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New York State Capitol

Assembly Stair

The firm was hired in 2006 to undertake the restoration of portions of the Assembly Staircase, and to design a new laylight to replace the great decorative laylight that had been removed in the 1940’s.  The staircase was originally designed by Leopold Eidlitz and constructed in the early 1880’s.  The upper area of the staircase under the laylight had been altered with a new floor structure inserted to provide additional office space in the 1950’s.  An extensive investigation of the remaining evidence and historic documentation was undertaken to determine if the laylight could be accurately reconstructed.  The study concluded that while there was insufficient evidence to conduct an archaeological reconstruction of the laylight, there was evidence as to the general configuration and probable aesthetic approach to the original design.  This staircase displays Eidlitz’s theory of color and design in a spectacular expression of painted and stenciled walls that merge with a colored, painted and etched glass laylight of intricate patterns.  This evidence was employed in the conjectural recreation of this magnificent feature in the Capitol.  While the design of all of the patterns, colors and framing were created by MCWB Architects, they strictly follow the evidence pertaining to Leopold Eidlitz’s design approach.  In addition to the reconstruction of the laylight, MCWB designed the reconstruction of the stone balcony that extends across this staircase directly under the laylight.

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