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I think "brutalism" is a disgrace to the public realm and merely a technique for one-upping in the architectural community. The Boston city hall presents nothing but blank walls at ground level, creating an aura of grit and callous urbanity. It further sends the message that the architect does not care about the experience of those outside the building. A blank wall should be good enough for the eye! The monochromatic exterior seems inspired by the architecture of the Soviet Union and further assaults the eye without providing any visual reward. When looking at that building, my eye is drawn nowhere. It is just a uniform edifice of plainness.

In short, I find that building an abomination. It reminds me of similar buildings on university campuses across the nation, built by similar architects that abhor adornment, windows, and love the idea of blank concrete as a visual medium.

To keep on topic, I'll post a picture of the Vancouver BC city hall which was built in 1936 and does have an art deco flavor (not to the extent of Miami however!)

vanc-city-hall.jpg

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The Cabildo is a great building.  But was this used as a "city hall" or at the time, more like a statehouse.  Not sure about that.

I know the artisan who helped restore all of the beautiful plaster work and building in this landmark building.  It looks really good, I was down in NO a few years ago.

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What a cool thing to be part of restoring the Cabildo. I always think it's a little too bad it's become "just" a museum and not used for any government functions anymore.

Before the Louisiana Purchase the Cabildo was both the statehouse for Louisiana (territory) and the city hall for New Orleans. I think at that time, the city consisted of the Quarter, the Treme and Marigny but anyone feel free to correct me on that one :)

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The architect of San Francisco's City Hall was a graduate of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris so that's why it looks like a copy of the Hotel des Invalides. The great thing about SF City Hall is that it's part of an intact Civic Center, all designed by the same architect including the (old) Public Library, Civic Auditorium, Opera House and Veterans Memorial Building. Also Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe were married at City Hall but I guess that doesn't compare to the history of some other city halls LOL. The UN Charter was signed in the plaza between the Opera House and the Vets Memorial Building though.

I like the two old city halls in New Orleans--Gallier Hall and the Cabildo. The Cabildo is probably one of the most historic city halls in the country because the Louisiana Purchase was signed there.

Gallier Hall

The Cabildo

I also like Los Angeles City Hall.

LA City Hall

Is the US Capitol Washington DC's city hall?

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NO!!!, The Capitol is not DC's city hall. I don't mean to be angry here, as it would make some sense, but it is a touchy issue becuase the federal government screws DC over on a regular basis. The DC governemnt is currently housed in the Wilson building, which is fairly unimpressive. The old city hall is being converted into a courthouse. Both are pictured below.

wilsonbuilding2.jpg

Current Building

Old-DC-City-Hall---Exterior.gif

Old Building

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the federal government screws DC over on a regular basis.

????? am I crazy or am I the only one who thinks the fed should do what ever it wants with DC. After all there wouldn't be a city there at all without it.

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DC is a federal city. The Federal Government is supposed to decide what goes on there. The citizens of DC might be less agitated towards it if they had true representation in Congress....

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I think "brutalism" is a disgrace to the public realm and merely a technique for one-upping in the architectural community.  The Boston city hall presents nothing but blank walls at ground level, creating an aura of grit and callous urbanity.  It further sends the message that the architect does not care about the experience of those outside the building.  A blank wall should be good enough for the eye!  The monochromatic exterior seems inspired by the architecture of the Soviet Union and further assaults the eye without providing any visual reward.  When looking at that building, my eye is drawn nowhere.  It is just a uniform edifice of plainness.

In short, I find that building an abomination.  It reminds me of similar buildings on university campuses across the nation, built by similar architects that abhor adornment, windows, and love the idea of blank concrete as a visual medium.

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Bingo! Well said, Zed.

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Alright, so I may be a bit bias, but I think Toronto's city hall is one of the better ones in North America. It doesn't have the history (yet) that a Philly or a San Francisco city hall has, but it is truly a landmark building, and a symbol of the city.

27998356.DSCN4909.jpg

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Here's Charlotte:

Old City Hall

CharlotteCityHall.jpg

New City Hall (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, across the street from Old City Hall)

governmentcenter.jpg

This building is so "un-civic" it's impossible to find a photograph that can make it look good.

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My first post, representing Richmond, VA.

Here's the old city hall. First pic courtesy of richmondcitywatch.com.

oldcityhallcool2.jpg

w153.gif

Here's the new one in the middle of exterior renovations.

091_03_05_city_hall02.jpg

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Wow!

Does a city the size of Buffalo really need a city hall that large?

Do they rent out some of the office space, or maybe put the police headquarters in there also or something?

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Asheville City Hall is incredible, but as another poster said, hard to find a shot of it that does it justice

ashevillecityhall.jpg

cit1.jpg

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I like this building, but it does remind me of a jug of moonshine! :lol:

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I think "brutalism" is a disgrace to the public realm and merely a technique for one-upping in the architectural community.  The Boston city hall presents nothing but blank walls at ground level, creating an aura of grit and callous urbanity.  It further sends the message that the architect does not care about the experience of those outside the building.  A blank wall should be good enough for the eye!  The monochromatic exterior seems inspired by the architecture of the Soviet Union and further assaults the eye without providing any visual reward.  When looking at that building, my eye is drawn nowhere.  It is just a uniform edifice of plainness.

In short, I find that building an abomination.  It reminds me of similar buildings on university campuses across the nation, built by similar architects that abhor adornment, windows, and love the idea of blank concrete as a visual medium.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

To be fair to the architect for a minute... There was a lot of detail work that was left out of the final construction of City Hall Plaza for financial reasons that would have improved it's relationship to the street and to pedestrians.

?????  am I crazy or am I the only one who thinks the fed should do what ever it wants with DC.  After all there wouldn't be a city there at all without it.

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There's 600K-something people who live in the District. Would it be fair for Senators and Congresspeople elected by people all over the country who have never been to DC to have complete authority over what happens to those people and their city?

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This is one case where Atlanta is at least respectable - built in 1930 in a neo-gothic style (though you can notice it was built in the art-deco era):

ach.jpg

side2.jpg

But my favorite so far is Buffalo's...

Edited by teshadoh

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Hard to beat philly in this category.

Here's the City of Miami's - it's an old terminal for the Pan-Am flying boats.

cityhall.jpg

and the City of Coral Gables

coral.jpg

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I've always marveled at Miami's city hall . . . where was it before it moved to the old Pan Am bldg? When did it move? ;)

Also the MOST impressive city hall I have ever seen in person is the one in Buffalo NY, who would have thunk it ;)

My favorite picture of Buffalo City Hall:

cityhall.jpg

I am so envious :blush:

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I walk by it every day.  It should be imploded.

If you want a modernist City Hall, I much prefer Toronto's.

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Boston's City Hall is brutal on the eye. At least the City Halls in Dallas and Toronto make adventurous use of angles, curves, glass and shape. The Boston CH could stand a face lift with more glass and less plaza. With real estate what it is, couldn't Boston do something about building up the area around the city hall and making the area more pedestrian friendly?

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