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Look Up, New York City! A Walking Tour of the Civic Center


a walking tour in the Look Up, America series from walkthetown.com


by Doug Gelbert


published by Cruden Bay Books at Smashwords


Copyright 2013 by Cruden Bay Books


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the Publisher.



The area around City Hall is commonly referred to as Manhattan’s Civic Center. Most of the neighborhood consists of government offices (city, state and federal), as well as an increasing number of upscale residential dwellings being converted from older commercial structures. Architectural landmarks - ecclesiastical, commercial and governmental - envelop City Hall.


New York’s first government home was erected by the Dutch in the 17th century on Pearl Street. The city’s second City Hall, built in 1700, stood on Wall and Nassau streets. That building was renamed Federal Hall after New York became the first official capital of the United States. Plans for building a new City Hall were discussed by the New York City Council as early as 1776, but Revolutionary War concerns and debts delayed construction until 1812.

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