New York City Hall

Vintage Images


During the Dutch rule, a tavern, at the corner of Coenties Slip and Pearl Street, was converted into the first official City Hall (Stadt Huys). In 1674, the English took control of the city. The second City Hall was built on Wall Street between 1699 and 1700. It became the Federal Hall, when New York became the national capital, until 1790.

In 1802, the City of New York held a competition for a new City Hall building. The winning plan was designed by architects Joseph François Mangin, a French immigrant, and John McComb Jr., a New Yorker. The construction of the building started in May 1803, on the site of the old Poor House, demolished in 1897. The City Hall was dedicated in 1811 and opened in 1812, when the city government moved from the old Federal Hall. The City Hall housed the three wings of the government: legislative, executive and judicial. It included wine and beer cellars, a chapel, small jails and a housekeeper's apartment. The building was one of the finest architectural achievements of the period. The sculpture of Justice atop the building’s cupola is a copper replica of the original, which was carved in wood by John Dixey. The original figure held a builder’s steelyard balance instead of scales.

The original copper roof of City Hall was replaced in 1853.

In 1858, the City Hall was partly destroyed by fire. The roof and cupola, with the first sculpture of Justice on top, were destroyed. In May 1860, a new wooden Justice sculpture was installed on the rebuilt cupola, but by 1887 it had deteriorated and had to be replaced. The domed clock tower was rebuilt in 1917 (see the old tower in 1900).

The City Hall has become a living museum and it was designated a national historic landmark in 1960. In 1998, the roof and the domed tower were restored, replacing some deteriorated structure. More: City Hall Park in the 19th Century


New York City Hall


Old City of New York




19th century NY



New York City Hall, 1826, by William Guy Wall (source NYPL).


The City Hall in the early 20th century in a vintage postcard.


City Hall building NY


Old NY City Hall


City Hall Park


20th century NY


The old City Hall Subway Station in a vintage postcard.


New York City Hall


Civic Center


Municipal Building


Chamber City Hall


City Hall fire NY


City Hall NY




Subway Station


Historic Buildings


Vintage images


Clock tower NY

The domed tower was rebuilt in 1917.


City Hall Park


City Hall 19th century




Historical building




On the right, the Chamber of the Board of councilmen, 1868, by W. C. Rogers & Co (source NYPL).


The New York City Hall and thein 2019 (credit: Will Steacy / NYC & Company).


Copyright © Geographic Guide - Old NYC, historical images.




20th century City Hall



City Hall by J.S. Johnston, 1894 (source: Library of Congress).


19th century NY


New York City Hall



City Hall Park