260 Broadway, Manhattan.
Open through guided tour by NYC Art Commission, 212-788-3071.
City Hall is wheelchair accessible.
City Hall, 212-788-3000.
A historic and beautiful house of government in Lower Manhattan
Built between 1803 and 1811, New York's City Hall is the oldest of its kind in the nation that still serves its original function. Today, this historically and architecturally significant building is only accessible to the public via guided New York City Art Commission tours. However, the beautifully landscaped public park that surrounds it, welcomes visitors to eat, relax and soak in the sunshine away from the bustling streets.
Designed by New Yorker John McComb Jr. and the Frenchman Joseph François Mangin—their only known collaboration—the grand space is influenced by the American-Georgian and French Renaissance styles. One quirky fact of their creation is that the rear of City Hall was initially built using brownstone instead of marble. Located at what was once the desolate northern boundary of Manhattan, The architects believed the city would never extend further north and thus, no one would ever see the unsightly backside of their grand building. This ill-conceived choice was rectified in the mid 1950s, when the building was restored and the façade reclad in its entirety with Alabama limestone.
City Hall over the decades has played host to many important people and events. Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant were both laid in state in the rotunda and the Governor's Room has hosted such famed visitors as Albert Einstein and the Marquis de Lafayette. Today it houses an extensive 18th and 19th century portrait collection, as well as the desk used by President George Washington when New York City was the nation's capital.
Things to Do
18th & 19th century portrait collection
Art, architecture, history and open space.