New York City Hall in New York City
New York City Hall is located at the center of City Hall Park in the Civic Center area of Lower Manhattan, New York City, USA, between Broadway, Park Row, and Chambers Street. The building is the oldest City Hall in the United States that still houses its original governmental functions, such as the office of the Mayor of New York City and the chambers of the New York City Council. While the Mayor's Office is in the building, the staff of thirteen municipal agencies under mayoral control are located in the nearby Manhattan Municipal Building, one of the largest government buildings in the world.
Constructed from 1810 to 1812, Both its exterior (1966) and interior (1976) are designated New York City landmarks.
New York's first City Hall was built by the Dutch in the 17th century near 73 Pearl Street. The city's second City Hall, built in 1700, stood on Wall and Nassau Streets. That building was renamed Federal Hall after New York became the first official capital of the United States after the Revolutionary War. Plans for building a new City Hall were discussed by the New York City Council as early as 1776, but the financial strains of the war delayed progress. The Council chose a site at the old Common at the northern limits of the City, now City Hall Park.
In 1802 the City held a competition for a new City Hall. The first prize of $350 was awarded to Joseph Francois Mangin and John McComb, Jr.. Mangin, who was the principal designer,<ref name=nycland />
- 1860 - Leopold Eidlitz
- 1898 - John H. Duncan
- 1903 - William Martin Aiken
- 1907, 1912, 1915, 1917 - Grosvenor Atterbury
- 1956 - Shreve, Lamb & Harmon
- 1998 - Cabrera Barricklo
The architectural style of City Hall combines two noted historical movements, French Renaissance, which can be seen in the design of the exterior, and American-Georgian in the interior design. The building consists of a central pavilion with two projecting wings. The design of City Hall influenced at least two later civic structures, the Tweed Courthouse and the Surrogate's Courthouse. The entrance, reached by a long flight of steps, has figured prominently in civic events for over a century and a half. There is a columned entrance portico capped by a balustrade, and another balustrade at the roof. The domed tower in the center was rebuilt in 1917 after the last of two major fires. The original deteriorated Massachusetts marble facade, quarried from Alford, Massachusetts, with brownstone on the rear, was completely reclad with Alabama limestone above a Missouri granite base in 1954-6.
On the inside, the rotunda is a soaring space with a grand marble stairway rising up to the second floor, where ten fluted Corinthian columns support the coffered dome, which was added in a 1912 restoration by Grosvenor Atterbury.<ref name=nycland /> The rotunda has been the site of municipal as well as national events. Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant lay in state here, attracting enormous crowds to pay their respects. City Hall is a designated New York City landmark. It is also listed on the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places.
Official receptions are held in the Governor's room, which has hosted many dignitaries including the Marquis de Lafayette and Albert Einstein.
- The historic Blue Room is where New York City mayors have been giving official press conferences for decades and is often used for bill-signing ceremonies.
- Room 9 is the press room at City Hall where reporters file stories in cramped quarters.
The steps of City Hall frequently provide a backdrop for political demonstrations and press conferences concerning city politics. Live, unedited coverage of events at City Hall is carried on NYCTV channel 74, a City Government-access television (GATV) official cable TV channel.
Fencing surrounds the building's perimeter, with a strong security presence by the New York City Police Department. Public access to the building is restricted to tours and to those with specific business appointments.
The area around City Hall is commonly referred to as Manhattan's Civic Center. Most of the neighborhood consists of government offices (city, state and federal), as well as an increasing number of upscale residential dwellings being converted from older commercial structures. Architectural landmarks such as St. Paul's Chapel, St. Peters Church, the Woolworth Building, Tweed Courthouse, the Manhattan Municipal Building, the Park Row Building, One Police Plaza, and the Brooklyn Bridge surround City Hall. City Hall Park is approximately three blocks away from the site of the former World Trade Center.
City Hall Station
Located directly under City Hall plaza is City Hall Station, the original southern terminal of the first line of the New York City Subway built by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT). Opened on October 27, 1904, this station beneath the public area in front of City Hall was designed to be the showpiece of the new subway. Considered to be one of the most beautiful subway stations in the system, the station is unusually elegant in architectural style. The platform and mezzanine feature Guastavino tile, skylights, colored glass tile work and brass chandeliers. Passenger service was discontinued on December 31, 1945, although the station is still used as a turning loop for trains.
The nearest operating subway stations to City Hall are Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall (IRT Lexington Avenue Line) ( trains), City Hall (BMT Broadway Line) ( trains), and Park Place (IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line) ( trains).
In popular culture
New York City Hall has played a central role in several films and television series.
- Spin City (1996–2002), set in City Hall, starred Michael J. Fox as a Deputy Mayor making efforts to stop the dim-witted Mayor from embarrassing himself in front of the media and voters.
- City Hall (1996) starred Al Pacino as an idealistic Mayor and John Cusack as his Deputy Mayor, who leads an investigation with unexpectedly far-reaching consequences into an accidental shooting.
- In the 1984 movie Ghostbusters the Mayor summons the protagonists to City Hall to discuss the impending end of the world.
- City Hall is also referred to in the folk song "The Irish Rover" as performed by The Clancy Brothers, The Pogues and The Dubliners:
In the year of our Lord, eighteen hundred and six,
We set sail from the Coal Quay of Cork
We were sailing away with a cargo of bricks
For the grand City Hall in New York
- Although the dates match those of City Hall, there is no recorded usage of Irish bricks in the building's construction. However the song mentions "The Irish Rover" never actually arrived in New York, but "struck a rock" and sank instead.
- City Hall Post Office and Courthouse (New York City) - formerly located in the southwest corner of the park
- Brooklyn Borough Hall
- Gracie Mansion
- Manhattan Municipal Building
- New York Architecture Images- City Hall (and City Hall Subway Station)
- New York City Council Chambers
- New York Map Society history of City Hall Park
- Archaeological Institute of America The City Hall Park Project Archaeology, February 12, 2007.
- Video of 6 train turning around in City Hall Station at Semicultured.com
- "New York City Hall" MuseumPlanet narrated slide tour
- "'Drawn By New York' At The New-York Historical Society" on the Antiques and the Arts Online website