Virtual Visit: NYS Senate Chamber
Explore the architectural and artistic masterpiece that is the New York State Senate Chamber.
- The Senate Chamber was designed by architect Henry Hobson Richardson.
- The Chamber opened on March 10, 1881.
- There are currently 62 New York State Senators.
- The ceiling is covered in 23 karat gold leaf which was installed in the 1970s.
- The Lieutenant Governor is also the President of the Senate.
- Andrea-Stewart Cousins is the female Senate Majority Leader in New York.
Senate Chamber Floor, 1882.
Senate Chamber Floor, 1880s.
Senate Chamber Public Gallery, 1880s.
Originally in the 1880s, the Senate Chamber had gas chandeliers and wall sconces, which were converted to electric fixtures a decade later.
This is the view as Senators enter through the main door to the floor.
The hand-carved oak wood coffered ceiling is often considered the masterpiece of the Senate Chamber.
Architect Henry Hobson Richardson’s face is carved above the main door on the Senate Chamber Floor. The other four architects of the Capitol, Fuller, Eidlitz, Olmstead and Perry, are carved...
The Senate Lobby on the third floor is where the Senators gather prior to entering the Chamber.
The elaborate Senate elevators were created by the Otis Elevator Company and were originally steam-powered in the 1880s.
Who is the President of the New York State Senate?
Kathy Hochul, who is also the Lieutenant Governor of New York.
What other famous landmarks were designed by architect Henry Hobson Richardson?
Allegheny County Courthouse, Pittsburgh; Trinity Church, Boston; Richardson Olmsted Complex, Buffalo and City Hall, Albany.
What New York State Senator went on to become Governor and President?
Franklin D. Roosevelt, serving from January 1, 1911 to March 17, 1913.
Who is the longest-serving New York State Senator?
Currently, the longest-serving Senator is Kenneth LaValle of Suffolk County. He has been elected every other year since 1976, serving more terms than any other State Senator in the United States.
Who designed the large grandfather clock in the chamber?
The clock was designed by H. H. Richardson and has kept the official time for the Senate since 1881.
What was supposed to be carved into the stone above the fireplaces?
Sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens sketched out designs for life-sized carvings above the fireplaces. One would have shown Moses and the Ten Commandments and the other, King John and the Magna Carta. The actual carvings were never undertaken, and those sections of the room remain unadorned.
Who’s office door is attached to the Senate Chamber floor?
The Lieutenant Governor’s Office
Who has their faces carved above each door into the Senate Chamber floor?
The five architects (Fuller, Eidlitz, Richardson, Perry, and Olmstead) who worked on the building and grounds.
What do the crests/shields on the stained glass of the Senate Chamber mean?
It is unknown what the crests/shields on the stained glass mean since many records were lost during the fire of 1911.