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Release: Cuomo announces he will allow public into NYS Capitol again, beginning on June 18. Assembly GOP leader Barclay calls rescinding of covid19 ban 'long overdue.'
For Immediate Release: 6/17/2021


Empire State Plaza Complex Including the Capitol, Legislative Office Building to Reopen to the Public June 18

Free Tours of Capitol and Empire State Plaza Return

Tour Restrictions Lifted as 70% of Adult New Yorkers Have Received First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine

Tour Reservations Available Online Here

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that with 70 percent of New Yorkers aged 18 or older having received the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccination series, the Empire State Plaza Complex, which includes the New York State Capitol and the Legislative Office Building, will reopen to the public tomorrow, June 18. Additionally, tours of the Capitol resume on Monday, June 21, and the popular outdoor tours of the Empire State Plaza will start up again on Wednesday, July 7. Unvaccinated individuals will continue to be responsible for wearing masks, in accordance with federal CDC guidance.

"New Yorkers have worked hard against the COVID virus and as a result, landmarks and attractions across the state are reopening to visitors. We are thrilled to welcome New Yorkers and guests from afar back to our beautiful State Capitol and the amazing Empire State Plaza," Governor Cuomo said. "The Capitol is filled with extraordinary history anyone can appreciate. While it was necessary to close its doors during the pandemic, it is time to welcome people back to its grand halls."

Free Capitol Tours

When: Monday through Friday
Times: 10 a.m. & noon
Location: Information Desk in Capitol's State Street lobby
Reservations: Space is limited, and reservations are recommended but not required for groups of fewer than 10 people - reserve online here. For groups of 10 or more, call 518-474-2418 to make arrangements
Unvaccinated Visitors to the Capitol are required to wear a mask during indoor Tours

Sitting atop Albany's State Street hill, the New York State Capitol has served as the seat of government for New York since the 1880s. The building is a marvel of late 19th century architectural grandeur, built by hand of solid masonry over a period of 32 years. Highlights of the 45-minute tours can include the legislative chambers, Hall of Governors, Governor's Reception Room, Hall of New York, historic staircases, and carvings.

Free Outdoor Empire State Plaza Tours

When: Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Outside at the main entrance to The Egg Center for the Performing Arts on the Empire State Plaza.
Reservations: Space is limited to 25 people per tour, and reservations are required - reserve online here or by calling 518-474-2418

The 45-minute tours feature highlights of the world-class, 98-acre complex where state government, unique architecture, and modern art share the same space. No two tours are the same, and highlights can include The Egg Center for the Performing Arts, the Plaza's main platform, Capitol, Robert Abrams Building for Law and Justice, Cultural Education Center, Corning Tower, Legislative Office Building, and agency buildings, as well as the memorials that honor those who have dedicated or given their lives in service to others. Those taking the tour will also learn about the Empire State Plaza Art Collection, which is known as the largest publicly owned modern art collection in the country housed outside of a museum.

Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito said, "The New York State Capitol and Empire State Plaza are magnificent architectural gems, and we are proud to once again offer the public an opportunity to spend some time exploring and learning about these grand, historic sites. Our knowledgeable and lively tour guides are ready and eager to introduce visitors to the wonderful things New York's capital city has to offer."

Visit the Office of General Services website for more information about weekday tours, special exhibits and the history of the Capitol, Empire State Plaza, and the Empire State Plaza Art Collection.


For Release: IMMEDIATELY, June 17, 2021
Contact: Michael Fraser, office: 518-455-3751; cell: 518-859-8518


“The state Capitol has been closed to visitors for more than a year. While we are happy to see the Capitol reopen to the public, the decision to finally let people back into the center of state government is long overdue.

The Assembly Republican Conference called for public access to the building to be restored nearly two months ago. The public’s presence and voice plays an integral role in the functioning of state government and they never should have been excluded. It is a shame that the building remained closed during the entire legislative session.

Sadly, Gov. Cuomo dragged his feet and needlessly kept the building closed, even as COVID-19 rates dropped and vaccination rates soared. In doing so, he did a great disservice to New Yorkers eager to participate in state government.”