The Great Western Staircase is located inside the New York State Capitol. It is also known as the Million Dollar Staircase. It took an unheard of 14 years to build this staircase at a cost of more than $1 million back 1883. During the course of those 14 years, more than 500 stone cutters and carvers were brought in from Europe. One of their goals was to carve 77 famous faces into the sandstone walls of the staircase. The sculptors spent years, at a salary of $5 per day (a big salary back then), to sculpt some of the finest carvings anywhere in the world.
Toward the end of this massive project, the sculptors were then permitted to continue adding faces--but faces of their choosing. So, along with the prominent faces are faces of friends, family and others (sometimes someone they happened to see on the street)--all of which can be seen when viewed from the staircase.
© Glenn Nagel Photography