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hauntedheadnc Sep 29, 2008 8:27 PM


Originally Posted by brickell (Post 3828692)
Is the Asheville hall really in a big field like that?

For the moment it is because they've ripped up the central square, about 6.5 acres of land, to make a park in the middle of town, and that picture was taken before they started putting in the fountains, the performance stage and pergola, and the veterans memorial. Amazing what an angle can do. What you can't see is that a well-developed old neighborhood occupies the land sloping sharply downhill from city hall. You can't see the houses on the mountain behind it due to the thickness of the trees either. What struck me about that angle was that it made it look lonely, sitting in the middle of nowhere when it's anything but.

The Asheville City Building, its official name, is certainly not in the big leagues of the Salt Lake City, Philadelphia, Buffalo, and San Francisco city halls, but it's a marvelous example of art deco architecture all the same.

brickell Sep 29, 2008 9:14 PM

That makes more sense then. It's an interesting building. As if one of NYC's great deco scrapers blew it's top and it landed in the middle of Asheville.

Probably the best example in Florida is Coral Gables' med-rev City Hall.

Avian001 Sep 30, 2008 12:17 AM

Minneapolis City Hall
Richardsonian Romanesque style, completed in 1906 and designed by Long & Kees. Constructed of Ortonville granite and topped with a copper roof.

Touching the toe of the "Father of Waters" statue in the lobby brings good luck.

Avian001 Sep 30, 2008 12:34 AM

St. Paul City Hall
While appearing rather plain, St. Paul's art deco hall, completed in 1932 by Holabird & Root, is known for its stunning black marble and gold lobby. The 36-foot statue at the end is the Indian "Vision of Peace" by Swedish sculptor Carl Milles and is the largest onyx sculpture in the world.

giallo Sep 30, 2008 2:30 AM

While Vancouver's city hall can't compete with some of these beauties, it's still a bowl of handsome art deco.



my photo

JManc Sep 30, 2008 2:36 AM

^ that looks a lot like houston's city hall:

KB0679 Sep 30, 2008 2:44 AM

Charlotte's City Hall is pretty nice:

"The Wire" has made me a fan of Baltimore's:

Although smallish, I like Charleston's City Hall:

TANGELD_SLC Sep 30, 2008 4:00 AM

WOW Montreal's and Baltimore's City Halls are Gorgeous! I love Salt Lake's city hall also... hehe but i'm kinda biased

Nowhereman1280 Sep 30, 2008 6:39 AM

Charleston's is very well... Charleston, I love it when city halls reflect the culture of the city they were constructed in. For example Milwaukee's City Hall is some German revival something style which is very fitting for its a heavily German city. Or Chicago's two city halls with Neo-classcal representing the Chicago of the Worlds Fair and the Daley Center representing Chicago as the birthplace of modern skyscrapers.

I would vote for Daley center as the most beautiful by far, I love that building, its simply memorizing, plus it has a Picasso that I believe is supposed to compare the Richard J Daley machine with baboons.

cactuspunk Sep 30, 2008 1:00 PM

Atlanta City Hall


Current City Hall completed in 1930

MJW Sep 30, 2008 1:56 PM

Buffalo City Hall...

delts145 Sep 30, 2008 2:48 PM

Does the Buffalo City Hall also function in an additional capacity, such as the county offices?
Many exceptional elements at the top and bottom of the structure, that I would travel to Buffalo to see first hand in the future. Very nice!

Also very taken by the workmanship on the Atlanta City Hall. Beautiful craftsmanship and also a very fine stone used.

CentralGrad258 Sep 30, 2008 7:12 PM

Philadelphia City Hall
Nice to see some references to Philadelphia's City Hall, but not pictures? I'm here to rectify that. So here it is, the tallest masonry building in the world and the largest municipal building in the nation:
The brilliant view from atop the Art Museum steps:

Pictures don't really do it justice, especially now that the years long project of cleaning off the soot and dirt has finally finished.

Uptowngirl Sep 30, 2008 7:41 PM

Gallier Hall, Former New Orleans City Hall. Simple Neoclassical design, built 1845-1853

I wont link to a picture of the 1960s abortion City Hall.

brickell Sep 30, 2008 8:19 PM


Originally Posted by CentralGrad258 (Post 3831516)
Nice to see some references to Philadelphia's City Hall, ... largest municipal building in the nation:

Is that really the case? What about the NYC municipal building? It looks much larger. Even Buffalo looks bigger.

Don098 Sep 30, 2008 8:45 PM


Originally Posted by brickell (Post 3831615)
Is that really the case? What about the NYC municipal building? It looks much larger. Even Buffalo looks bigger.

Yes, it is most absolutely the tallest masonry building in the world. It's a well-known fact in Philadelphia. You can check it here: or here:

It doesn't look that big until you're about two blocks away because today's modern skyscrapers dwarf the steeple, and the sides are often obscured by new development as well. I remember when my ex-girlfriend first saw it as we drove down Market Street, and I was telling her that information, and she seemed to brush it aside....until we got to the stoplight two blocks away and she said, "Wow! That's HUGE!"

Don098 Sep 30, 2008 8:45 PM

Accidental double-post (browser issues) please delete this one

alexjon Sep 30, 2008 8:46 PM

Seattle City Hall-- it has a creepy all-red room on the very lowest level, fountains in the plaza, waterfalls, the roof is grass, it's always 70 degrees inside and it smells like lilacs.

Photo by Chas Redmond:

winxs Sep 30, 2008 9:10 PM


Originally Posted by brickell (Post 3831615)
Is that really the case? What about the NYC municipal building? It looks much larger. Even Buffalo looks bigger.

"Philadelphia City Hall is the largest municipal building in the United States, containing over 14.5 acres of floor space. It is an architectural treasure inside and out. The public rooms are among the most lavish in the City. The City Council Chamber, the Mayor’s Reception Room, Conversation Hall and the Supreme Court Room are the most ornate. The exterior is covered with sculpture representing the seasons and continents, as well as allegorical figures, heads and masks. All of the sculpture was designed by Alexander Milne Calder, including the 27-ton statue of William Penn atop the tower. The tower was the tallest building in Philadelphia until 1987."

"Philadelphia City Hall was built on Center Square, a four block area that William Penn designated for public buildings. Construction began on January 3, 1871 and ended thirty years later on June 26, 1901. The architectural style is French Second Empire. It's made primarily of brick with a face of white marble, granite and limestone. It is currently the largest municipal building in the United States. It's even larger than the U.S. Capital building in Washington DC.

Major modifications were required during the 30 year building process as technological advances like electricity and elevators were incorporated into the design. These modifications, along with extreme political interference, resulted in a final construction cost of $24.3 million. The original estimate was $7.5 million. By today's standards, the same project would cost around $7 billion to complete.

The height at the top of William Penn's hat is 548 feet 11.5 inches. The bronze statue is 37 feet tall, the tallest statue on any building in the world. It is made of 14 separate pieces. Billy Penn - as the statue has become known in Philadelphia - was assembled and displayed for a year in the City Hall courtyard. Then in November of 1894, it was dismantled, lifted piece by piece to the top of the tower, and reassembled.

Workers can gain access to the brim of Billy Penn's hat by climbing on top of the tower elevator, scaling a ladder that goes up the center of the statue, and exiting through a 22-inch hatch on the top of the hat.

City Hall covers more than 14 acres of floor space.

Thirty-seven tons of bird droppings was removed when City Hall was pigeon-proofed in 1993.

Before City Hall, Penn Square had been used as a public hanging ground, and later, a water pumping station.

The clock in the tower weighs 50 tons and the second hand travels 114.7 miles in one year."

CentralGrad258 Sep 30, 2008 9:10 PM


Originally Posted by brickell (Post 3831615)
Is that really the case? What about the NYC municipal building? It looks much larger. Even Buffalo looks bigger.

Yup, at least according to Wikipedia it is:

With close to 700 rooms, City Hall is the largest municipal building in the United States and one of the largest in the World.[3] The building houses three branches of government, the Executive (Mayor's Office), the Legislative (City Council), and the Judicial Branch's Civil Courts (Court of Common Pleas).
Like Don98 said, it's hard to get a feel for the scale until you see it up close . It's also surrounded by highrises, so it's hard to take a picture that shows City Hall in it's entirety. It takes up one of the 5 original public squares laid out by William Penn (Center Square), just to give you some idea. The building never fails to fascinate me.

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