This year, the opening building of the Archtober, the third annual month-long festival of Architecture in New York City, is the beloved City Hall. Built from 1803 to 1812 by French architect Joseph-Francois Mangin and American architect, John McComb. Jr., the building is the oldest city hall in the nation still performing its original governmental functions. Being home of the 108 mayors, including the current Michael Bloomberg, City Council members and municipal executives, the building was renovated and and altered quite a few times in the past century.
The building’s design reflects two historical movements: the French Renaissance on its exterior and the American-Georgian in the interior design. Surrounded by government offices, the building has a central pavilion with two projecting wings. The rotunda inside is a soaring space with a grand marble stairway rising up to the second floor. City Hall is located in a park, the City Hall Park, which is a pleasant green area in the middle of Manhattan.
The three-story building was the result of a contest held in 1802. The City Hall was built on top of City Hall Station, also known as City Hall Loop, which has four subway lines. The Station has a unique elegant architecture with skylines and colored glass tile work, and despite its age it was voted one of the most beautiful stations in the world!
City Hall was an early expressions of the city’s cosmopolitanism and became one of the city’s most important landmarks. The building played a role in many films and television series such as Spin City (1996-2002) with Michael J. Fox and City Hall (1996) with Al Pacino. Whenever in the city, it’s worth visiting.
Have you visited this legendary place?
Photos via HuffPost