New York City Hall

New York City Hall

In the area of lower Manhattan, the dominant building of City Hall is located, which in the past has become the site of many celebrations and demonstrations. Even if you are not a connoisseur of New York, you cannot miss its building decorated with a massive dome.

The town hall was built in 1812 in the center of the park of the same name according to the plans of architects John McComb Jr. and Joseph Francois Mangin. You might ask yourself, why is the building facing south so strangely? This is because at the time when the town hall was built, it was not expected that the city would still grow in a northerly direction. The city hall building is quite grand, built in the federal style and today it houses the city administration. Today, City Hall is also a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

According to, the space in front of City Hall serves as a sort of final stop for all the ceremonial processions coming out of Battery Park and going down Broadway. This tradition of confetti parades arose spontaneously in 1886, when a parade celebrating the acquisition of the Statue of Liberty from France passed through, and officials threw telegraph tapes out of the windows for joy.

On the steps of City Hall, the mayor of New York regularly welcomes various heroes and dignitaries to whom he hands the symbolic keys to the city. This event always attracts a lot of media attention. Since 1993, Republican Rudy Guiliani has been the mayor of New York, whose election continued an old tradition, as the leading political positions in this city were mostly occupied by Americans of Italian origin. However, since 2002, the 108th mayor of the city is the American businessman and politician Michael Rubens Bloomberg.

The interior of the City Hall is very interesting, at first glance everyone will surely be attracted by the seemingly floating town hall rotunda from 1812, which can be reached by a spiral staircase. This rotunda is an important landmark in the city. In the hall, you will see a bronze copy of the statue of George Washington, which was created by the French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon based on a live model. The Governor’s Room, once used by the governor during his visits to the city, is now a museum where visitors can view George Washington’s desk and his portrait, which shows him on the day the British troops evacuated Manhattan. The painting was created by John Trumbull in 1783. However, there are also a number of other paintings on display, including works by John Wesley Jarvis, who focused on depicting the heroes of the Anglo-American War, which took place between 1812 and 1815. From 1824 comes the portrait of Lafayette by Samuel FB Morse, who painted it at the time of the marquis’s triumphant return to the country. A portrait of DeWitt Clinton by George Catlin is also valuable.

To the northeast of City Hall is a seated statue of Horace Greeley, publisher of the New York Tribune, politician and founder of the Republican Party, with an open newspaper over his right leg. Greeley was also an unsuccessful candidate for the office of president in 1872. The statue is by JQA Ward.

Park Row borders City Hall Park and for many years was the center of newspaper publishing in Manhattan. City Hall Park used to be just a pasture, but nowadays it is nicely landscaped, maintained and a popular place to rest. From 1730 it is decorated with a fountain with gushing water, and from 1890 also a bronze statue of the patriot Nathan Hale by the sculptor Frederick MacMonnies. The statue is a reminder that Americans once protested British rule at this site.

Not far from City Hall is the Surrogate’s Court or Hall of Records. The building was built in the performing arts style and completed in 1911. Its facade is decorated with sculptures and sculptures depicting some of the mayors of the city. On the sides of the main entrance, sculptures with the names “New York in its infancy” and “New York in revolutionary times” by Philips Martina can be seen.

The Municipal Building from 1914 rises in the neighborhood of the City Hall, which looks a bit like a wedding cake. Its top is decorated with a more than 7.5 meter high bronze statue called “Civic Fame” (Civic Fame) by Adolph Weinman. This statue is one of the largest in all of Manhattan.

On Elk Street you will come across the African Burial Ground. It was unknown until recently, the first human remains were found here only in 1991. In the years 1712 – 1794, a cemetery was located on this very spot, where more than 20 thousand African Americans were buried – mainly slaves and freed slaves living in the city in 18th century. In the period between 1714 and 1741, a slave uprising was brutally suppressed. Its leaders were then executed and most likely buried in this very place.

Not far from City Hall Park stands the old Woolworth Building from 1913, which was New York’s tallest skyscraper for seventeen years. The building has 60 floors and a golden crown sits on its roof. The building was built according to the plans of the architect Cass Gilbert, who conceived it as a steel frame covered with masonry and terra cotta. In its lobby is a statue of FW Woolworth, the founder of the first chain of discount stores to bear his name.

At the edge of City Hall Park, the pedestrian path starts across the Brooklyn Bridge, which, thanks to its Gothic arches and golden cables, is New York’s most beautiful and oldest bridge. On the other side of the river, the bridge ends in a quiet green neighborhood called Brooklyn Heights. At the foot of the bridge, you can sit in the River CafĂ©, where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Manhattan skyline.

New York City Hall