Baltimore City Hall
Baltimore City Hall, completed in 1875, remains one of the most attractive buildings in the city.
The story of the architect, George A. Frederick, is quite amazing. Frederick won the design competition for City Hall in 1860. He was a complete unknown and not yet even twenty years old. Because of the Civil War, construction was delayed until 1867. Over the following eight years, Frederick's plan was finally implemented, and City Hall opened for business in 1875.
With its mansard roofs, elegant dormers, elaborate dome topped with a choragic monument and gilded cupola, Frederick's design is unmistakably French Second Empire. The dome stands 227 feet high and sits over a 119 foot-high interior rotunda. Wendell Bollman, an engineer with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, designed the wrought iron framework as well as the cast iron panels, a combined weight of over 130 tons.
Underneath the white marble facing, quarried from Beaver Dam in Baltimore County, are thick, load-bearing brick walls.
By the time the building was 100 years old, it really showed its age. In the mid-1970's, a two-year, 10.5 million dollar restoration and renovation project returned City Hall to its old glory. The city has maintained it quite well since.