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New York State Capitol

Tower Hall

Tower Hall is a 50 foot square space located at the central upper portion of the east quadrant of the Capitol.  The original configuration here involved an 80 foot tall rotunda under a 150 foot tower.  Owing structural problems related to foundations, the tower was never built. Over the intervening years, the tall rotunda space had been filled in with floors at each respective level, with the fifth floor being Tower Hall at the upper most level.  Tower Hall itself had been infilled with offices such that the decorative relief carved granite walls, columns and arches were concealed.  When the adjacent Assembly Staircase restoration and reconstruction was initiated, which involved removing infill offices within that space, the offices had to be accommodated elsewhere.  It was decided that Tower Hall would be completely renovated, with a new mezzanine installed to provide for these displaced offices.  A plan was developed to remove layers of plaster and infill to reveal the decorative stonework.  The result is a carefully restored 50’x50’x30’ high historic space with a minimalist modern mezzanine insertion and separating corridor wall.  The space is now occupied by Bill Drafting, a department that combines the efforts of the Senate and Assembly.


Other spaces affected by the reconstruction of the Assembly laylight include the north east elevator lobby, toilet rooms and a new corridor constructed through the north attic, linking the east and west side of the Capitol on the fifth floor.

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