State Capitol buildings aren’t an absolute must on our road trips, but we’ll drive near them sometimes when it’s convenient, when they have special features, or when the mood strikes. Longtime MCC readers have seen glimpses — and in-depth tours in a few cases — of eleven such buildings in past entries:
- Montgomery, Alabama
- Denver, Colorado
- Hartford, Connecticut
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Boston, Massachusetts
- St. Paul, Minnesota
- Columbus, Ohio
- Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Charleston, West Virginia
- Madison, Wisconsin
We’ve driven through several other capitals without stopping for their capitols, or much of anything else — Little Rock, AR; Atlanta, GA; Des Moines, IA; Topeka, KS; Oklahoma City, OK; Austin, TX; and Richmond, VA. One of those is now a leading contender for our 2019 road trip destination. Most of the rest aren’t in line for a return visit anytime in the foreseeable future. We had hoped to swing by the New Jersey State House on this year’s trip, but Trenton was among several unfortunate cuts from our overstuffed Day Five.
The New York State Capitol, on the other hand, fit neatly into Day Three’s itinerary in Albany. Unlike several other prominent buildings in the area, it wasn’t closed yet when we arrived.
Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:
Every year since 1999 my wife Anne and I have taken a trip to a different part of the United States and visited attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. Normally we’ll choose one major locale as our primary objective, drive that-a-way, and concentrate on exploring the vicinity for a few days before retreating.
We crafted this year’s itinerary with a different approach. Instead of choosing one city as a hub, we focused on one of the motifs that’s recurred through several of our trips: grave sites of Presidents of the United States of America. Our 2018 road trip would effectively have the format and feel of a video game side quest — collecting nine American Presidents across ten presidencies, four states, seven days, and 2000 miles…
We popped in and were relieved that the security guards on duty didn’t find us suspicious or weird for entering their mostly emptied workplace. Nearly all government employees had gone home for the day, and we saw at most one other person behaving like a tourist on this quiet Monday evening. We still had to go through the metal detectors as a formality, which we understood.
New York has had an above-average number of famous governors — future Presidents Martin Van Buren, Grover Cleveland, Theodore “Bearslayer” Roosevelt, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt; Founding Father John Jay; Gerald Ford’s VP Nelson Rockefeller; the “Seward’s Folly” guy; the Cuomo dynasty; and the guys who went on to lose Presidential elections to Rutherford Hayes and Harry Truman, to name a few. With such a roster to draw from, Anne had hoped to find great galleries of painting, statues, and other fancy tributes to any or all of them. With a flawed not-to-scale map and no tour guide, mostly we found halls full of locked doors, with a smattering of culture in the nooks and crannies. We captured what we could.
Our wandering down the echoing halls brought us to the most fascinating part of the New York State Capitol in its cavernous northwest wing…
To be continued!
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