Through the Years: 1960s
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Timeline
The Early Days
 
1959

Governor Rockefeller directs a study of the Executive Branch to find ways to improve efficiency. The Proposed Reorganization of the Executive Branch of New York State Government, also known as the "Ronan Report," is submitted to the Legislature. The report suggests creating The Office of General Services to provide essential central "housekeeping" services.

The Birth of OGS

 


March 1960

Legislation establishing a new agency, the Office of General Services, passes in the state legislature. 

 


October 1, 1960

OGS is officially established and begins operations in a small office at the Capitol with General C.V.R. Schuyler as its first commissioner. Its mission is to incorporate several service functions of many state agencies.

Commissioner Schuyler and a group of OGS employees during the 1960s.
Commissioner Schuyler with a group of OGS employees, 1960s.

 


1961

OGS assumes responsibility of parking in Downtown Albany.

 


March 1962

The first guided tour departs from the State Street Lobby of New York’s historic State Capitol. In just five years, more than a quarter of a million Capitol visitors benefit from OGS tours. 

Capitol Tours then & Now

Tour guides from the 1960s standing on the steps of the New York State Capitol.

January 1963

OGS takes over the South Mall project, later known as the Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza, and establishes the South Mall Coordinator office to centralize construction management. 

the South Mall Project

 


December 1964

General Schuyler opens the OGS Computer Center, the first centralized computer operation in New York State government. At the start, the center functions as an information retrieval system for state agencies to help research past legislation and draft new legislation.

Governor Rockefeller opening the OGS Computer Center.
Governor Rockefeller officially opens the new OGS Computer Center.

 


1964

The OGS Laboratory, operated under the former OGS Bureau of Standards and Quality Control, tests all items purchased by the state of New York. Skilled technicians ensure items like food, cleaning chemicals, clothing, and building materials, match up to descriptions and expectations before the state awards contracts. 

Procurement Then & now

 


1964

An agency-wide newsletter, the OGS Searchlight, is born to keep employees informed of the agency’s accomplishments.

how the searchlight got its name

 


April 1965

The OGS-operated State Garage at the State Office Campus opens. The home for 200 fleet cars is equipped with the “most modern machines available in the automotive field” – 74,000 square feet of service and repair bays, a car wash, a body and paint shop, and general mechanic stalls. For the grand opening, General Schuyler rides into the garage on President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1932 Packard – a vehicle still used in official ceremonies in 2020. 

Group posing in and around Packard car.
Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1932 Packard at the Harriman Campus Garage, 1965.
 

 


June 1965

Governor Rockefeller presides over the cornerstone ceremony of South Mall.

1965 Cornerstone Empire State Plaza

 


1965

The Plaza Art Commission begins amassing paintings and sculptures for South Mall. It will take seven years to commission and collect 42 paintings, 47 sculptures, and three textile works to build the Plaza Art Collection. Today, visitors can still view the collection throughout the indoor and outdoor spaces at the Empire State Plaza. 

The empire state plaza art collection

Art Collection Sculpture Twist
Clement Meadmore, Verge, 1971-72.

September 1967

The Division of Architecture becomes the Public Buildings Design and Construction Group (D&C), joining Building Operations, Administrative Services, and Standards and Purchase to become the fourth main group within OGS. The transfer brings the full responsibility for planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of state public buildings under one agency’s control for the first time in New York State’s history. 

Design and Construction Then & Now 

 


December 1967

The Surplus Real Property Management unit is added to OGS. Staffed by nine employees, it is responsible for all state-owned lands declared surplus by other agencies and for underwater lands beneath state-owned waterways. 

Land Office Historic Maps Collection

1967 Surplus Real Property Management
Surplus Real Property Management, 1967.

October 1968

New York Network goes on-air after several years of development. While under the SUNY umbrella, OGS is integral in the development of the network, the first statewide network to connect independent educational TV stations. In the 2010s, it will morph to create the OGS Media Services Center. 

Digital & Media Services Center

1968 NY Network