The Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza is the seat of the government operations for the state of New York. The Plaza consists of 98 acres of land. It is made up of 10 buildings. There are roughly 11,000 employees at the Plaza. The Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza was the vision of Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller. He commissioned Wallace K. Harrison, the chief architect for the Rockefeller Center, as the Plaza's principal architect. In 1965, construction on the Plaza began. The construction of the Plaza was completed in 1978.
The Empire State Plaza is a cultural center. It receives thousands of visitors each year. The Plaza is home to the New York State Capitol. In addition, it is home to the New York State Museum. The Empire State Plaza Convention Center, which is home to The Egg, is also located here. The Egg houses a main theater that seats 982, and it also has a smaller studio theater that seats 450. The Egg also has a wrap-around lounge. The Egg gets its name from its spherical shape.
Guided tours of the Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza are available in July August from 11:00am to 1:00pm. In addition, throughout the remainder of the year, self-guided Acoustiguide tours are available from 9:00am to 3:00pm Monday through Friday. All tours last roughly an hour. Tours provide information about Governor Rockefeller and the history of the Plaza. The tours also highlight the ESP Art Collection and several of the memorials located throughout the Plaza. One of these memorials is the New York State Vietnam Memorial. The New York State Vietnam Memorial was installed at the Plaza in 1984 and was the first memorial ever installed at the Plaza. All tours are free, and tours begin at the Plaza Visitors Center. The Plaza Visitors Center is located in the North Concourse.
The ESP Art Collection is available for viewing on a daily basis from 6:00am to 6:00pm. This collection is maintained by the New York State Office of General Services Curatorial and Tour Services Office.
The Concourse is approximately one quarter of a mile, and it is lines with restaurants, shops, and other services. A covered bus terminal is located at the Plaza. The bus terminal has 3,000 underground parking spaces.
The Plaza is also home to Corning Tower. Mountain views are a feature enjoyed in a glass-enclosed observation deck on the 42nd floor of the Corning Tower. Guests can spend time looking at the fountains outside the Plaza. Brick walkways and unique sculptures are two more features of the Empire State Plaza Convention Center.
Additional information about the Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza can be obtained by calling the Plaza Information Office at 518-474-2418. The Plaza Information Office's physical location is off of the main concourse. It is near The Egg.
Parking during business hours on weekdays is limited, but there is paid parking near the Empire State Plaza. Limited on-street parking is also available. In addition, there are several parking garages in the area.