The grand building before you is home to the headquarters of The State University of New York (SUNY).
Founded in 1948, SUNY is the largest comprehensive system of public higher education in the United States. Among the system's 64 schools there is a diverse array of institutions, including research universities, community colleges, liberal arts and technical colleges, and health science centers.
SUNY took stewardship of this landmark building, originally built as the headquarters of the Delaware & Hudson Railroad and the Albany Evening Journal
newspaper, in the 1970s.
A feature that cannot be seen from the street is a bust of President Theodore Roosevelt.
The original intent was that head be placed in a visible position, after TR had a falling out with Albany political boss William "Billy" Barnes, the bust was moved to a less prominent place. It was restored after this photo taken in 1998 by John G. Waite Associates, Architects.
Though this Flemish Gothic-style building appears to be centuries old, it was constructed between 1914 and 1918.
In fact, there were generations of buildings on this site dating back to Albany's settlement by the Dutch in the mid-1600s.
SUNY Plaza is adorned with a wealth of design features that
pay homage to Albany's long history. Those that can be seen from the street include the carved beavers along the fifth story of the north wing, harkening to the city's beginnings as a prominent fur-trading center, as well as the state and city seals near the top of the central tower.
The weathervane at the top of the central tower is replica of the Half Moon.
Rising 225 feet in the air, the copper ship is nearly 7 feet long and 9 feet tall. It was designed by the building's architect, Marcus T. Reynolds, and has been atop the tower since 1915. SUNY restored it in the 1970s.
An inscription on the ship reads, "Within a few yards of this spot, Hendrick Hudson, on Sept. 22, 1609, terminated his voyage of discovery."