Encircle New York

Encircle New York: When approaching New York City from the north, make sure to spend time in Albany and then Hyde Park. Fans of state capitol buildings plus presidential museums and homes are in for a treat in these cities.

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1 New York State Capitol Building in Albany, New York

These two mallards are viewing the southwest side of New York’s State Capitol beside a pond on Empire State Plaza. This five-story, granite and marble building with red tower accents would have risen beyond its 220 feet if the planned dome had been built in 1899. It took 32 years to complete at today’s cost of half a billion dollars. New York became the 11th state on July 26, 1788.

State St. & Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12224
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2 New York State Capitol Building Great Western Staircase in Albany, New York

The New York Capitol Building opened in 1899 after spending $25 million. Inside is this spectacular “Million Dollar Staircase.” 500 artisans carved 77 portraits of famous people along its 444 steps. Apparently, the stone cutters also added faces of their family and friends. The Assembly and Senate staircases are also gorgeous.

State St. & Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12224
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3 The Egg Building from Empire State Plaza in Albany, New York

As its name suggests, the Egg in Albany, New York, is an architectural oddity. Completed in 1978, it is shaped more like a bowl sitting on a six-story pedestal in the Empire State Plaza across from the state capitol. Two theaters are housed in The Egg; one with a 1,000 seats and the other with 500.

Empire State Plz, Albany, NY 12223
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4 FDR Springwood Home at Franklin Roosevelt Library, Museum in Hyde Park, New York

On the grounds of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York, is the 32nd president’s home called Springwood. FDR was born on the second floor, lived here most of his life and is buried in the rose garden. Interred beside him are his wife and family dogs. The mansion remains furnished as it was when it served as the Summer White House. Roosevelt’s wife, Eleanor, lived two miles away in a home called Val-Kill. Both of these fascinating homes are available for tour.

4097 Albany Post Rd, Hyde Park, NY 12538
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5 FDR Music Room at Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York

This music room, also called the Dresden Room, is part of the Springwood estate located in Hyde Park, New York. On the piano are signed photos of royalty and dignitaries who were entertained by Franklin D. Roosevelt while he was the 32nd president. The pieces of Chinese porcelain were collected by his mother, Sara, during her father’s business trades with China. An adjoining room is very historical. In September, 1944, FDR and Winston Churchill solidified their countries’ cooperation for developing Tube Alloys. This was the code name for the atomic bomb. The two unprecedented blasts over Japan ended World War II about four months after Roosevelt died.

4079 Albany Post Rd, Hyde Park, NY 12538
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6 Frederick Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site in Hyde Park, New York

If you were a wealthy industrialist during the Gilded Age, you often demonstrated your success by building mansions. Nine members of the Vanderbilt family epitomized this trend by commissioning top architects to construct 25 homes between 1870 and 1920; many resembled palaces. This 54 room mansion along the Hudson River sits on a 200 acre estate in Hyde Park, New York, just a short distance from Franklin D, Roosevelt’s home. It was only used seasonally as a vacation home.

119 Vanderbilt Park Rd, Hyde Park, NY 12538
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