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 1803 and the new City Hall 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 City Hall has become a living museum and a national historic landmark.


New York City Hall


Antique photos of NYC




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


City Hall Park


The old City Hall Subway Station in a vintage postcard.


City Hall 19th century


Chamber City Hall


Above, City Hall drawn and engraved expressly for the New-York Mirror, and Ladies' Literary Gazette, 1828. Drawn by A. J. Davis. V. Balch, sculpt. (source NYPL). Below, City Hall by J.S. Johnston, 1894 (source: Library of Congress).


Subway Station


Historic Buildings


Vintage images


20th century NY


City Hall 19th century


Historical building


Municipal Building images


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


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


Copyright © Geographic Guide - Old NYC, historical images.







New York City Hall



Antique photographs