. 22,
185S. The present building is of brick, and is 4 stories high,
besides the basement. In the rear is a spacious wing, of the same
height as the main building. It contains a lecture room, the
spacious geological cabinet, and the rooms of the State Geological
Collection. The basement is occupied by a taxidermist and a jani¬
tor. The building itself is subject to the order of the Commis¬
sioners of the Land Office. The Cabinet originated in the Geo¬
logical Survey, and in extent and value it ranks among the first
in America. Within the past year a series of English fossils has
been given to the State by the British Government; and a valu¬
able collection of shells, embracing several thousand species, has
been recently presented and arranged by Philip P. Carpenter,
an English naturalist. The Museum is designed to embrace a
complete representation of the geological formations of the State,
with their accompanying minerals and fossils, and of its entire
native flora and fauna. The birds and quadrupeds are pi'eserved
by a skilful taxidermist, with the attitudes and appearance of
life; and the reptiles and fishes are principally preserved in al¬
cohol. Connected with this cabinet is a historical and anti¬
quarian department, embracing numerous aboriginal antiquities
and specimens of modern Indian art, relics of battle fields, and
other objects of historical interest. The whole is under the
charge of a curator appointed by the Regents. The museum of
the State Agricultural Society, in a separate department of the
building, contains a large collection of obsolete and modern im¬
plements of husbandry, specimens of agricultural and mechanical
products, models of fruits, samples of grains aud soils, drawings
illustrating subjects connected with the useful arts; and it is
designed to include an extensive collection of insects, made with
especial reference to showing their influence upon the fruit and
grain crops of the State. The entomological department is in
charge of Dr. Asa Fitch, who has been for several years employed
by the society in studying the habits of destructive insects, with
the view to ascertaining the means of preventing their ravages.
The whole of these collections are open to the public on every
weekday except holidays. The meetings of the Executive Com¬
mittee of the State Agricultural Society, and the winter fairs,
are held in their rooms in this building.


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