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Philadelphia City Hall

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Philadelphia City Hall


Structure in General

building with towers
existing [completed]
applied masonry
white light gray
second empire


city hall


  • 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.
  • Tallest occupied structure in the United States until the 1908 completion of New York City's Singer Building.
  • 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.
  • Largest municipal building in the United States.
  • The gigantic four-faced clock near the top of the tower was installed in 1899.
  • A three-ton bronze eagle with a 12-foot wingspan is perched above each of the tower's four clocks.
  • Bronze statues at upper corners of the tower depict Native American and Swedish settlers and are each 26 feet tall.
  • The mayor's office is located on the second 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.
  • The statue of William Penn on the top of City Hall is 37 feet high.
  • 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.
  • 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 addition to the statue of William Penn at the building's peak, Alexander Milne Calder created all sculptures on the building.
  • An observation deck, located just below the feet of the statue, offers excellent 360 degree views of the city and surrounding suburbs.
  • Made of 88 million bricks and several thousand tons of stone, City Hall is the world's tallest masonry load-bearing structure.
  • 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.
  • City Hall was inducted to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places in 1957.
  • An improved outdoor lighting system was activated on November 10, 2004.
  • In 2008 the City began charging fees to allow people to ride the elevator to the top of the building.
  • As part of the commemoration of the American Institute of Architects' 150th anniversary in 2007, the organization announced the list of the 150 highest-ranked structures as "America's Favorite Architecture". Philadelphia City Hall was ranked 21st on this list. Start with the Empire State Building to make a tour of "America's Favorite Architecture" in order. The next building on the list is the Bellagio Resort & Casino.

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More Information


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)
Center City East
Center City

Technical Data

548.01 ft
548.01 ft
511.01 ft

Involved Companies

DPK&A Architects, LLP

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Features & Amenities

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