Chancellor Zimpher Kicks Off Centennial Celebration of SUNY System Administration Building

October 19, 2015

Downtown Albany Community & Business Leaders Join SUNY to Reopen Plaza Lawn, Main Entrance

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today kicked off a year-long series of events to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the SUNY System Administration building, originally occupied by Delaware & Hudson Railroad, at 353 Broadway. Chancellor Zimpher made the announcement alongside downtown Albany business and community leaders, before cutting the ribbon on SUNY Plaza’s recently renovated front lawn and main entrance.

“SUNY is fortunate to have inherited this stunning building and surrounding property more than 35 years ago, and we are proud to be its steward on behalf of the entire university system, downtown Albany community, and the state of New York,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “It is our hope that with this recent renovation, the Albany community will have a safer, more accessible gathering space to enjoy year round, and to join us as we celebrate the 100-year anniversary of this landmark building.”

The SUNY System Administration building was completed between 1915 and 1918, replacing a large railroad yard, trains, and bridge with the more attractive plaza and surrounding buildings that exist today. SUNY moved into the main building in 1978 and into what is known as the Federal Building in 1980.

In addition to creating a more welcoming landscape and gathering place for the downtown Albany community, this year’s renovation included needed repairs to existing drainage, underground utilities, lighting, and the sprinkler system, most of which had not been updated since the 1970s. The renovated grounds also include energy-efficient walkway lighting and a circular vehicle entrance, a return to a design closer to the original.

Joining SUNY for today’s event were chairman of the Board for Capitalize Albany Corporation, Michael J. Castellana, as well as representatives from Mayor Kathy Sheehan’s office, the Downtown Business Improvement District, and Capitalize Albany.

The following firms contributed to the design and construction of the renovation project: M.J. Engineering and Land Surveying, P.C.; Hamlin Design Group; and Bunkoff General Contractors, Inc.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2022, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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