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As the seat of government of the land of brotherly love, Philadelphia?s City Hall is the tallest and most costly of all city government offices in the United States. Towering at 548 feet, it is the second tallest masonry structure in the world trailing behind Mole Antonelliana found in Turin by only one foot and eight inches. It reigned as the tallest habitable building in the world for seven years from 1901 to 1908 dethroning the Park Row Building in New York City. It was eventually surpassed by the Singer Building in Manhattan. Actually, when the Philadelphia City Hall was being conceptualized, it was intended to be the tallest structure in the planet across all categories. But due to the grandness and the intricacies that went into its construction, by the time that it was finished, the Eiffel Tower and the Washington Monument already stood taller than it. To preserve its stature as the tallest building in Philadelphia, an agreement between the city government and real estate developers was forged but was ended in 1984 with the construction of One Liberty Place. Currently, it is the 16th highest structure in the city.

As a testament to the unparalleled skills of the masons in construction, no steel was used to assemble the frame of this mammoth structure and its exterior is primarily made of marble, limestone and granite. To support its weight, the walls measure as thick as 22 feet. From the outside, Philadelphia?s City Hall may appear to only have three floors when in fact, there are eight floors which hold nearly 700 rooms making it one of the most spacious local government building in the United States and one of the most expansive in the world. The design of the building is inspired by the elaborate Second Empire fashion.

One of the most noticeable features of the Philadelphia City Hall is its middle tower. This tower is crowned by a statue of Philadelphia?s founder William Penn sculpted by Alexander Milne Calder. With a height of 37 feet, it is the tallest statue located on top of a building in the globe. It is also just one of the 250 other sculptures created by Calder that are scattered in the city hall. The statue of William Penn was originally intended to face south so that sunlight always hit it, but in actuality, the statue is directed towards northeast in the direction of the Penn Treaty Park where William Penn signed a pact with the Native Americans who used to live within its vicinity.

The Philadelphia City Hall also has an observation deck found directly under William Penn?s statue?s base. It offers a scenic vista of Philadelphia. Going up, visitors will ride an all glass elevator to visitors the genius engineering that is inside and holds the tower.
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