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Inside City Hall

The largest masonry building in the world. The tallest occupied building in the world until the opening of the Met Life Building in New York. The tallest building in Philadelphia until 1987.

Philadelphia City Hall is an architectural and historic marvel at the center of William Penn's original five-public-square plan for Philadelphia. Designed by architect John McArthur Jr. in the Second Empire style, which was popular in the late 1800's. However, by the early 1900's, the style had fallen from favor. In fact, numerous times until the 1950's discussions occurred to tear the building down. However, at more than $25 million, the price tag to demolish the building was deemed too prohibitive to tear the building down and simultaneously build another more modern building to house the city's three branches of government.

Today, it continues to serve as a centerpiece of Philadelphia. In 2015, a redesigned Dilworth Park was opened, providing a more welcoming gateway for visitors to City Hall and more space for seasonal events.

Some other interesting facts about City Hall:

  • With nearly 700 rooms, it is one of the largest municipal buildings in the world
  • The 37 foot, 27 ton bronze statue of city founder William Penn atop the tower is the largest statue to top any building in the world
  • Parts of the building feature walls 22 feet thick
  • There are more than 250 sculptures inside and outside City Hall, all designed by Alexander Milne Calder