1960s view of the South Mall construction including the Corning Tower.

OGS and the South Mall Project

The South Mall was drawn from the master plan developed by the Temporary Commission on the Capital City. OGS oversaw each step of development, construction and occupancy.

South Mall Project
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An Era of New Construction

As OGS looks back on 60 years of achievements, we cannot underestimate how our early years as an agency were spent managing construction projects throughout New York State. From Watertown to Binghamton, and Utica to Harlem, new buildings were going up at rapid-fire pace to house the state's expanding workforce. However, no where was more impacted by the growth in state government as much as our capital city, Albany. 

When Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller first took office in 1959, one of the first items on his agenda was to transform Albany into an internationally recognized center for government and culture. His vision relied on the development of an massive building complex known as the South Mall.

1965 historic photo of the South Mall cornerstone ceremony.
South Mall Cornerstone Ceremony, June 21, 1965

In 1965, the state broke ground at the South Mall construction site and throughout the 1960s and 70s, New Yorkers watched as the Albany skyline transformed into one of the most impressive examples of modern International Style architecture in the world. 

Governor Rockefeller remained influential in every aspect of the South Mall's design, working closely with the architects and OGS Commissioner Schuyler to ensure the project's steady progress. 

Governor Rockefeller and Commissioner Schuyler tour the South Mall construction site.
Governor Rockefeller and Commissioner Schuyler tour the South Mall construction site.

The Swan Street and Abrams Buildings were the first to be completed in 1971-72, and The Egg was last in 1978. Thirteen years after the groundbreaking, the South Mall shed its original name and was dedicated as the Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza - a place that remains under OGS's care and symbolizes our continuing excellence in support of government operations.