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When this writer was 13 years old I saw my first skyscraper.  It was in Albany.  It was a magnificent tower jutting up from the cityscape.  I couldn't believe it.

It was the Alfred E. Smith State Office Building.  It is still on this list of the ten tallest buildings in Upstate New York, but my how things have changed.

The Albany that I knew when I went to college there in 1967 was far different than the city of today.  The Empire State Plaza was still a gleam in "Rocky's eye," and there were no soaring towers yet at the State University of New York campus.  In fact, the Alfred E. Smith building was the tallest building in the city.  I loved it.

Albany was my first city.  I was from a small rural village in Delaware County, and my college was in downtown Albany.  So, long before GPS ever came along I used the Smith building as my directional landmark; my compass if you will.  As long as I could see the Smith building (which was everywhere in Albany) I was able find my way around my first city.

This gallery looks at the ten tallest buildings in Upstate New York, today.  Here you will see Art Deco confections, gleaming modern cloud touchers, a casino hotel tower with 600 rooms in it, and a whole lot more.

They are all majestic and quite beautiful, but I will have to admit.  I will always have a soft spot in my heart for my first skyscraper, the Alfred in Smith Building in Albany in 1967.

The Beauty and Majesty of Upstate New York's Ten Tallest Buildings!

The ten tallest buildings in Upstate New York run the full range of 20th Century architecture trends. Yes, there are modern, sleek, soaring towers in the cities like Buffalo, Rochester and Albany, but there are also some gorgeous surprises among the older ones on this list. When Art Deco was all the architectural rage in the 1920s and 1930s, Upstate cities jumped on the bandwagon and, as you can see, left future generations to gape at some very special, extravagant buildings!

Among the many beautiful edifices on this list are government buildings, casino hotels, privately owned towers, and a city hall that was the most expensive ever built when it went up over a century ago.

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio

These Are the 12 Biggest Shopping Malls in Upstate New York

The size of the enclosed malls of Upstate New York covers a whole range of numbers. You have several large malls with between 50-100 stores, and then you have several behemoth malls which host much more than that. For example, #12 on this list has 55 stores and has been open for more than 50 years. Sounds like a pretty respectable mall, doesn't it? Compare that to the #2 on this list which is so large it has more than 18,000 parking spaces!

In this gallery, we have also mentioned some of the original anchor stores for these malls dating back to when they opened. It is fun to hear the old names like Sibley's, Filenes, McCurdy's, and G. Fox and Company again. Here are the 12 largest enclosed malls in Upstate New York. (We include all regions of Upstate including the upper and lower Hudson Valley. This list does not reflect the large malls of metropolitan New York City or Long Island).

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio