Quicktime VR panorama of New York City Hall in 1913 (click to activate)

NOTE: Not functioning right now -- will check on the problem with the link source

Front View, New York City Hall

(photo: John Bartelstone)

Interior Staircase

(Photo:Buck Ennis)

Rotunda Dome

(Photo: New York Adventure Club)

(Photo: New York Adventure Club)

Council Chamber

City Hall subway station by Guastavino father and son, 1904

Called "New York's Underground Cathedral" when it opened in 1904

(photo: Michael Freeman)


“New York's first City Hall was built by the Dutch in the 17th century on 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 John McComb Junior and Joseph Francois Mangin. McComb, whose father had worked on the old City Hall, was a New Yorker and designed Castle Clinton in Battery Park. Mangin 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.


“Construction of the new City Hall 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, was replaced with Alabama limestone in 1954 to 1956). Labor disputes and an outbreak of yellow fever further slowed construction. The building was not dedicated until 1811. It officially opened in 1812.”

    — http://www.nyc-architecture.com/SCC/SCC026.htm