According to the National Register of Historical Sites, there are about 166 historical sites in the Kings Country of New York. One of these historical sites significant to the development of what Brooklyn is today was the Brooklyn Borough Hall. It was added to the National Register of Historical Sites on January 28th, 1980. Located in the triangle of land surrounded by the Joralemon Court and the Old Fulton streets it was used as a City Hall of the City of Brooklyn. Used as a city hall, it played a major part and significance in the development of Brooklyn, New York.
Brooklyn, originally belonging to the Indians until bought by the Dutch became the first part of the New World in 1636. Currently known as Red Hook at Gowanus Bay, Brooklyn had a population of only 6000 people and an area of 1 square mile, was only a village at the time of 1816. The main street of Brooklyn, Old Ferry Road (now known as Fulton Street) was lined with taverns, stores, and houses. In 1834, Brooklyn became the City of Brooklyn as its development increased slowly. After almost a century of development, in 1898, Brooklyn became a borough of Greater New York with nearly one million residents and an area of seventy five square miles.
The Brooklyn City Hall was originally built as a Greek revival style structure in Tuckahoe marble to contain all of the functions of the city’s government in only one building. It contained the offices of the City Council and the mayor, a jail, as well as a courthouse. In 1836, the cornerstones of the building were laid but due to certain problems, only the foundation of the building was built. Although construction continued in 1845 and was revised and a simpler designed by the architect, Gamaliel King and the unfinished City Hall opened to the public in 1848. Serving the city as a government for fifty years until it was renamed Brooklyn Borough Hall in 1898. With a size of 175 feet by 100 feet, it was designed in a rectangular plan with a high basement, two high stories, two end wings, and a low story. Though the building had a great layout, it was modified in 1897 after a fire that occurred destroying the original wooden cupola.
After the fire in 1897, the renovations produced an interior of the Greek revival building into a building which had little resemblance to the original building. There were major alterations that occurred, including the stairs in the Rotunda to be removed, addition of suspended ceilings in the attic story, and fireproof floors and roofs to be added in. Later on in 1976, an elevator was added and installed. Although the building went through so many changes in its interior, the Greek revival style of the building did not change along with its original blueprint plan of circulation and light.
The architect of the Brooklyn Borough Hall also played a huge part about the development of the building. Although Gamaliel King is often credited for designing of the Brooklyn Borough Hall, the original architect of the...