Archives of the Mayor's Press Office

Date: Wednesday, October 14, 1998

Release #477-98

Contact: Colleen Roche/Jennifer Chait (212) 788-2958
Bernadette O'Leary (212) 312-3523 (EDC)


New Clock To Count New York Minutes Atop Landmark Building

History of City Hall Roof Restoration Project
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today joined guests at City Hall to celebrate the rededication of the newly refurbished Statue of Justice (Photo 24K) and the completion of the City Hall Roof Restoration Project. Earlier this Spring, the City announced a $4 million project to rebuild the roof and decorative features of the landmark building and to restore the Statue of Justice. As Mayor Giuliani ceremonially unveiled the renovated statue, City Hall's new clock, which has not worked since the mid 1980's, chimed at noon to commemorate the occasion.

"This landmark building has been home to 57 mayoral administrations and has been the seat of City government for 186 years," said Mayor Giuliani. "City Hall is one of the City's most enduring and distinguished structures, and I am very pleased that we have been able to restore it to its former grandeur. The completion of this project and the surrounding roof, clock tower and decorative features represents one of the most comprehensive restoration projects ever undertaken at City Hall."

The Mayor continued, "At my second inauguration, together we promised to transmit our City far greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us. The renovation project in some small measure helps us fulfill this promise: we will leave City Hall better than it was five years ago, and we will work to ensure that this historic building will serve the City for years to come.

"I want to thank John Dyson, former Deputy Mayor and current Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, who first envisioned this project. Jean Ross, the City Hall Project Coordinator, also deserves congratulations for making this project run smoothly, as do the Economic Development Corporation and Department of Citywide Administrative Services," the Mayor concluded.

EDC President Charles Millard said, "This has been a very exciting and innovative project. Today's unveiling is the result of a multi-agency effort and is a shining symbol of the renaissance that has taken place throughout New York City."

The new clock tower and cupola pieces replaced the deteriorated structure that was demolished earlier this summer. Other aspects of the restoration project included rehabilitation of the roof and reinforcement of the left and right wings; reconstruction of the skylight; replacement of the door and window on the roof; replacement of flagpoles and cleaning of the exterior facade.

The Statue of Justice is the third such sculpture to stand atop City Hall. The first sculpture, a wooden figure, was destroyed on August 18, 1858 by a fire that also burned the roof, cupola and central stairwell of City Hall. In 1887, the second wooden statue suffered from severe deterioration, and was replaced by the current 170 pound Justice of lightweight copper. During the latest restoration, artisans replaced the badly deformed and corroded internal armature with new stainless steel, repaired the severe dents and gaps in the copperwork, and cleaned and repainted the statue's exterior skin. Les Metalliers Champenois, the firm that restored the statue of Civic Fame atop the Municipal Building and The Statue of Liberty, undertook the repairs.

Also contributing to the project were designers Cabrera Barricklo Architects, P.C.; general contractor Barney Skanska; New England Boatworks, builders of the new clock tower and cupola; the Office of the Mayor; the Landmarks Preservation Commission; the Art Commission of the City of New York; New York Police Department Sergeant Donald Henne; and consultant engineers Robert Silman Associates, P.C.

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