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  New City Hall Opens
Category:  Architecture, Politics and Government
Brief Description:  St. Louis´ new City hallopened in 1896 at the corner of 12th and market Sts. The location of the City Hall was acquired by the City about 1840 and, for many years, it was used as a park called Washington Square. By 1890, municipal functions had outgrown the old "City Barn," as the old City Hall at llth and Chestnut Streets was popularly known An architectural competition for the design of the building was won by the firm of Eckel & Mann of St. Joseph, MO with the French Renaissance Revival plan that was inspired by the Hotel de Ville, or City Hall, of Paris. Draftsman Harvery Ellis, who worked for Eckel & Mann may have also contributed to the design. The design was selected after a national competition that attracted 37 entries. Its central interior feature is a white marble rotunda, about 100 feet square, with a colored glass skylight above and a marble grand staircase opposite the main entrance. These details were designed by Albert Groves of St. Louis so that it would be finished in time for the 1904 World´s Fair. (Toft) Construction began on July 19, 1890. The new City Hall opened in 1896, although construction inside continued until 1904. No bonds were issued to finance its construction, which is why it took 14 years to complete the building. The budget was limited at $2 million, but the final cost came in more than $200,000 less than the estimate. The exterior of the first story is Missouri pink granite that contrasts with pink-orange Roman brick on the upper floors and buff color sandstone trim located in an irregular pattern around the window openings. The roof is burgundy-red clay tiles. A central tower and two flanking spires on 12th Street, now Tucker Boulevard, were removed in 1936. (Toft)
Year:  1896
Decade:  1890 - 1899
Beginning Date:    1896
Ending Date:    1896

Groves, Albert B.

City Hall



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