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farm for ever famous, which he had called with such care that scarce a trace of the
This was in his sixteenth year. Before of the art. He used logarithms, and
(To be continued.)
PUBLIC BUILDINGS OF NEW-YORK.
cally, but relatively, standing as it has, until within a few years past, a marble oasis surrounded by a desert of bricks and mortar. The marvel of it is that such a building could have been built at all in the infancy and poverty of the city, and that it should have stood nearly fifty years without exerting the slightest influence upon the tastes of our people who were continually building and rebuilding. It was only another proof that education in taste, as in morals and science, must be progressive, and that a community must learn their alphabet in art, as well as in letters, before they can learn to read and understand the productions of enlightened minds. We know when the City Hall was built, and by whom, but how it was, why there should have been
such an outbreak of taste and public liberNEW-Y
V-YORK has not much to boast of ality just then, so disproportioned to the
in the splendor of its public build exigencies of the times, without antecedents ings, numerous and extensive as they are, or followers, has always been to us a subwith the exception of the City Hall, which ject of especial marvel. Even at the is an architectural wonder; not intrinsi present day, when the wealth and popula
End View of City Hall,
tion of the city have increased ten-fold, we find that it was during the mayoralty the new public buildings are comparatively of such enlightened men as Edward Livmean and barbarous. There stands the ingston and De Witt Clinton, that the beautiful City Hall, with an offspring of building was planned and completed. The bideous Egyptian, Greek, and Gothic corner stone was laid in September 1803, structures, without a lineament of the and it was nearly ten years in building, graceful features or elegant form of their The front and two ends are of white progenitor. It is marvellous that the city marble, but the rear is of a very fine dark fathers should have passed in and out of brown sandstone, not used, as has been the City Hall day by day for half a cen ignorantly supposed, because its back was tury, and never have been imbued with a to the then rural districts, for the builders feeling of love for the beautiful edifice of the City Hall were not so cramped in which was their official home, nor have their ideas as to imagine that New-York imparted something of its grace and ele would never extend itself higher up than the gance to the new structures which they Park; but for the same reason that Cologne erected for municipal uses. But such, un Cathedral is unornamented on its northern fortunately, is the fact; and the City Hall side, because it lies always in shadow, and remains a splendid exception to the taste the warm tint of the stone is more suitable less and uninformed character of the other to its aspect than the cold glitter of white civic buildings of the metropolis of the marble would be. Let any one look at the New World. But, something of the won City Hall with this thought in his mind, der which the existence of such a building and the brown stone of the rear will no as the City Hall excites, subsides when longer look incongruous or improper.
Though we can make this apology for and establishing galleries of incalculable the rear of the City Hall, which is as beau value in a historical point of view. tiful as the southern front, we have none In the Governor's Room are full length to offer for its rusticated, brown stone portraits of the twelve governors of the basement, nor for its awkward wooden State, from Lewis down to Fish, including belfry, which has been recently added. Tompkins, Clinton, Van Buren, Marcy, The names of the architects were Macomb Seward and Young; two of them are by and Mangin, and as they left no other Trumbull, and the rest by Catlin, Vanderevidences of their genius, the City Hall lyn, Inman, Weir, Page, Elliott, Gray, must be regarded as an inspiration. and Hicks; there are, also, the portraits,
But, the City IIall of New-York is an en buste, of twenty-two mayors, and full exceptional institution in more respects lengths of Presidents Washington, Monroe, than its architectural exterior, and as re Jackson, and Taylor; Lafayette by S. F. spects all other public buildings in the B. Morse, General Monckton by the same Union. It is in this Hall that has been artist; and Generals McComb, Brown, commenced a permanent gallery of his Scott, and Swift; Commodores Perry, torical art, which, even at the present time Decatur, and Bainbridge; there are also is of great value; but, to our posterity, it original portraits of Columbus, Governor will prove a precious treasure; in it are Stuyvesant, Bolivar, Hendrick Hudson, preserved the portraits of all the governors and Paez, General Williams, and of Mr. of the State, and of the mayors of the Valentine, who has been many years clerk city; they are hung in the noble suite of of the Common Council. In the Chamapartments known as the Governor's ber of the Board of Aldermen, a very Room, and in other parts of the building beautiful apartment, are full length porare the portraits of many of our eminent traits of Washington and George Clinton, men and military heroes. This plan of painted by Trumbull
, and of John Jay preserving the portraits of the chief magis and Alexander IIamilton, by Weimar; in trates of the State and city, is one which the chamber of the Assistant Aldermen, a should be imitated, not only by the nation, department of the city government which but hy cach of the States and cities; it has been abolished by the new Charter, would be a cheap way of encouraging art, are full lengths of Commodores Hull and
McDonough by Jarvis; in room No. 8 is to the majority of our citizens. But it a half-length portrait of the renowned contains many valuable books, and a very IIigh-Constable, Jacob Hays, and, in the choice collection of rare engravings and Mayor's Office is a half-length portrait, interesting works of art, which were prepainted by Mooney, of Achmet Ben sented to the city through the agency of Ahmed, the captain of the Imaum of Mons. Vattemare' by Louis Philippe of Muscat's frigate, which visited New-York France, and other foreign rulers. The about ten years since. In the Governor's Law Library of the New-York bar is in Room there are marble busts of De Witt one of the lower apartments of the Hall, Clinton and HIenry Clay, in the chamber but it is only accessible to members. The of the Board of Aldermen there are busts famous “tea-room,” where the Aldermen of John Jay and Chief Justice Marshall, used to feast at the public cost, is a rather and in other parts of the Hall there are dingy apartment in the occupancy of busts of Thomas Addis Emmet, and the keeper of the Hall, the tea-room exChancellor Kent, and marble tablets in penses having been denied by law. The honor of several distinguished members tea-room was so called on the lucus a non of the New-York bar. Until within a few lucendo principle, for the potations most years past there was a noble banqueting indulged in, in that convivial apartment, room in the City Hall, where the city were mostly champagne and brandy. The feasts used to be held on occasions of high City IIall was sufficiently spacious to afpublic festivals, such as the Fourth of ford offices for all the municipal business July, when the Mayor presided at the of the city, besides rooms for the United feasts surrounded by the Aldermen and States Courts, but it is now insufficient for their distinguished guests, and mighty the accommodation of the municipal offices bowls of punch were quaffed, and enormous alone, and, besides appropriating the entire tureens of turtle soup eaten for the good extent of the old Alms House in the rear, a of the city. But these civic feasts have spacious Hall has been erected in which fallen into disuse, and the magnificent the newly organized Council under the apartment, with its crimson curtains, has reformed charter will hold its sessions ; been made into two mean-looking court at the east end of the Hall is the Hall of rooms, by a dingy partition. In one of Records, the old debtor's prison modernthe rooms is kept the City Library, the ized with porehes and columns. The buildmere existence of which is hardly known ings used for municipal offices, which are
clustered together in the rear of the City
confusion, made of unequal dimensions, and as little in harmony as possible. Not far above the public buildings in the Park, is the City Prison, commonly called the Tombs, from the sepulchral style of its architecture. It occupies an entire square, with its principal front on Centre-street, as represented in the engraving. The ponderous and gloomy character of Egyptian architecture harmonizes esthetically with the purposes of a prison, but it is both barbarous and costly, and there is no good reason for erecting in the midst of a city an object which has such a nightmarish' influence on its neighborhood. The ground on which the City Prison stands was once a swamp, its cells are damp and unwholesome, and the whole interior is dark and dismal; it is con
structed of huge blocks of granite, which with square-headed, narrow windows, a are oppressive to look upon, and must have battlemented parapet, and flanked by a chilling effect upon the nervous system square towers. It is employed as a reof passengers through Centre-street, who ceptacle for the ordnance of the first divihave within them undivulged crimes; in sion of the State Artillery, the lower story it is held the Court of Sessions, and all being appropriated for a gun room, and public executions take place in one of its the second floor for a drill room. It is courts.
wholly devoid of ornament, but is subIn the immediate neighborhood of the stantial, and, if it should ever be needed Egyptian Tombs is another building as a place of refuge. it could resist a very equally gloomy in appearance, but of a strong force. But, we imagine that its different style of architecture, if such a capacity as a fortress will never be tested word can be applied to a building that is by a siege. On the roof is a telegraph devoid of style.
pole intended to communicate by signals The New Armory, or down-town Arse with the State arsenal further up town. nal, stands on the corner of White and But the greater number of the buildings Elm streets, with a frontage of one hun belonging to the city are not to be found dred and thirty-one feet, by eighty-four in the streets and avenues; the hospitals, Sect. It is built of a dark blue granite, prisons, alms-houses, and nurseries, aro