The Most Expensive City Hall in America.
The otherwise staid and conservative city of Philadelphia will ere long have complete a municipal building that will be the pride of her citizens and the admiration or envy of citizens from all other extensive commonwealths.
Built around a central court, 200 feet square, it presents a frontage 470×486½ feet. The building itself covers a ground area of 5 1/2 acres ; its floor space is over 14 acres, and it has 750 rooms. These are immense figures and they give one a slight idea of the greatness of the building.
Its chief glory, however, consists not in its bulk but in the beauty of its architecture ; its splendid white marble facings ; its trim and slender tower, which reaching upward 537 feet is soon to be surmounted by a magnificent statue of William Penn ; its gilded dome that reflects the sunbeams throughout the city and into neighboring states. These are some of the feature; that will make the building famous in the years to come. At present much of its fame rests upon the statements, frequently reiterated, that already $15,000,000 have been expended and the house is not yet complete. Twenty-two years have already passed in its construction and the end is not yet. The architect, who designed the plans, let the contracts and superintended the work, died nearly four years ago, yet still the work goes on and some of these days a grand ceremonial ” dedication ” feast will celebrate the final completion of a city hall that in point of size and beauty will rank with the great cathedrals of Strasburg or Cologne, exceeding in height every other structure on earth except the Washington Monument. The statue of William Penn, although of heroic size—37 feet high—will at that dizzy height appear to the beholder as the merest pigmy.