Public Design Commission of the City of New York
Art Commission of the City of New York
Art Commission of the City of New York
Printer Firendly Format

Get Adobe PDF Reader Adobe Acrobat Reader
  (required to view PDFs)





























City Hall Website Pre-Visit Guide



Glossary of Terms


Source:  Fleming, Honour, and Pevsner. The Penguin Dictionary of Architecture And Landscape Architecture. Fifth edition, 1999 (paperback).

Balustrade - a railing supported by short posts or pillars (balusters).

Banded rustication - large stone blocks separated from each other by deep
                                  horizontal joints.

Coffer - an ornamental, sunken panel on a ceiling.

Cupola - a small dome on a base crowning a roof.

Dome - a curved vault (arched surface) on a circular base.

Façade - the front or face of a building.

Festoon - carved ornament of a garland of flowers and fruit tied with ribbons and
                suspended from two points.

Oculus - a circular window or opening.

Pavilion - an ornamental building, often in a garden.

Pier - the solid mass between windows, doors, and other openings; a rectangular
         support.

Pilaster - a rectangular support slightly projecting from a wall.

Portico - an open, roofed space forming an entrance.

Rotunda - a circular room that is usually domed.



Classical Orders

The Ionic order is used on the first-floor level of City Hall and consists of pilasters or columns set on bases, and topped with capitals decorated with volutes and rosettes.  On the second-floor level, the more ornate Corinthian order is used, characterized by its many acanthus leaves.

Ionic order column, exterior, City Hall, New York

Corinthian order pilaster, exterior detail, City Hall, New York
View Full image
Ionic order column, exterior, City Hall, New York
Photograph by Glenn Castellano.

View Full image
Corinthian order pilaster, exterior detail, City Hall, New York
Photograph by Glenn Castellano.