DCAS Municipal Building Embossments

The landmarked Manhattan Municipal Building, completed in 1914, is a testament to the style of the times as well as a symbol of the city it serves. The building embossments, inspired by Roman decor, range from sculptures to allegorical panels to round reliefs. Each of them represents the City of New York and Civic Service.

This traditional Roman triumphal arch overlooks Chambers Street. Located in the center of the building, it acts as a "front door" and leads to Police Plaza.

Center Arch

This female winged sculpture, located on the left of the arch, personifies Guidance.This male winged sculpture, on the right side of the arch, represents Executive Power.

Civic PrideCivic Duty
On the right of the arch, Civic Pride shows the female personification of the City receiving tribute from her citizens.On the left of the arch, Civic Duty is represented by a woman personifying the City, accompanied by a child holding the seal of the City. She greets a group of citizens, holding a scroll symbolic of the laws they are to obey.

"Progress"Progress is a youth holding a torch and a winged globe.Prudence is a woman holding a mirror symbolizing reflection and wisdom"Prudence"

Windmill SealBeaver SealSun and Ship Seal
The arms of a windmill, two beavers, and two flour barrels symbolize New Amsterdam's principle articles of merchandise, food, and fur. This symbol has been used since the beginning of the 18th century, with evidence in newspapers, maps, etc of colonial New York. The beavers represent the fur trade, and the flour barrels represent the agriculture. Both fur and flour were two main exports of the colonial time.This symbol, representing the province of New Netherlands, shows a beaver surrounded by a string of wampum, which is a string of Indian money made from oyster shells. Since the City was found as a shipping port for fur trade, beavers represent this particular trade.This scene of two ships on a river with the sun rising behind the mountains can be seen also on the Great Seal of New York.

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