New York City Hall
City Hall Park, Civic Center, Lower Manhattan
How will you get there?
Trains 4, 5, 6, at Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall
Trains J και Z, at Chambers St
What is nearby
The David N. Dinkins Manhattan Municipal Building (318 m)
Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse (480 m)
African Burial Ground National Monument (321
Tweed Courthouse (321 m)
The building is the oldest City Hall in the United States, where it still houses the original government functions, such as the office of the Mayor of New York and the New York City Council.
Built from 1803 to 1812, New York City Hall is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its exterior and interior are New York City landmarks.
New York City’s first City Hall was built by the Dutch in the 17th century on Pearl Street. The city’s second City Hall was built in the 1700s, at Wall Street and Nassau Street.
The building in question was renamed the Federal Building after New York became the first official capital of the United States after the Revolutionary War.
Plans to build a new City Hall had been discussed by the New York City Council as early as 1776, but wartime finances delayed progress. The Council chose an area on the northern boundary of the Municipality, today’s City Hall Park.
The building’s Governor’s Room hosted President-elect Abraham Lincoln in 1861, and his casket was placed on the staircase across from the circular room in 1865 after his assassination.
The Governor’s Room, which is used for official receptions, also houses one of the most important collections of 19th-century portraits and notable objects such as George Washington’s desk.
There are 108 paintings from the late 18th century to the 20th. The New York Times declared it “a collection almost unrivaled as a whole, with several masterpieces”.
Among the works in the collection is John Trumbull’s 1805 portrait of Alexander Hamilton, the face on the ten dollar bill.
There were significant efforts to restore the paintings in the 1920s and 1940s.
In 2006 a new restoration campaign was launched for 47 paintings identified by the Art Committee as a top priority.
The architectural style of the City Hall combines two famous historical movements. The French Renaissance (exterior design) and the American-Georgian style (interior design).
The design of the City Hall influenced at least two other buildings, the Tweed Courthouse and the Surrogate’s Courthouse. The entrance, with its steps, has been prominent in social events for over a century and a half.
There is a portico at the entrance covered by a balustrade, and there is another balustrade on the roof. The domed tower in its center was rebuilt in 1917 after two major fires.
The original weathered marble facade of marble quarried in Alford, Massachusetts, with sandstone to the rear, was restored with Alabama limestone on a base of Missouri granite in 1954-6.
Inside, the circular hall is a towering space with a grand marble staircase rising to the second floor, where there are ten fluted Corinthian columns supporting the dome.
The circular hall is also used for national events. Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant stood here, drawing huge crowds who wanted to pay their respects.
Formal receptions are held in the Governor’s Room, which has hosted many dignitaries including the Marquis de Lafayette and Albert Einstein.
In the historic Blue Room, New York City mayors have held their official press conferences for decades and it is often used for bill signing ceremonies.
While the Mayor’s office is in the building in a room called The Bullpen, the staff of the thirteen municipal agencies under the mayor’s control are located in the nearby Manhattan City Hall, one of the largest government buildings in the world.
Live, unedited coverage of City Hall events by NYCTV 74, the city’s official government cable television channel.
A fence surrounds the perimeter of the building, with a heavy security presence from the New York City Police Department. Public access to the building is limited to tours and those with specific business meetings
The area around City Hall is commonly referred to as Manhattan’s Civic Center. Most of the buildings in the neighborhood consist of government offices (city, state, and federal), as well as an increasing number of residences being converted into large commercial buildings.
Architectural landmarks such as St. Paul’s Chapel, St. Peter’s Church, Woolworth Building, Tweed Courthouse, City Hall, Park Row Building, One Police Plaza, and the beginning of the Brooklyn Bridge surround City Hall.
City Hall Park is about three blocks away from the site of the former World Trade Center.