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Quick Facts about the State Education Building

  • The Education Building was designed by New York City Architect, Henry Hornbostel, one of 63 architects to submit plans, and was constructed by the Rochester firm of R. T. Ford and Company.
  • Construction started in 1908 and was completed in 1912.
  • The Education Building cost $3.6 million and the site cost $450,000.
  • The building is 140 feet wide (including the front steps), and 590 feet long. The rear wing is 185 feet by 112 feet.
  • There are 36 hollow, fluted pillars made of Vermont marble that run along the front of the block-long building. Each pillar is 90 feet tall.
  • The Education Building originally housed the State Library, New York State Science Service and Museum—now currently in the Cultural Education Center.
  • The Rotunda, located on the second floor, has almost 9,000 square feet of floor space and its domed ceiling is 94 feet high.
  • The chandelier in the Rotunda is 75 feet long and is plated in silver foil.
  • The building originally served as a historical and literary exhibit area for the State Library as well as holding public work tables for Library visitors.
  • Opening from the Rotunda were the Law Library, the Medical Library, the Legislative Reference Library, the Periodical Room, and the General Reading Room.
  • Mural paintings between the columns above the card catalogues were created by W. H. Low. They illustrate "The Aspiration of Man for Intellectual Enlightenment and the Results of Its Attainment."