The front of SUNY Plaza, the former D&H building, in the 1970s with cars and buses in front.
A History of the Plaza Building

A History of the D&H Building, our SUNY Plaza

The State University of New York, founded in 1948, took possession of the Delaware & Hudson Railroad Building as its system headquarters in 1972 and moved to the space in 1977 after interior renovations.

Though officially deemed SUNY Plaza since that time, the building is often referred to by the locals as the “D&H Building,” or, affectionately, “The Castle.”

Often mistaken for the State Capitol because of its grandeur, SUNY Plaza is the masterpiece of Marcus T. Reynolds (1869-1937), Albany’s most important architect of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Designed in a Flemish Gothic style, the building commemorates the original Dutch settlement of the City of Albany.

Though SUNY Plaza presents as a cohesive whole, the building or buildings were actually constructed in six main parts between 1914 and 1918. The initial portion of the complex, built in 1914-1915, includes the five-story block at the north end and the thirteen-story tower, connected by the long five-story diagonal wing. Another five-story wing was constructed in 1915-1918, south of the central tower. (A concrete freight house located at the north end, behind the Federal Building, was part of the original construction but has since been demolished.)

At the same time, at the south end, a separate but physically connected and visually compatible building was constructed to house the headquarters of the Albany Evening Journal, the newspaper of William Barnes Jr., the powerful Republican political boss of Albany.

The photographs and drawings presented in this show are from the collection regularly housed at SUNY Plaza. The photos were taken during the original construction campaign, and many of them are dated.

The State University of New York is immensely proud to be the steward of this important heritage and cultural resource.

Plaza Centennial