The centre of town is dominated by this huge building, that really impressed me.
I'm not able to write about it, but I dare to transcribe visitphilly:
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. Its observation deck, accessible during guided-tours, provides a panoramic view of the city.
Tours and Observation Deck Access
City Hall’s observation deck, located underneath the statute of William Penn, offers breathtaking views of Philadelphia from the center of the city. Get a special behind-the-scenes glimpse of the clock tower as you ride up to the observation deck. Timed tickets are required to visit the City Hall Tower as tours leave every 15 minutes.
For a more comprehensive look inside City Hall, visitors can go on a two-hour, public tour highlighting the art, architecture, tower and building history. Tours leave at 12:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. Call (215) 686-2840 for advance reservations or group visits (credit card required).
We toured City Hall the largest and tallest City Hall in the United States. The tower reaches 548’ to the top of William Penn’s statue. The bronze statue of the founder of Philadelphia and all of Pennsylvania is 37’ tall and weighs 27 tons. There are over 250 marble statues ornamenting the exterior of the building. The observation deck is just below the statue and offers a magnificent 360 degree views of the city. We went to the City Hall Tour and Visitor Center, Room 121 in the East central portal before the courtyard to get our timed tickets. Tours are given Monday through Friday from 12:30 pm to 4:15 and last approximately 1.5 hrs to 2 hrs. We could only go up a few at a time to the observation deck, so there was a bit of a wait at the end.
City Hall was designed by Scottish-born architect John McArthur, Jr., in the Second Empire style, and was constructed from 1871 until 1901 at a cost of $24 million. City Hall was topped off in 1894; as a result even though the interior wasn't finished until 1901 the building was the world's tallest starting in 1894. With almost 700 rooms, City Hall is one of the largest municipal buildings in the United States and one of the largest in the world. We visited the Mayor's Office, City Council, and the Court of Common Pleas.
City hall tours are 12:30 pm Monday-Friday, and take 1.5 to 2 hours.
Tower Tours are given from 9:30 am to 4:15 pm. You get to stand directly under the William Penn statue atop City Hall. Be aware that during the school year, the tours are reserved for school groups until noon. Timed tickets are available at the Tour Information Center.
For more information call 215.686.2840
One of the most unique and distinctive buildings in Philadelphia, City Hall was constructed from 1871 to 1901. This square was in William Penn's original 1682 design of the city, but it took many years for the city to expand west from the Delaware River.
City Hall is designed as a huge square with a 548 foot tower. Its 700 rooms make it the largest municipal building in the US, and it houses all three branches of city government.
At the top of City Hall's tower is the famous and highly visible statue of Pennsylvania's founder, William Penn. This 37 foot-tall statue weighs 77 tons, and includes intricate details, such as the buttons and lace cuffs. Mr. Penn is pointing a hand towards Penn Treaty Park where a peace treaty was signed with the local Indians, and he is carrying the Charter of Pennsylvania.
The building that houses the City Hall is an impressive tall/huge building in French second empire style (pic 1). I’ve read that was designed to be world’s tallest building but although the construction started in 1871 it didn’t finish until 1901 (and the cost went up to millions these 30 years) when other building were already taller.
There are about 700 different rooms but what I liked most was the Clock Tower which dominates Philadelphia skyline. At the top is 11m statue of William Penn (city’s founder)
There’s a 90’ tour Monday-Friday but the reason we actually visited the City Hall because we wanted to go up to the Tower of City Hall and have a pigeon’s eye view of the city. First we took our tickets ($5) at the bottom level where the souvenir store is and then we went up with the elevator. First to the 7th floor and then we followed the red lines on the floor to the escalator that goes to 9th floor waiting room. Then the guard will take you to the top with another elevator that leads to the observation desk which is below Penn’s statue). There are no refunds if late so arrive at the Tower 15 minutes before scheduled time.
At pics 2-3 you can see some of the pics we took from up there.
The City Hall is open Monday to Friday 9.00-16.30
Designed by Scottish-born architect John McArthur Jr, Philadelphia City Hall is a huge building which dominates Centre Square. Construction commenced on 3 January 1871 with the first meeting of the Commission for the Erection of Public Buildings and John Rice, President of the Commision, broke ground on 27 January 1871.
During its time it has been the tallest habitable building (not counting monuments) in the world (1901 to 1908) and the tallest in Pennsylvania until 1932 when it was surpassed by Gulf Tower. It remained the tallest building in Philadelphia until 1987 with the opening of One Liberty Place; it currently is the 15th tallest building in Pennsylvania.
The buidling has numerous features, including an observation deck which is located just below the statue of William Penn which is the main statue of over 250 which adorn the buidling.
As we visited at the weekend, we were not able to see the interior of the building or the observation deck, however, I was truly impressed by the exteriors.
Philadelphia's City Hall was surrounded by scaffolding for so long, I was mesmerized when I first saw William Penn atop it. It's one of the most impressive building in the US and it's strategic central location makes for a grand entrance if you drive up Broad Street, something I try to do when showing my hometown to people especially from out of the country.
In the center of downtown Philadelphia is the nation’s largest municipal building. City Hall is situated in the exact geographical center of William Penn's original 1682 plans for the city, now known as the intersections of Broad and Market Streets, Center Square.
City Hall includes some 700 rooms and more than 250 architectural relief’s and freestanding sculptures, including its most famous 37’ bronze William Penn statue topping the clock tower. I found one of the most remarkable features to be the 250 relief and freestanding sculptures, all created by Alexander Milne Calder adhered to this ornate building.
Inside City Hall we climbed up and down several grand staircases. We visited the City Council Room but found the Supreme Court & several other rooms locked. We took a small elevator above the clock up to the top of the tower. The views were impressive as were the photographs.
Philadelphia has the largest, tallest City Hall of any city in America. It's also the world's largest masonry building. The tower stands 511 feet high. Completed in 1901, it took 30 years to build. It was designed by John McArthur, Jr.
The Visitors Center is an excellent source of information. It's on street level, at the eastern side of the courtyard.
The building was designed by Scottish architect John McArthur, Jr., in the Second Empire style, and was constructed from 1871 until 1901 at a cost of $24 million. Originally designed to be the world's tallest building, by the time it was completed it had already been surpassed by the Washington Monument and the Eiffel Tower. With close to 700 rooms, City Hall remains one of the largest municipal buildings in North America. 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). The building is topped by an 11.3-m (36 ft, 4 in), 27-ton bronze statue of city founder William Penn, one of 250 sculptures created by Alexander Milne Calder that adorn the building inside and out. The statue is the tallest atop any building in the world.
Gothic and neoclassical influences dominate the features of City Hall. The statue of William Penn that resides atop City Hall's clock tower remains a Philadelphia skyline marker—until the 1980s there was a "gentleman's agreement" that no Philadelphia building would be built higher than the rim of Penn's hat. City Hall provides a majestic backdrop for shoppers and businesspersons alike as it is situated on the intersection of the city's two main arteries, Broad and Market Streets.
Tours of the Penn statue and the rest of the facilities are offered Mon-Fri at 12:30pm for a 90 minute tour you'll see the Conversation Hall, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the City Council chambers, and the mayor's reception room. You can attend often heated City Council meetings, held each Thursday morning at 10. To top off your visit, take the elevator from the 7th floor up the tower to the observation deck at the foot of William Penn's statue for a 30-mi view of the city and surroundings. The elevator holds only six people per trip and runs every 15 minutes; the least crowded time is early morning.
Every weekday you can get a free guided tour of Philadelphia's City Hall. If you aren't interested in the tour you can just go up for a view of the city from the top of William Penn's statue. The building itself is the largest free standing masonry structure in the world. The city just changed this and the tour is NO LONGER FREE.
A skyline of modern skyscrapers circle around this spectacular architectural gem. The largest city hall in America, Philadelphia's French Revival City Hall is a wonder. The inside is amazing as well and they offer free tours every day at 12:30pm. At the end of the tour, they take you up to the top and you get a great view of the city as well as a sight of the gigantic William Penn statue perched on top. It is also a great way to get acquainted with the interesting history of Philadelphia.