250 Broadway (& Murray St.), NY 10007
Mercoledì alle 12:00pm con la registrazione da effettuarsi tra le 10:00am e le 11.30am
4, 5, 6
(Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall); J
, Z (Chamber St.); R
, W (City Hall); 2, 3
The first city hall was established on February 6, 1653 and therefore dates back to the colonial period when the city was still called New Amsterdam and was a tavern that was located on the corner of Coenties Slip and Pearl Street. On October 14, 1703 the offices were moved to Wall Street in the building that would later become the current Federal Hall. On October 4, 1802 it was announced that a new building would be built in the area between Broadway and Park Row. The current building is considered one of the most important architectural treasures of the city and was built between 1803 and 1812 in a form that combines the French Renaissance style and Georgian architecture designed by architects Joseph-Francois Mangin and Scotsman John McComb Jr. Over the years the building was hit by two major fires, in 1858 and 1917, and underwent many renovations and restorations, the last and most important of which dates back to 1954. The interior was also completely renovated, trying to follow the original style.
The Blue Room, so called because of the color of its walls painted blue during the administration of Mayor John Lindsay, is located in the southwest corner of the first floor and is used for press conferences and receptions. The room contains one of the few original architectural details, a black and white marble fireplace. Originally it housed the mayor's public office but then in 1902 it was renovated by architect William Martin Aiken and transformed into a reception hall.
As part of a larger restoration project of City Hall in 1915, the architect Grosvenor Atterbury restructured the room on the basis of original drawings by John McComb Jr. Later it became the private office of Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia, for then be definitively reconverted to its current function.
City Council Chamber
The current chamber was created in 1897 by combining two separate chambers and a corridor to create a suitable meeting place for the bicameral legislative body created to bring together the City Council and the Alderman Council (later renamed City Council in 1938).
The project was carried out by John H. Duncan, the designer of the tomb of Ulysses S. Grant.
Decorations included mahogany panels, a ceiling with bas-reliefs by John Massey Rhind, golden frames, and a horseshoe-shaped public gallery with a wrought iron railing. In 1903, under the direction of architect William Martin Aiken, the ceiling was completed with a painting by Taber Sears and his assistants George W. Breck and Frederick C. Martin, entitled “The City of New York, as the Eastern Gateway of the American Continent, Receiving Tributes of the Nations”. There are also portraits of the Marquis de Lafayette (1826) by Samuel Finley Breese Morse, David Thomas Valentine (1852) by Charles Wesley Jarvis, and George Washington (unknown date) by Moses M. Swett, as well as the decoration of Thomas Jefferson (1833) by David d'Angers.
In the period from 2010 to 2015, as part of a wider work, the chamber underwent a major restoration.
The Governor's Room was completed in 1815-1816, and was used as a museum and reception room to celebrate the civic history of New York and the nation. It consists of three rooms that house one of the most important collections of portraits from the late 1800s and early 1900s, including paintings by John Trumbull, historic furnishings, with pieces by Charles Christian and Honoré Lannuier, and other significant artifacts, such as a desk used by George Washington and brought to City Hall in 1844. The original City Hall designs included the central hall, while the two side rooms were added in 1832 (west) and 1848-1849 (east).
Many distinguished guests have visited the Governor's Hall, including President James Monroe, President Andrew Jackson, Marquis de Lafayette, Albert Einstein, and Martin Luther King Jr. The hall housed President-elect Abraham Lincoln in 1861 and four years later the burning chamber with the coffin of the assassinated President was set up there.
Throughout its history it has been restored several times. There was a renovation in 1905-1907 by da Bernstein and Bernstein which was widely criticized and then immediately after its complete was restored again by Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage.
Inside the main entrance there is the Rotunda, characterized by a double semi-circular marble staircase that leads to the upper floor where ten Corinthian columns support the coffered dome with an oculus reminiscent of the Pantheon in Rome.
In 1858, during a pyrotechnic show during the laying of the Atlantic cable, the dome caught fire and was severely damaged. It was then rebuilt by the architect Leopold Eidlitz and in 1912-1915, as part of a larger restoration project, the architect Grosvenor Atterbury lowered the height of the dome and enlarged and redesigned the oculus.
Kenneth T. Jackson, Lisa Keller, Nancy Flood
. The Encyclopedia of New York City: Second Edition
. Yale University Press, 2010. pp. 257-258
Gerard R. Wolfe
. New York, a Guide to the Metropolis: Walking Tours of Architecture and History
. McGraw-Hill, 1994, 2° ed. pp. 86-89
About City Hall
(NYC Public Design Commission)
(NYC Public Design Commission)