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-   -   Most Beautiful City Halls In North America (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum//showthread.php?t=158521)

delts145 Sep 28, 2008 7:51 PM

Most Beautiful City Halls In North America
 
Most Beautiful North American City Halls


This thread is dedicated to the posting of City Halls, which forumers feel are among the most attractive in
the United States, Canada, and Mexico

I will start by posting two of my favorites.


City Hall, Salt Lake City - The building was originally constructed by free masons
between 1891 and 1894. From 1973 to 1989 the building was exhaustively renovated and repaired with an eye
toward historical accuracy. This was done in concert with a seismic upgrade called base isolation that placed
the sandstone structure on a foundation of giant steel and rubber shock absorbers, to better protect it
from earthquake damage.


http://static.thousandwonders.net/Sa...ginal.1577.jpg
http://static.thousandwonders.net

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2223/...38b1f2.jpg?v=0
bridgepix
http://www.globosapiens.net/data/gal...y--id=5070.jpg
visitsaltlake.com

Sunrise, City Hall as seen from rotunda of Matheson Courthouse
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2151/...c8df613a_b.jpg
Todd Keith



City Hall, San Francisco
https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...ll+%282%29.jpg
https://static1.squarespace.com

https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chor..._20Hall.0.jpeg
https://cdn.vox-cdn.com

.

Nowhereman1280 Sep 28, 2008 8:43 PM

Milwaukee City Hall is my favorite, I believe its the only City Hall (perhaps even seat of government) to hold the title as World's Tallest Building (1895-1899).

http://www.rroofers.com/images/proje...eecityhall.jpg
rroofers.com

http://www.planet99.com/pix/5590_1.jpg

Inside:

http://l.yimg.com/g/images/spaceball.gif
Martin Saunders Flickr

It recently underwent a complete restoration including removing and repairing damaged masonry, re-tiling the roof, and completely replacing the copper on the bell tower. I find this renovation extremely fascinating because the building now looks brand new, its like going back in time and seeing the building as it first looked as a WTB.

During the renovation, you can see the new copper on the top of the bell tower. The whole building has been covered in scaffolding for nearly two years:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2140/...g?v=1211835262
sarah.szurpicki flickr

T_chicago Sep 28, 2008 9:26 PM

how about Philadelphia's it is really nice looking
sorry no picture

Tom Servo Sep 28, 2008 9:36 PM

boston city hall


kallmann mckinnell + wood


absolutely wonderful public space



http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi..._City_Hall.JPG
wiki

Tom Servo Sep 28, 2008 9:44 PM

breaking the rules, but this is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, so...




säynätsalo town hall / alvar alto

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...oTownHall4.jpg
wiki

Jonovision Sep 28, 2008 10:03 PM

This is the city hall in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Care of Everyspoon on flickr.com

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1111/...a6c35650_o.jpg

Vaillant Sep 28, 2008 10:06 PM

MONTRÉAL City Hall/Hôtel de Ville build in 1872 restored in 1922 after fire

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/126/4...db8ff1.jpg?v=0


Montreal City Hall Before the Fire
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...C3%A9al%29.jpg

WilliamTheArtist Sep 29, 2008 12:03 AM

Tulsa City Hall

The building on the left. Affectionately called the Borg Cube "the mayor being the Borg Queen", also called the Ant Farm since you can see inside it especially at night.

my pic from flickr
http://img519.imageshack.us/img519/8...allbymejj9.jpg

Street level by dsjeffries/flickr
http://img519.imageshack.us/img519/5...effriesvk5.jpg

Night view, City hall is on Right. also by dsjeffries.
http://img519.imageshack.us/img519/7...fries2avv4.jpg

mhays Sep 29, 2008 12:32 AM

Some of those were great!

Also, it's becoming clear that a good list for forced demolition would be whatever Adrian likes. Good god those are ugly. Also the Boston City Hall and civic complex are often condisdered a huge mistake and blight for Boston.

hauntedheadnc Sep 29, 2008 1:35 AM

The Asheville City Building...

By day:

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/b...ille091012.jpg

By night:

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/b...wntown05-1.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/b...Downtown09.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/b...Downtown15.jpg

NYC4Life Sep 29, 2008 6:42 AM

Toronto City Hall. Opened in 1965.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...o-cityhall.jpg

brickell Sep 29, 2008 1:38 PM

Is the Asheville hall really in a big field like that?

Rico Rommheim Sep 29, 2008 2:48 PM

The San Francisco, Buffalo, Milwaukee and Philly city halls are by far the best ones I know about in NA. The Montreal city hall is a nice building but doesn't hold shit compared to the great ones. The TO city hall is just plain ugly.

BUffalo city hall
http://www.hanifworld.com/Buffalo/22...New%20York.JPG
from haniworld.com

Nowhereman1280 Sep 29, 2008 4:14 PM

^^^ I actually quite like the TO city hall, I just wish it were in better condition, it always makes me sad to see nice modernist buildings in poor shape.

Yeah, the Boston city hall is decent looking from a purely architectural standpoint, but as far as urban planning goes, its a complete POS.

yarabundi Sep 29, 2008 4:17 PM

I do not agree with you Rico : Toronto's City Hall is not that bas. It certainly doesn't stand comparison with other monumental city hall but is interesting and reflects the time it was built. It symbolised the modernity of Toronto in the 1960's.

ThisSideofSteinway Sep 29, 2008 5:06 PM

Toronto's City Hall looks like it would be a good stand-in for Starfleet Academy - it just has that "what will the future look like?" vibe.

Anyway, I'll cast my votes for Buffalo, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and New York (gotta be a bit of a booster).

Steely Dan Sep 29, 2008 5:09 PM

while i certainly wouldn't say that chicago's city hall is in the same league as say san fran's or philly's in the beauty department, it's still pretty sweet from a "massively over-scaled and decidedly inhuman monument to governmental authority" perspective. this beast is just massive, taking up a full city block in the heart of downtown.

http://suites.files.wordpress.com/20...-city-hall.gif
source: http://suites.files.wordpress.com/20...-city-hall.gif


and here's the annex structure, the daley center, built in the 60s after the chicago/cook county bureaucracy outgrew the original building.

http://www.som.com/resources/categor...1_21605883.jpg
source: http://www.som.com/resources/categor...1_21605883.jpg

i find the daley center to be perhaps the most beautiful modernist skyscraper anywhere in the world, but i understand i have unusual tatses, so don't bother telling me that i'm stupid for having mad love for "just another stupid old boring black box". the daley center is simply magical to me.

Atomic Glee Sep 29, 2008 5:23 PM

Fort Worth's previous city hall, which is now the Public Safety & Courts Building, is a nifty little Moderne/Deco building which I quite like.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3257/...009f06c2_o.jpg

Unfortunately, the current city hall is a horrific piece of brutalist garbage that is a blight on the area of downtown where it resides.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3215/...8975aabf_o.jpg

Fortunately, the city is in the process of coming up with a new City Hall plan. Ideally I'd like to see the current city hall demolished and something better built in its place, but even just removing the current building from active City Hall use would be good.

ThisSideofSteinway Sep 29, 2008 5:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 3829117)
i find the daley center to be perhaps the most beautiful modernist skyscraper anywhere in the world, but i understand i have unusual tatses, so don't bother telling me that i'm stupid for having mad love for "just another stupid old boring black box". the daley center is simply magical to me.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. ;)

But I agree - this and Seagram are probably the two best black boxes anywhere.

mhays Sep 29, 2008 7:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 3828990)
^^^ I actually quite like the TO city hall, I just wish it were in better condition, it always makes me sad to see nice modernist buildings in poor shape.

That's one of the core problems with many modern designs. Their looks can deteriorate badly as they age, particularly if they're not well cared for but often regardless.

By contrast, traditional designs, if decently-built, often look better as they age.

hauntedheadnc Sep 29, 2008 8:27 PM

Quote:

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.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...l_at_night.jpg

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.

http://img523.imageshack.us/img523/3...yhall07wm2.jpg

http://img518.imageshack.us/img518/4...yhall05ac7.jpg

http://img517.imageshack.us/img517/9...yhall03bt7.jpg

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

http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/6...yhall01nv6.jpg

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.

http://img168.imageshack.us/img168/9...ityhallig7.jpg

http://img184.imageshack.us/img184/2...peace03zu1.jpg

http://img370.imageshack.us/img370/1...peace02mc7.jpg

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.



http://farm1.static.flickr.com/74/21...81476206_b.jpg

bob_2006@flickr





http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2197/...3fcc41.jpg?v=0

graham54long@flickr




http://farm1.static.flickr.com/223/5...6fd90c.jpg?v=0

my photo

JManc Sep 30, 2008 2:36 AM

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

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/46/12...823afb.jpg?v=0

KB0679 Sep 30, 2008 2:44 AM

Charlotte's City Hall is pretty nice:

http://img487.imageshack.us/img487/1...cityhalox2.jpg

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

http://www.library.nd.edu/daiad/morg...city-hall.jpeg

Although smallish, I like Charleston's City Hall:

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y23...courthouse.jpg

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

1910
http://www.rootsweb.com/~gafulton/at...tyhall1910.gif

Current City Hall completed in 1930
http://www.terragalleria.com/images/...usga38487.jpeg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ABS.jpg/469px-

MJW Sep 30, 2008 1:56 PM

Buffalo City Hall...
1.
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i2...94151394-4.jpg
2.
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i2...7_eB61Suv5.jpg
3.
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i2...6_OSEh16DH.jpg
4.
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i2...9_CHSteps2.jpg
5.
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i2...1_CityHall.jpg
6.
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i2.../1546074-1.jpg
7.
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i2.../1546050-1.jpg
8.
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i2...1_Aouw0rX4.jpg

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:
http://www.american-architecture.inf...iladelphia.jpg
http://www.american-architecture.inf..._City_Hall.jpg
http://www.american-architecture.inf...heast/001c.jpg
http://www.oldworldphilly.com/Graphi...202%201876.jpg
The brilliant view from atop the Art Museum steps:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...rt_Museum).JPG

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

http://filelibrary.myaasite.com/Cont...1/25642471.jpg

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

Quote:

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

Quote:

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: http://www.aviewoncities.com/philadelphia/cityhall.htm or here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_City_Hall

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:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/28/37...65230dc3_o.jpg

winxs Sep 30, 2008 9:10 PM

Quote:

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."

http://www.gophila.com/C/Things_to_D...Hall/1214.html

"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." http://www.whyy.org/tv12/secrets/city.html

http://www.edholden.com/images/photo...ck%20Tower.jpg

CentralGrad258 Sep 30, 2008 9:10 PM

Quote:

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:
Quote:

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.

brickell Sep 30, 2008 9:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Don098 (Post 3831661)
Yes, it is most absolutely the tallest masonry building in the world. It's a well-known fact in Philadelphia.

I've seen it in person, been inside of it. An impressive building indeed. But still the claim was that it was the largest municipal building in the US. I looked it up and saw the claim on other sites, but I still don't believe it.

According to our own SSP

Philadelphia City Hall - 58,529 m²
http://skyscraperpage.com/cities/?buildingID=178

New York Municipal Building - 85,151 m²
http://skyscraperpage.com/cities/?buildingID=4126

FresnoFacts Sep 30, 2008 9:46 PM

I think Fresno's city hall shows a very futuristic design. But it also mirrors the look of the peaks of the nearby Sierra Nevada mountains. The building was designed by Arthur Erickson and opened in 1991.

http://www.arthurerickson.com/images...gs/fresno9.jpg
http://www.arthurerickson.com/B_fres.html

It replaced the old 1941 city hall which was named by the Museum of Modern Art in New York as one of the most significant buildings constructed in the US from 1932 to 1944.
http://historicfresno.org/photo/cithal41.jpg

antinimby Sep 30, 2008 10:29 PM

I vote for San Francisco's.

ahealy Sep 30, 2008 10:31 PM

Austin City Hall


http://www.arcspace.com/architects/P..._city_hall.jpghttp://www.albradenphoto.com/images/...all/ach_01.jpg

desolate Sep 30, 2008 10:52 PM

http://www.urban-photos.com/gallery/...ly_06_8682.jpg
/www.urban-photos.com


The pictures posted so far of Philadelphia City Hall fail to show it in context. It's quite large and the tower gives 5 clear views down the city's major roads.

http://z.about.com/d/philadelphia/1/0/G/b/parkway1.jpg

and the other end of that Parkway

http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb...4-12EFF8FB.jpg



Just a side note.

Philadelphia's biggest subway station sits underneath connected to basically all of Philadelphia's transit lines and rail system and a large multiple block underground concourse.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_Hall_(BSL_station)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suburban_Station

Steely Dan Sep 30, 2008 10:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brickell (Post 3831709)
I've seen it in person, been inside of it. An impressive building indeed. But still the claim was that it was the largest municipal building in the US. I looked it up and saw the claim on other sites, but I still don't believe it.

According to our own SSP

Philadelphia City Hall - 58,529 m²
http://skyscraperpage.com/cities/?buildingID=178

New York Municipal Building - 85,151 m²
http://skyscraperpage.com/cities/?buildingID=4126

yeah, i think the claim that it is the largest municapl building in the nation is a bit dubious. for further proof, chicago's daley center is also larger.

daley center - 136,103s m²

skellergroup Oct 1, 2008 12:36 AM

I am biased. But Philly's city hall is the most impressive I've seen.

http://www.wheninphilly.com/2008/08/...-in-world.html

Joey D Oct 1, 2008 12:37 AM

The proper titles for Phila city hall I think are
1) Largest Masonry Building in US
2) Tallest Municipal Building in World (or US?)

plinko Oct 1, 2008 1:33 AM

For a modern building (1993), I think Phoenix's 368' 20floor City Hall is quite nice:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...ITYHALL001.jpg

And I TOTALLY agree with this:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 3829117)
i find the daley center to be perhaps the most beautiful modernist skyscraper anywhere in the world, but i understand i have unusual tatses, so don't bother telling me that i'm stupid for having mad love for "just another stupid old boring black box". the daley center is simply magical to me.

Jacques Brownson took his lessons from Mies and did something totally wonderful.

mhays Oct 1, 2008 1:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alexjon (Post 3831662)
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:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/28/37...65230dc3_o.jpg

PS, the 62-story office building behind it to the left is the city hall annex. It was bought for half-price in the mid-90s downturn.

Its gross square footage is easily higher than the other "largest municipal buildings" listed in this thread.


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