Malta Avenue Elementary School

Malta Avenue Elementary School fifth-graders tour the Capitol

ALBANY – Sen. Jim Tedisco (R,C,I,REF-Glenville) recently invited Malta Avenue Elementary School fifth-graders to tour the Capitol and learn the inner workings of state government.

A student identified as Emma said, “It was so cool! I was very impressed by the stone carvings, they were beautiful! When we were looking at all the pictures of the people it was amazing. When we saw the unknown soldiers, our guide said there were ghosts, I was kind of deciding if I believed in the ghosts. She told us a guy fell over the railing, and that freaked me out. I loved the Million Dollar Stairs”.

“My favorite place was the Hall. I liked it because it showed you all the senators of Albany from all the way back in the 1700s to the 2000. I also thought that the fact that they did a realistic portrait of every single senator. Something else that I liked was the big room with all the murals on the ceiling. They were of all the wars that the United States has been in, and they labeled them underneath. I kept trying to imagine them painting the ceiling. Lastly, I liked the Million Dollar Staircase. There were the coolest ever carvings, and I loved the little dragons and stuff you could see if you looked closely. I saw some unfinished carvings,” said another child named Ellis.

Other students recapped the visit in their own words:

During my visit to the New York State Capital in Albany, I was really impressed by how detailed the stone carvings were considering how tall and wide the building was. Thank god Governor Theodore Roosevelt stopped them from using too much money. The Chambers were cool. I can tell why the chairs were expensive leather from Italy. They were so soft. There were so much stairs and I have learned to not look down. It was nice of Senator Tedisco to give us all a copy of his book “snapshot” I found some places I have been to in the book. It was really cool how we got to walk up a million dollar staircase. The paintings were so realistic, it was like they took a picture of them, instead of a painted portrait. I wonder how heavy they were. I learned a lot from this field trip. How much would it cost if Theodore Roosevelt didn’t stop them and they continued carving?–Christine 

During the visit to the New York State Capital, there was some unique things about it. I thought the carvings in the walls were beautiful! I liked how some of the faces that were carved into the wall were people that the builders knew. There was also some dragons carved, too! One thing I learned was that for some reason, a person who worked there got mad and carved a mini devil to put a curse on the Capital. Another thing that was interesting was that it wasn’t finished till Theodore Roosevelt was Government. He told them to stop building it so there are some details and carvings that weren’t finished. Those are some things I found fascinating about the New York State Capital.–Dorothy

Going to the capital was really cool! I really liked all the carvings, I wish I knew who all of the carvings were supposed to be of. I loved seeing the chambers where they decide on all the new laws of New York State. It seems really hard to believe that the “Million Dollar Staircase” cost a million dollars because the material doesn’t look like it cost a lot of money, but it is a big staircase. There was also tons of gold everywhere! The Hall of Governors was really big, I didn’t know we had so many governors, my teacher told us that one of the governors isn’t in there, which is really strange. Senator Tedisco also gave us a book called “Snapshot” which showed all of the cool places in New York State. Our guide told us that a guy fell of a railing which terrifies me. My favorite part of going to the capitol was the chambers because there was some guy who was telling us about it and there was a massive fireplace and the walls were decorated with gold. It was really nice of Senator Tedisco to invite us to the Capitol, it was really cool!–Collin

The field trip to Albany was amazing. I loved seeing all the carvings and the million dollar staircase. I also liked seeing all the pictures of the governors.  One more thing I liked was the whispering fireplace. —Kyle.

On the field trip to the state capital I learned a lot of cool stuff. My favorite part was The Battle Room witch had records of battles in history, so there were pictures and paintings of the Revolutionary War and the French and Indian War. I also liked the Million Dollar Staircase with all of the head carvings. I noticed one of the random faces carved in the walls had the Egyptian Pharaoh headdress on. The tour guide said that a carver put in a little devil. I wanted to see it but we ran out of time.​​–Sean

During my visit to the New York State Capital in Albany, I was really interested in seeing the “Chambers “with gold on the walls and the whispering fireplace where the Senate and Congress meet to vote on important policies that impact the people in the state of New York. The hallway with all of the stone carvings in it reminded me of Hogwarts.  I really enjoyed meeting Senate Tedisco. I also liked like the book he gave us called Snapshot. I really enjoyed the million dollar stairs. I liked all of the marble everywhere. I also enjoyed the waterfall and that we took a class picture in front of the marble staircase.–Delanie 

During our trip to the New York State Capitol in Albanythought that seeing all of the pictures of the Governors was really interesting. There was also an amazing elevator that looked like it came straight out of Harry Potter. There was also all of these carvings everywhere in the building that were extremely detailed and astonishing looking. Those are probably the most interesting parts about the trip to the New York State Capital.–Devon   

During my trip to the New York State Capital in Albany it was really cool to see the Million Dollar Stairs with all the stone carvings. I really wanted to see the devil carving. When we went to see the pictures of the governors i liked the painted ones. I had trouble looking over the railing of the stairs because I don’t like heights. When I learned that there was a little devil I really wanted to see it but we didn’t find it. My favorite part was seeing James Tedisco and the waterfall thing.–Cody

Thank you so much for inviting our class to the Capital. We had so much fun. My favorite part was when we went into the room with the gold wall and the whispering fireplace. Please tell our tour guide she did an amazing job and we learned a lot. I enjoyed walking up the million dollar staircase. The carvings were the best part. Oh and do not even get me started on the Hall of Governors. That was so cool especially the part where you can tell how wealthy they were. Also, the different carvings were so cool. Thank you again.–Sophia

The visit to the capital was really amazing. These are four things that I found really unique and interesting. I found that the patterns on the walls and pillars were really fascinating because they were all hand carved!  I also thought that it was amusingthat they had a fireplace called the whispering fireplace.  They go in it to talk no one can hear you. Another thing that was remarkable was the Million Dollar Staircase with its striking complicated patterns all carved out of stone.  I also found it noteworthy that you can see were Theodore Roosevelt made them stop because in was costing too much money. Those were four things that I found extraordinary and informative.–Ahmed

When we went to visit the New York State Capital in Albanylearned and saw a bunch of cool stuff in the Capital. Some of the amazing stuff I saw was there was the carvings in the walls and on a lot of the building and I also learned that it took like 40 years for the carvers to do the carvings. Another cool thing that I learned about the carvings was that the carvings were costing millions of dollars so when Theodore Roosevelt became mayor he stopped the carving so there are some blank spots on the building with no carvings. Something else I found interesting was the mayor’s pictures on the wall called the Hall of Governors and they would get to choose if they wanted to get there portraits hung up on the wall. Another thing that was remarkable was there was marble and gold on the building.  And something super cool was there was a room where you could go in and nobody would hear you. —Mehdi     

During my visit to the New York state capital in Albany I saw a lot of details on the walls, floors and ceilings were made out of marble and other materials. There was a “whispering fireplace” in that area. I loved seeing the Million Dollar Staircase. I tried to find the dragon and the dog that they say was he walls and ceilings. In the underground area I noticed that most of the walls, floors and ceilings were made out of marble and other materials. There was a “whispering fireplace” in that area. I loved seeing the million dollar staircase. I tried to find the dragon and the dog that they say was carved into the wall but I couldn’t find it. We came into this room after the staircase that had a lot of paintings on the ceiling of some soldiers. There was a big skylight window on the top of the building that they say they had to cover up during the war that way light would not get out. We also went into this hallway that had a bunch of pictures for each governor. I heard that the wealthier they were the more expensive the portrait was. —Ava

During my visit to the State Capital, Albany I was really interested in the Unknown Soldier. I really thought that was interesting that they didn’t know the identity of the soldier. I also really liked the a million dollar staircase. It was amazing that it took over 40 years to make and it is still not finished! The whispering staircase was also very cool I liked how it was not made to have a fire in it and only made for people to talk about different things. To me the capital looks like Hogwarts! I loved the stone wall carvings! I loved the detail that they put into that. —Chloe

During my visit to the capital I didn’t even believe that the carvings were all made by hand. They told us that there were also carvings of dragons, a dog, and a devil that an angry worker carved. I thought I also thought “The Whispering Fireplace” was cool. It’s also kind of funny to think that at the meetings, people had to discuss secret things in the fireplace. The thing that interested me the most was the Unknown Soldier. I really wanted to see the devil carving, the dog carving, and the dragon carving, but they never showed any of them to us. I kept asking people to keep a look out for any of the carvings and tell me, but nobody saw them. When we saw the “Million Dollar Staircase” I thought it didn’t really look like a “Million Dollar Staircase”. But then again it is a very old staircase. Thank you for inviting us!​​–Abigail

At the state capital I was incredibly intrigued with the million dollar staircase the faces were so detailed and they were carved out of stone. They looked like the people were stuck in the wall. The stairs went every which way. The assembly staircase reminded me of Hogwarts and the dog like carvings. They were so remarkable.  The Unknown Soldier was so mysterious. I loved this trip so much. Thank you for the amazing field trip Senator Tedisco.–Kara

During the visit to Albany I really liked when are tour guide told us about the hall of governs and the frame around it meant how rich that person was like there was gold and wood.  Also another thing I liked is when we went in the auditorium and we saw the whispering fireplace. Also in the auditorium we saw some the carvings not finished. Also near the Million Dollar Staircase they had the carvings of a couple girls and presidents. —Brooke

Tedisco hosts and provides Capitol tours to many school districts from across the 49th Senate District and meets with the students to listen to their ideas and talk about how state government works.

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A full-time production editor and publications coordinator by day, I previously spent 10 years in community news as a reporter, editor and graphic designer. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from SUNY New Paltz and can't stay away from the excitement of local news. On a good day I can be found exploring conservation areas and hiking trails in the Capital Region and Hudson Valley.

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