Great Western Staircase

The Great Western Staircase is located inside the New York State Capitol in Albany. Architect Henry Hobson Richardson designed the staircase, but Isaac C. Perry oversaw its construction. Perry is also responsible for the carvings. Work began on this staircase in 1883, and it lasted for fourteen years. In total, this construction project cost $1.5 million, which is why the Great Western Staircase is also known as the “Million Dollar Staircase.” In 2006, the staircase underwent a $2.8 million restoration effort to clean the stairs. The Great Western Staircase is most famous for its size. It is 119 feet high and contains 444 steps made out of Corsehill freestone, medina sandstone, limestone, and granite. Besides the size, the “Million Dollar Staircase” is also known for its stone carvings. The Great War Staircase contains 77 carvings, and it took over 500 sculptures to create these busts. These carvings depict historical New Yorkers like Susan B. Anthony, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, and Ulysses S. Grant.