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Erastus Corning Tower

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 5 Empire State Plz, Albany, NY 12223-1500
Phone Number:
+1 518-474-2418
See all hours
Mon - Fri 10:00 - 15:45
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

This 42-story building was dedicated in 1983 to the memory of Erastus...

This 42-story building was dedicated in 1983 to the memory of Erastus Corning 2nd, a long-time mayor of Albany who played a special role in the creation of the Plaza as the center of state government. The Tower is the tallest building in New York State outside of New York City. The building dominates the Albany skyline with its glass, marble and angular forms. The Corning Tower Observation Deck is located on the 42nd floor. Breathtaking views of Albany, the Plaza, and surrounding areas can be enjoyed. Also visible are the Hudson River Valley, the Port of Albany, large portions of the city and its government, the foothills of the Adirondacks, the Catskills, and the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (LAST CHECK-IN AT 3:45 p.m.). Hours subject to change without notice. Closed Saturday and Sunday and holidays. To gain access to the Observation Deck, all persons 16 and older must check in by presenting photo identification at the Observation Deck Check-In, Concourse Level, Corning Tower. Persons under 16 must be accompanied by an adult with photo identification.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 82 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 33
  • 26
    Very good
  • 14
  • 2
  • 3
Great View!

Great to get to the top of the building and see the full view of Albany! Breathtaking! extra words here to meet the 100 character requirement! :P

Reviewed 29 September 2015
Dan H
Raleigh, North Carolina
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82 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 78: English reviews
Albany, New York
Level Contributor
53 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2016

I don't think you can get in any more unless you have a visitors pass from NY State, due to security. There is a Subway restaurant on the 29th floor with great views.

1 Thank David S
NYSCapitolTours, Attraction representative at Erastus Corning Tower, responded to this review

Thank you for your review. We did want to clarify a few points you made. The Corning Tower is mostly NY state government offices, but on the 42nd floor there is a FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC observation deck. It is officially known as the Corning Tower Observation Deck and is open Monday through Friday from 10AM to 3:45PM.... More 

saratoga springs NY
Level Contributor
178 reviews
76 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 May 2016

While visiting the Empire State Plaza's modern art collection, took elevator to top of Corning Tower for 360-degree view. Fun to recognize famous Albany landmarks & views of the mountains, Hudson River. Take tour of the Capitol also.

Thank srhahm
St. Augustine, Florida
Level Contributor
156 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 2016

Being able to see Albany from @42 stories is a real treat. This is a free experience, with plenty of viewing area, and also a help assistant who can answer questions. The designated elevator goes directly to the observation deck, and is very convenient. There are also bathrooms, and water fountains if required.

3 Thank Mags B
Newton Falls, New York
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 November 2015 via mobile

The observation area had amazing views of Albany, the state buildings, and the surrounding area. Only saw three people who were leaving as I was arriving, so I practically had the whole observation area to myself! If you want to see some breathtaking views of Albany, I highly suggest you visit here.

1 Thank Samantha H
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 November 2015

It is in the midst of historic 19 Century architecture and then there is this huge Modern building...some would say it stands out like a large strange finger! I say it is a great contrast, similar to the "egg" in the middle of the plaza! If it were art, someone would say the artists was making a point of the... More 

1 Thank Lorraine C
Menands, New York
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 October 2015

Has a great view of Albany and the surrounding area this is worth seeing and taking pictures from top of the tower

1 Thank scottish232
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
711 reviews
336 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2015

Well worth a trip to the top for the view. The day we were there was very clear and the view was magnificient. The attendant was very helpful in describing what we were seeing.

1 Thank Tom B
Niskayuna, New York
Level Contributor
37 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 October 2015

Interpretive signs point out some of the locations visible all around this 40+ story viewpoint. On a clear day it's a wonderful experience....but not on weekends. Be prepared to show a photo ID. There is food available in the underground concourse below the Empire Plaza.

Thank AKT0707
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 29 September 2015

Great to get to the top of the building and see the full view of Albany! Breathtaking! extra words here to meet the 100 character requirement! :P

1 Thank Dan H
Chesterfield, MO
Level Contributor
343 reviews
219 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 373 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2015

I was able to walk right into the Corning tower and take the elevator up to the observation deck. No lines, no cost, no security check, no problem. The view was great, though you can’t see anything on the Northwest side. It would be nice if they could open up the roof on that side so you could get the... More 

1 Thank jjctraveler

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