Philadelphia City Hall it is the world’s second-tallest masonry building with a height of 167 m (548 ft) and is the largest, tallest and most expensive of all city halls in the United States.
The building was designed and supervised by architect John McArthur, in the very popular Second Empire style, and was constructed from 1871 until 1901 with a total cost of $24 million. The ambitious project was intended to be the tallest building in the world but by the time it was completed in 1901 after 30 years of construction, it had been surpassed by the Washington Monument and the Eiffel Tower.
With more than 600 rooms , City Hall is the largest municipal building in the United States and one of the largest in the World. The building houses three branches of government, the Executive , the Legislative , and the Judicial Branch’s Civil Courts .
The first floor is built of solid granite , the walls are up to 22 feet thick in some places supporting a brick structure faced with marble. The 548-foot tower is the tallest masonry structure in the world without a steel frame being topped by a statue of William Penn. The massive statue is 37ft high and weighs 27 ton. It is just one of 250 sculptures created by Alexander Calder for both the interior and exterior of the city hall.
The building’s more than 600 rooms are organized around a central courtyard, which can be reached via the large archways on each of the four sides. Many of the rooms are lavishly decorated, including the Reception Room with blue and gold ceiling and red marble columns, and the Conversation Hall which boasts a magnificent chandelier.
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 provides a incredible views of the city.
The tower has an observation deck open to visitors. Some of its beautiful interior can also be visited. Guided tours are also available Monday – Friday , 12:30 PM . For more information visitors can access City Hall Tour Information Center ,Room 121 at the East City Hall Entrance.