New York City Hall, the seat of New York City government, is located at the center of City Hall Park in the Civic Center area of Lower Manhattan, 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 1803 to 1812, New York City Hall is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Both its exterior (1966) and interior (1976) are designated New York City landmarks.
New York City Hall
|Location||City Hall Park|
between Broadway and Park Row
Manhattan, New York City
|Architect||Joseph-François Mangin and John McComb Jr.|
French Renaissance Revival
|NRHP reference #||66000539|
|Added to NRHP||October 15, 1966|
|Designated NHL||December 19, 1960|
|Designated NYCL||exterior: February 1, 1966|
interior: January 17, 1976
New Amsterdam'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. City Hall was originally an area for the first almhouse in 1653. In 1736, there was a financed almhouse for those who were fit to work, for the unfit, and those that were like criminals but were paupers.
In 1802 the City held a competition for a new City Hall. The first prize of $350 was awarded to Joseph-François Mangin and John McComb Jr. Mangin, who was the principal designer, studied architecture in his native France before becoming a New York City surveyor in 1795 and publishing an official map of the city in 1803. Mangin was also the architect of the landmark St. Patrick's Old Cathedral on Mulberry Street. McComb, whose father had worked on the old City Hall, was a New Yorker and designed Castle Clinton in Battery Park. He would supervise the construction of the building, and designed the architectural detailing as well. Also, many architects were in favor of Greek Revival style and created Brooklyn City Hall, which is now called Brooklyn Borough Hall in 1848.
The New York City Police riot occurred in front of New York City Hall between the recently dissolved New York Municipal Police and the newly formed Metropolitan Police on June 16, 1857. Municipal police fought with Metropolitan officers who were attempting to arrest New York City Mayor Fernando Wood.
The cornerstone of the new City Hall was laid in 1803. Construction was delayed after the City Council objected that the design was too extravagant. In response, McComb and Mangin reduced the size of the building and used brownstone at the rear of the building to lower costs; the brownstone, along with the original deteriorated Massachusetts marble facade, quarried from Alford, Massachusetts, would later be replaced with Alabama limestone between 1954 and 1956. Labor disputes and an outbreak of yellow fever further slowed construction. The building was not dedicated until 1811, and opened officially in 1812.
The building's Governor's Room hosted President-elect Abraham Lincoln in 1861, and his coffin was placed on the staircase landing across the rotunda when he lay in state in 1865 after his assassination. Ulysses S. Grant also lay in state beneath the soaring rotunda dome – as did Colonel Elmer Ephraim Ellsworth, first Union officer killed in the Civil War and commander of the 11th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment (First Fire Zouaves). The Governor's Room, which is used for official receptions, also houses one of the most important collections of 19th-century American portraiture and notable artifacts such as George Washington's desk.
The Outer Room is adjacent to the traditional Mayor's office, which is a small space on the northwest corner of the first floor. The Ceremonial Room is where the mayor would meet officials and hold small group meetings.
There are 108 paintings from the late 18th century through the 20th. The New York Times declared it "almost unrivaled as an ensemble, with several masterpieces." Among the collection is John Trumbull's 1805 portrait of Alexander Hamilton, the source of the face on the United States ten-dollar bill. There were significant efforts to restore the paintings in the 1920s and 1940s. In 2006 a new restoration campaign began for 47 paintings identified by the Art Commission as highest in priority.
On July 23, 2003, at 2:08 p.m., City Hall was the scene of a rare political assassination. Othniel Askew, a political rival of City Councilman James E. Davis, opened fire with a pistol from the balcony of the City Council chamber. Askew shot Davis twice, fatally wounding him. A police officer on the floor of the chamber then fatally shot Askew. Askew and Davis had entered the building together without passing through a metal detector, a courtesy extended to elected officials and their guests. As a result of the security breach, then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg revised security policy to require that everyone entering the building pass through metal detectors without exception.
Although Mangin and McComb designed the building, which was constructed between 1810 and 1812, it has been altered numerous times over the years, with the alteration often designed by architects:
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. 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.
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 NYC Media 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 the 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 World Trade Center site. Pace University's New York City campus is located across Park Row from City Hall.
Located directly under City Hall Park is City Hall subway station, the original southern terminal of the first service 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 6 and <6> train.
Another station named City Hall (N, R, and W trains) also exists on the BMT Broadway Line, albeit on the western side of City Hall and not directly under it. This station was built in 1912 for the Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit Corporation (BMT).
Other nearby, open subway stations are Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall / Chambers Street (4, 5, 6, <6>, J, and Z trains) and Chambers Street – World Trade Center / Park Place (2, 3, A, C, and E trains).
In 2008, work began on a restoration of the building, after a century without a major renovation. The construction included structural enhancements, upgrades to building services, as well as in-depth restoration of much of the interior and exterior. Due to the complexity of the demands of the project, the New York City Department of Design and Construction hired Hill International to provide construction management. Renovations were originally estimated to cost $104 million and take four years, but ended up costing nearly $150 million and taking over five years.
New York City Hall has played a central role in several films and television series. Examples include:
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
Billingbear House was situated in the parish of Waltham St. Lawrence in Berkshire, England, about six miles from Windsor.
Originally owned by the Bishop of Winchester, the land was given to Sir Henry Neville (father of politician and diplomat, Sir Henry Neville) in 1549 by King Edward VI. He finally took possession in 1567 and began construction of a Tudor mansion.With the identification in 2005 of the younger Sir Henry Neville as a candidate for the authorship of the Shakespearean plays and sonnets, it is conceivable that some of those works might have been composed at Billingbear. It has been noted that the play The Merry Wives of Windsor displays a knowledge of local towns, a Windsor inn, and a local tale called Herne the Hunter.When the house was visited by Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and Lorenzo Magalotti in 1669, their host was Colonel John Neville. A member of the duke's retinue painted a view of the house during the two-day stay, which is one of various images to be found in an illustrated manuscript in the Laurentian Library, Florence. An English translation of this manuscript was published in London in 1821; Indian ink copies of the original 17th-century paintings, by Thomas Hosmer Shepherd, were reproduced as scaled-down engravings for inclusion in this publication.The house stood until 1924, when it was destroyed by fire, and the shell then torn down. The surviving architectural features were used to restore the dilapidated Bulmershe Court, also in Berkshire, in 1925. One room of Billingbear House was transported to the United States in the early 20th century and survives today at Pace College in Manhattan, near the New York City Hall. It is reputedly haunted.Chambers Street (Manhattan)
Chambers Street is a two-way street in the New York City borough of Manhattan.City Hall Post Office and Courthouse (New York City)
The City Hall Post Office and Courthouse was designed by architect Alfred B. Mullett for a triangular site in New York City along Broadway in Civic Center, lower Manhattan, across City Hall Park from New York City Hall. The Second Empire style building, erected between 1869 and 1880, was not well received. Commonly called "Mullett's Monstrosity", it was demolished in 1939 and the site used to extend City Hall Park to the south.Civic Center, Manhattan
The Civic Center is the area of lower Manhattan, New York City, that encompasses New York City Hall, One Police Plaza, the courthouses in Foley Square, and the surrounding area. The district is bound on the west by Tribeca at Broadway, on the north by Chinatown at Worth Street or Bayard Street, on the east by the East River and the Brooklyn Bridge at South Street, and on the south by the Financial District at Ann Street.Claude Hall (writer)
Claude Hall (September 4, 1932 – July 7, 2017) was an American journalist and a writer for and longtime radio-TV editor of Billboard. He is perhaps best known for having coined the term "easy listening" in 1965 in describing the sound of WPIX-FM, a radio station then heard in metropolitan New York City.Hall is the author of the e-book "Radio Wars", which was published in 2012. He was born in Brady, Texas and died in Las Vegas, Nevada.Government of New York City
The government of New York City, headquartered at New York City Hall in Lower Manhattan, is organized under the New York City Charter and provides for a "strong" mayor-council system. The mayor is elected to a four-year term and is responsible for the administration of city government. The New York City Council is a unicameral body consisting of 51 members, each elected from a geographic district, normally for four-year terms. All elected officials—other than those elected before 2010, who are limited to three consecutive terms—are subject to a two consecutive-term limit. The court system consists of two citywide courts and three statewide courts.
New York City government employs 325,000 people, more than any other city in the United States and more than any U.S. state but three: California, Texas, and New York. The city government is responsible for public education, correctional institutions, public safety, recreational facilities, sanitation, water supply, and welfare services.New York City's political geography is unique, consisting of five boroughs, each coterminous with one of five counties of New York State: Brooklyn is Kings County, the Bronx is Bronx County, Manhattan is New York County, Queens is Queens County, and Staten Island is Richmond County. When New York City was consolidated into its present form in 1898, all previous town and county governments within it were abolished in favor of the present five boroughs and a unified, centralized city government. However, each county retains its own district attorney to prosecute crimes, and most of the court system is organized around the counties.Hard Hat Riot
The Hard Hat Riot occurred on May 8, 1970, in New York City. It started around noon when about 200 construction workers mobilized by the New York State AFL-CIO attacked some 1,000 college and high school students and others who were protesting the May 4 Kent State shootings, the Vietnam War, and the April 30 announcement by President Richard Nixon of the U.S. invasion of Cambodia. The Hard Hat Riot, breaking out first near the intersection of Wall Street and Broad Street in Lower Manhattan, soon spilled into New York City Hall, and lasted approximately two hours. More than 70 people, including four policemen, were injured on what became known as "Bloody Friday". Six people were arrested.Hiram Cronk
Hiram Cronk (April 29, 1800 – May 13, 1905) was the last surviving veteran of the War of 1812 at the time of his death. He lived to the age of 105.James E. Davis (New York politician)
James E. Davis (April 3, 1962 – July 23, 2003) was a New York City police officer, corrections officer and council member. He was murdered by a fellow politician in New York City Hall, in a bizarre instance of political rivalry turned violent.John McComb Jr.
John McComb Jr. (1763 in New York City, New York – 1853 in New York City, New York) was an American architect who designed many landmarks in the 18th and 19th centuries.
McComb's father, John McComb Sr., was also an architect who designed several Manhattan churches which have since been torn down.
McComb is interred at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.Joseph-François Mangin
Joseph-François Mangin was born on June 10, 1758 in Dompaire, in the Vosges region of France. He was a French-American architect who is noted for designing New York City Hall and St. Patrick's Old Cathedral in New York City.
There is no information regarding his date or place of death.List of New York City Borough Halls and municipal buildings
This is a List of New York City Borough Halls and municipal buildings used for civic agencies. Each of the Borough Halls serve as offices for their respective Borough Presidents and Borough Boards.
New York City Hall
Manhattan Municipal Building, Civic Center
Bronx County Courthouse, South Bronx
Brooklyn Borough Hall, Downtown Brooklyn
Queens Borough Hall, Kew Gardens
Staten Island Borough Hall, St. GeorgeList of buildings, sites, and monuments in New York City
Following is an alphabetical list of notable buildings, sites and monuments located in New York City in the United States. The borough is indicated in parentheses.Mayor of New York City
The Mayor of the City of New York is head of the executive branch of the Government of New York City. The mayor's office administers all city services, public property, police and fire protection, most public agencies, and enforces all city and state laws within New York City.
The budget, overseen by New York City Mayor's Office of Management and Budget, is the largest municipal budget in the United States at $82 billion a year. The city employs 325,000 people, spends about $21 billion to educate more than 1.1 million students (the largest public school system in the United States) and levies $27 billion in taxes. It receives $14 billion from the state and federal governments.
The mayor's office is located in New York City Hall; it has jurisdiction over all five boroughs of New York City: Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island and Queens. The mayor appoints a large number of officials, including commissioners who head city departments, and his deputy mayors. The mayor's regulations are compiled in title 43 of the New York City Rules. According to current law, the mayor is limited to two consecutive four-year terms in office but may run again after a four year break. It was changed from two to three terms on October 23, 2008, when the New York City Council voted 29–22 in favor of passing the term limit extension into law. However, in 2010, a referendum reverting the limit back to two terms passed overwhelmingly.The current mayor is Democrat Bill de Blasio, who was elected on November 5, 2013 and reelected to a second term on November 7, 2017.New York City Police riot
The New York City Police Riot of 1857, known at the time as the Great Police Riot, was a conflict which occurred in front of New York City Hall between the recently dissolved New York Municipal Police and the newly formed Metropolitan Police on June 16, 1857. Arising over New York City Mayor Fernando Wood's appointment of Charles Devlin over Daniel Conover for the position of city street commissioner, amid rumors that Devlin purchased the office for $50,000 from Wood, Municipal police battled Metropolitan officers attempting to arrest Mayor Wood.
Two arrest warrants had been issued against the mayor following an altercation between him and Conover when arriving at City Hall to assume his office. The situation was resolved only with the intervention of the New York State Militia under Major General Charles W. Sandford.Park Row (BMT station)
Park Row was a major elevated railway terminal constructed over the New York end of the Brooklyn Bridge, across from New York City Hall in Manhattan that served as the terminal for BMT services operating over the Brooklyn Bridge Elevated Line from the BMT Fulton Street Line, BMT Myrtle Avenue Line and their feeders. Until the opening of the nearby Williamsburg Bridge to elevated train traffic in 1913, it was the only Manhattan station available for elevated trains from Brooklyn, and the only elevated station in Manhattan to be owned by a company other than the IRT or its predecessors.Pavonia Ferry
The Pavonia Ferry was a ferry service on the Hudson River which conveyed passengers between New York City and Jersey City. It was launched in 1854. It was sold to the Pavonia Ferry Company of Jersey City for what was considered a low price of $9,050, at New York City Hall, in February 1854.The ferry takes its name for Pavonia, the first European settlement on the west bank of the Hudson first established in 1633 as part of New Netherland and later expanded to region known as Bergen.
In February 1859 Nathaniel Marsh of the Erie Railroad Company purchased the lease on behalf of the Pavonia Ferry Company. He started a ferry which ran from Chambers Street (Manhattan) to the foot of Pavonia Avenue on the other side of the Hudson Waterfront. Legal problems had prevented the Pavonia Ferry Company from establishing a ferry along this route. The New York and Erie Railroad paid an annual rent of $9,050 to transport passengers back and forth. Eventually the railroad constructed its Pavonia Terminal on the landfilled Harsimus Cove. Suburban and long distance travellers would transfer from trains to boats for the passage across the river. Service to 23rd Street began in 1869.A January 18, 1903 letter from a Passaic, New Jersey reader to The New York Times, commented about the inadequacy of the boats of the Pavonia Ferry, which was then the property of the Erie Railroad. "All their boats are old, small and entirely inadequate to accommodate the crowds during rush hours." The vessels
then in use by the Erie Railroad, listed with first year of service, were: Pavonia (1861), Susquehanna (1865), Delaware (1868), Chatauqua
(1868), Passaic (1869), Ridgewood (1873), Paterson (1886), and J.G. McCullough (1891).United States ten-dollar bill
The United States ten-dollar bill ($10) is a denomination of U.S. currency. The obverse of the bill features the portrait of Alexander Hamilton, who served as the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. The reverse features the U.S. Treasury Building. All $10 bills issued today are Federal Reserve Notes.
As of December 2013, the average life of a $10 bill is 4.5 years, or about 54 months, before it is replaced due to wear. Ten-dollar bills are delivered by Federal Reserve Banks in yellow straps.
The source of the portrait on the $10 bill is John Trumbull's 1805 painting of Hamilton that belongs to the portrait collection of New York City Hall. The $10 bill is unique in that it is the only denomination in circulation in which the portrait faces to the left. It also features one of two non-presidents on currently issued U.S. bills, the other being Benjamin Franklin on the $100 bill. Hamilton is also the only person not born in the continental United States or British America (he was from the West Indies) currently depicted on U.S. paper currency; three others have been depicted in the past: Albert Gallatin, Switzerland ($500 1862/63 Legal Tender); George Meade, Spain ($1,000 1890/91 Treasury Note); and Robert Morris, England ($1,000 1862/63 Legal Tender; $10 1878/80 Silver Certificate).
In 2015, the Treasury Secretary announced that the obverse portrait of Hamilton would be replaced by the portrait of an as-yet-undecided woman, starting in 2020. However, this decision was reversed in 2016 due to the surging popularity of Hamilton, a hit Broadway musical based on Hamilton's life.Washington at Verplanck's Point
Washington at Verplanck's Point is a full-length portrait in oil painted in 1790 by the American artist John Trumbull of General George Washington at Verplanck's Point on the North River in New York during the American Revolutionary War. The background depicts the September 14, 1782 review of Continental Army troops Washington staged there as an honor for the departing French commander Comte de Rochambeau and his army.The painting was a gift from Trumbull to the president's wife, Martha Washington, and is now owned by the Winterthur Museum. Trumbull next received a commission from the City of New York and painted a much larger version, George Washington, with a new background, Evacuation Day of New York City, November 25, 1783, the return of Washington and the departure of British forces. It is on display in the Governor's Room of New York City Hall.