Virtual Visit: NYS Assembly Chamer
Explore the architectural and artistic masterpiece that is the New York State Assembly Chamber.
- The Assembly Chamber was designed by architect Leopold Eidlitz.
- It has a Moorish Gothic design.
- There are currently 150 Assembly Members.
- The number of Assembly Members is set in the State Constitution.
- Carl Hastie became the first African-American Speaker of the Assembly
- Artist William Morris Hunt painted two large murals in the Chamber, when it first opened, which are now covered up by the new ceiling.
Assembly Chamber construction, 1870s.
Assembly Chamber completed, 1879.
Large chamber wall mural, “The Discoverer,” painted by artist William Morris Hunt.
Large chamber wall mural, “Flight of Night,” painted by artist William Morris Hunt.
Assembly Chamber grand opening reception, 1879.
Assembly Chamber with papier-mâché drop ceiling, 1889-1911.
The colorful stained-glass windows are one of the best features of the Assembly Chamber.
Modern view of the Assembly Chamber from the 4th floor public gallery.
How long is a legislative term?
One term lasts two years, however, an Assemblymember can serve an unlimited amount of terms.
Who is the Speaker of the Assembly?
Speaker Carl Heastie is the 100th Speaker of the New York State Assembly and is the first African-American in that position.
How do the Assembly Members vote?
The Assemblymembers vote electronically by pushing buttons at their desk and the result of their vote appears next to their names on screens located on the chamber’s walls.
What other famous landmarks were designed by architect Leopold Eidlitz?
Leopold Eidlitz designed the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the New York Produce Exchange, and the Tweed Courthouse.
What New York State Assembly Member went on to become Governor of New York and President of the United States?
Theodore Roosevelt, serving from 1882-1884.
Is the clock on the Assembly Chamber floor original?
A clock and a desk located on pedestals in the corners of the chamber’s floor are from the original New York State Assembly Chamber of the first New York State Capitol, built-in 1809.
How much do the chandeliers weigh?
The heaviest chandelier weighs 3 tons
How do they clean or change the light bulbs on the Chandeliers?
The chandeliers are lowered once a year to be cleaned and maintained.
Where did the Assembly meet when the Chamber was under renovation in the 1880s?
The Assembly met at Albany City Hall until the new ceiling was installed.
Which infamous Civil War Medal of Honor recipient who fought at the Battle of Gettysburg attended the grand opening of the Assembly Chamber?
General Daniel Sickles