Old City Hall

Title

Old City Hall

Description

This building, built in the style of the Second French Empire in 1865, served as Boston's City Hall from 1865 until 1969. The first building on this site--the Boston Public Latin School--was built in 1635, and was the first public school in what would become the United States. This is the reason the street is called School Street. Old City Hall was actually the third building to occupy the site: the first was the Suffolk City Courthouse, which was built in 1810. In 1841, the building was extensively renovated and became Boston's second city hall. When Old City Hall was built in 1865, it was one of the first buildings built in the Second French Empire style, and it is now one of the few remaining in the country. The style is usually characterized by a center that projects out and is topped by a dome, by tall windows and doors, and by a mansard roof.

When it was in use as a city hall, the building was known for its grand interior, which included black and white marble floors and iron and oak staircases on the first floor. The courtyard features a statue of Benjamin Franklin (erected in 1856), who attended school on the site. It also features a statue of Josiah Quincy (erected in 1879), who served as Boston's second mayor from 1823-1828. Thirty-eight mayors served their terms on this site between 1841 and 1969.

In 1969, the city of Boston relocated its City Hall to its current location at Government Center. At that time, the building was converted into offices and a restaurant, and many of the grand features of the interior were removed. It is still being used as an office building.

Source

http://bostonmaps.neu.edu/omeka/admin/items/show/1

Date

1865

Contributor

Heather Streets-Salter

Relation

Susan and Michael Southworth, AIA Guide to Boston, second edition (Guilford, Connecticut: The Globe Pequot Press , 1992).

Old City Hall, http://www.oldcityhall.com/history.html.

Type

Annotation

Identifier

-71.059174, 42.357564

Description

This building, built in the style of the Second French Empire in 1865, served as Boston's City Hall from 1865 until 1969. The first building on this site--the Boston Public Latin School--was built in 1635, and was the first public school in what would become the United States. This is the reason the street is called School Street. Old City Hall was actually the third building to occupy the site: the first was the Suffolk City Courthouse, which was built in 1810. In 1841, the building was extensively renovated and became Boston's second city hall. When Old City Hall was built in 1865, it was one of the first buildings built in the Second French Empire style, and it is now one of the few remaining in the country. The style is usually characterized by a center that projects out and is topped by a dome, by tall windows and doors, and by a mansard roof.

When it was in use as a city hall, the building was known for its grand interior, which included black and white marble floors and iron and oak staircases on the first floor. The courtyard features a statue of Benjamin Franklin (erected in 1856), who attended school on the site. It also features a statue of Josiah Quincy (erected in 1879), who served as Boston's second mayor from 1823-1828. Thirty-eight mayors served their terms on this site between 1841 and 1969.

In 1969, the city of Boston relocated its City Hall to its current location at Government Center. At that time, the building was converted into offices and a restaurant, and many of the grand features of the interior were removed. It is still being used as an office building.

Date

1865

Source

http://bostonmaps.neu.edu/omeka/admin/items/show/1