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Philadelphia City Hall

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Identification

Philadelphia City Hall
117972

Map

Structure in General

skyscraper
existing [completed]
marble
steel
applied masonry
white light gray
second empire

Usages

city hall

Facts

  • The statue of William Penn on the top of City Hall is 37 feet high.
  • One of the largest municipal buildings in the world, construction dragged on for years. It became a symbol for turn-of-the-century municipal corruption.
  • The gigantic four-faced clock near the top of the tower was installed in 1899.
  • The building encloses a landscaped courtyard.
  • A free observation deck, located just below the feet of the statue, offers excellent 360 degree views of the city and surrounding suburbs.
  • City Hall was inducted to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places in 1957.
  • In addition to the statue of William Penn at the building's peak, Alexander Milne Calder created all sculptures on the building.
  • Largest municipal building in the United States.
  • An improved outdoor lighting system was activated on November 10, 2004.
  • Major facade cleaning and roof repair are currently underway. The entire project is scheduled to last 10 years.
  • Made of 88 million bricks and several thousand tons of stone, City Hall is the world's tallest masonry load-bearing structure.
  • The mayor's office is located on the 2nd floor in the exeucitve branch, the walls of which are lined with portraits of former mayors.
  • The building's judicial branch consists of 30 courtrooms for civil trials, operated by the Court of Common Pleas, as well as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the nation's oldest high appellate court.
  • This was tallest building in Philadelphia until the 1987 completion of One Liberty Place, and was second in height (USA) only to the Washington Monument when completed.
  • The crowning statue of William Penn faces to the northeast, toward a location on the banks of the Delaware River where he signed a treaty of friendship with the Lenape Indians in 1682.
  • A three-ton bronze eagle with a 12-foot wingspan is perched above each of the tower's four clocks.
  • The main tower is supported by brick walls, which are 27 feet thick at their base.
  • The lower 338 feet are covered with marble. The upper 210 feet were covered with cast-iron until the iron was replaced with steel during the 1990s.
  • Bronze statues at upper corners of the tower depict Native American and Swedish settlers and are each 26 feet tall.
  • Tallest occupied structure in the United States until the 1908 completion of New York City's Singer Building.
  • The 26-ton statue of William Penn atop the building was modeled by Alexander Milne Calder and hoisted into place in 1894 - the highest point in Philadelphia. (Urban designer Edmund Bacon was known to say that no gentleman would build taller than the brim of William Penn's hat.)
  • In 2008 the City began charging fees to allow people to ride the elevator to the top of the building.

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More Information

Location

East Penn Square
0 North Broad Street, 1 South 15th Street, 0 South Broad Street, 1 South Juniper Street, 1 North 15th Street
Broad & Market Streets (Penn Square)
19107
Center City East
Center City
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
U.S.A.

Technical Data

548.01 ft
548.01 ft
511.01 ft
9
1871
1901

Involved Companies


DPK&A Architects, LLP

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Features & Amenities

  • One of the city's famous buildings
  • City landmark
  • National landmark
  • Observation floor is available
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