Found in Lower Manhattan in the middle of Park Row and Broadway, the City Hall of New York has a rich history and its design has been constantly lauded by a throng of architecture critics and experts. It is an officially recognized New York City landmark and is include in both the National Register of Historic Places and the New York Register of Historic Places.
When the time arrived for New York city to build a new city hall to substitute the old one which was constructed in 1700 and was situated at Nassau Street and Wall Street, the city officials organized a design contest to pick the architect who would create the new structure. The pair of American architect John McComb, Jr. and French architect Joseph Francois Mangin emerged as the winner in 1802 and they got $350 as their prize. Construction was supposed to start the same year. However, the city government needed to revisit the cost of the building as it was deemed too expensive. Construction finally began in 1803 and the City Hall was the last time that the tandem of McComb and Mangin worked together.
The construction of the new city hall was finished in 1811 and was officially inaugurated in 1812. Since its inception, the building the park where it its located have been the venue of several New York and event national scale occasions. Ulysses Grant and Abraham Lincoln took their oath in the city hall?s rotunda.
New York City Hall has been able to successfully marry to eras of architecture. The inside can be classified as American Georgian, but its fa?ade is undeniably French Renaissance which is considered to be Mangin?s signature on the design.
New York City Hall has a central pavilion which is bordered by a couple of protruding wings. A lengthy staircase leads to the primary entryway in the middle and this stairway has been the setting of many significant events for the past 200 years. The pillared entrance porch is crowned by a balustrade and an additional balustrade is located at the city hall?s roof. At the center of the city hall is a dome tower which was most recently reconstructed in 1917 after being destroyed in two grave fires. The fa?ade of the city hall is made of limestone sourced from Alabama while its base is fashioned from granite sourced from Missouri.
Inside the city hall, guests will be greeted by an expansive rotunda which can be reached via a majestic marble stairway. On the second level of the city hall, visitors can see the massive Corinthian columns that are holding up the dome.
Aside from the City Hall itself, the City Hall Park is equally as popular among residents and tourists. Back in the 17th century it was a mere pasture bordering the city which was called the Commons. Several structures were constructed within the park, but the city hall is the only standing building at the park currently. Aside from being the nerve center of the city government, the City Hall Park witnessed several historical events including the first public outcry against British colonialism. Several other attractions are found within the park including a majestic fountain and a monument which pays tribute to colonial patriot Nathan Hale.