City Hall
John McComb, Jr. and Joseph Francois Mangin [1803-1812], located on City Hall Park

At the time of its completion, City Hall was the largest and most elaborate building in New York City. It was also an important social, political and cultural hub of the metropolis, which served as the site of many public celebrations. Unfortunately, the building's history is one of repeated physical damage and neglect. Numerous restorations and alterations have transformed the structure into a mere replica of the original building. In the 1950's its marble and brownstone cladding was replaced with limestone and granite. Facing City Hall Park, a former public common, McComb and Mangin's competition-winning design is modelled after the 18th century French hotel particulier . The central portion of the building is flanked by projecting wings that symbollically embrace the city. Its facade is accented by superimposed Ionic and Corinthian orders and classical garland swags and it is crowned by a small tower with a cupola signifying civic office. The influence of the 18th century Scottish architect Robert Adam is evident in the light and airy character of the Neo-classical interior. The delicate attenuation of columns and windows, the simple low relief ornament, and the refined curve of the paired 'flying' staircases all bear witness to the impact of Adam's work.