This 19th-century edifice houses the Mayor's office, the City Council's meeting chambers, the speaker's office and the rooms seen in the background of mayoral press conferences on TV. Completed in 1812 at the northern end of the city, City Hall and its park are today the center of power in New York.
The building is done in the Federal style, with French influences that can be seen in the large arched windows, delicate ornamental swags and more decorative Corinthian- and Ionic-style columns and pilasters.
The Governor's Room within houses one of the most important collections of 19th century American portraiture as well as historic furnishings, including pieces by Charles Christian and Honoré Lannuier, and other artifacts, such as George Washington's desk. The distinguished guests who have visited the Governor's Room include the Marquis de Lafayette and Albert Einstein. The room hosted President-elect Abraham Lincoln in 1861, and then served as the backdrop for his coffin in 1865 as he lay in state.
Groups may take a guided tour of City Hall. The tour not only explains the legislative process, but also gives a lesson in local government and New York history as it highlights historic and architectural details of the building. The one-hour tour features antique furnishings, Federal period portraits of figures from American history, a historic statue of George Washington, the restored Governor's Room and the magnificent twin spiral staircase. Tours are also offered for special education groups.