Our third and present city hall was built to replace the second city hall, Federal Hall, used by the national government headed by George Washington. In 1812, our third and present City Hall opened there. By then, New York City was America’s largest city with over 100,000 people. Our present City Hall, New York’s third, was built at the northern end of City Hall Park between 1803 and 1812. The north side faced was not as nice as the other sides faced with marble granite. It faced the City Asylum before the New York County House was built. In 1958, marble finally replaced the brick north. It was designed in combined French and Georgian style by John McComb Jr. and Joseph Francois Mangin. Hamilton Grange was also designed by architect John McComb in 1802 for Alexander Hamilton.
Observe the clock tower. The statue of Justice on top of the graceful Federal-style City Hall is unique in having no blindfold. The clock in the Georgian tower, built by Sperry and Company, was regarded as one of the most accurate timekeepers in the world. The clock tower also served as a fire tower from the 1840s until the 1870s where observers would watch for fires and communicate the alarm by semaphore signals.
A maintenance worker quit because she was unable to fix the elevators that kept causing problems around midnight. Police officers and cleaning crews over the years have reported seeing ghosts dressed in 19th-century clothing in the basement where the City Council press office is now located.
DeWitt Clinton was the Mayor of New York who proposed building the Erie Canal in 1815 to make New York City the greatest city in America. He was elected governor, the first time anybody was elected to higher office from City Hall. Construction was begun 1817; completed 1825. He has occasionally reported haunting the mayor’s office, apparently in his happy place to be in death.