Interior of Pittsburgh's City-County Building



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City Mayors questions those who govern the world’s cities and talks to men and women who contribute to urban society and environment. More


City Mayors profiles national and international organisations representing cities as well as those dealing with urban issues. More


City Mayors reports on major national and international sporting events and their impact on cities. More


City Mayors lists cities and city organisations, profiles individual mayors and provides information on hundreds of urban events. More


City Mayors reports news from towns and cities around the world. Worldwide | Elections | North America | Latin America | Europe | Asia | Africa |


City Mayors ranks the world’s largest, best as well as richest cities and urban areas. It also ranks the cities in individual countries, and provides a list of the capital cities of some 200 sovereign countries. More


City Mayors profiles city leaders from around the world. More


City Mayors describes the history, architecture and politics of the greatest city halls in the world. More


Mayors from The Americas, Europe. Asia, Australia and Africa compete for the World Mayor Award. More


Use
Mayor Monitor to rate the performance of mayors from across the world More


In your opinion: Praise Criticise. Write


City Mayors reports political events, analyses the issues and depicts the main players. More


City Mayors describes and explains the structures and workings of local government in Europe, The Americas, Asia, Australia and Africa. More


City Mayors deals with economic and investment issues affecting towns and cities. More


City Mayors describes and explains financial issues affecting local government. More


City Mayors reports urban environmental developments and examines the challenges faced by cities worldwide. More


City Mayors reports on and discusses urban development issues in developed and developing countries. More


City Mayors reports on developments in urban society and behaviour and reviews relevant research. More


City Mayors invites readers to write about the people in their cities. More


City Mayors examines city brands and marketing. More


City Mayors lists and features urban events, conferences and conventions aimed at urban decision makers and those with an interst in cities worldwide. More



City Mayors deals with urban transport issues in developed and developing countries and features the world’s greatest metro systems. More


City Mayors examines education issues and policies affecting children and adults in urban areas. More


City Mayors investigates health issues affecting urban areas with an emphasis on health in cities in developing countries. More


City Mayors reports on how business developments impact on cities and examines cooperation between cities and the private sector. More


City Mayors examines the contributions history and culture make to urban society and environment. More


City Mayors examines the importance of urban tourism to city economies. More


City Mayors questions those who govern the world’s cities and talks to men and women who contribute to urban society and environment. More


City Mayors profiles national and international organisations representing cities as well as those dealing with urban issues. More


City Mayors reports on major national and international sporting events and their impact on cities. More


City Mayors lists cities and city organisations, profiles individual mayors and provides information on hundreds of urban events. More


Pittsburgh City-County Building

1 August 2008: The majestic Pittsburgh City-County Building, erected in the early part of the last century, now houses the city’s 26-year-old mayor – its youngest ever.  Located at 414 Grant Street, between Forbes Avenue and 4th Avenue, it is the seat of government for the City of Pittsburgh and houses both Pittsburgh and the neighboring Allegheny County offices. The two governing bodies are represented in the design of the elevator doors, which are cast with depictions of earlier city halls and courthouses throughout Pittsburgh's history. 

Before 1907 Pittsburgh and Allegheny were two cities, with both central business districts across the Allegheny River. The absorption of Allegheny began in 1906, authorized by the Supreme Court and finally approved by the United States Government in 1911. After the cities merged, Pittsburgh decided to build a new city hall in collaboration with the County of Allegheny. Today this distinguished building is known as the City-County Building. Such city-county building collaborations are rare in the United States but not unknown.

The 44-metre high ten-storey building is to be found in the Pittsburgh government district of the Golden Triangle Central Business District. The City-County Building was built in the classical revival style and was designed by Henry Hornbostel, who greatly influenced  the architectural environment of Pittsburgh. The main hall is surrounded by gilded classical columns supporting a vaulted blue and white stencilled ceiling of terra cotta tiles. In the front facade of the building there are three huge arches. Light breaks in through tall windows and the pedestrian corridors provide a clear view of the grand lobby.

The work of art entitled ‘Steel Cityscape’, designed by Aaronel de Roy Gruber, is located at the City-County building portico facing Grant Street. This abstract piece, composed of varying purplish-pink square forms creates an illusion of explosion, expansion, and growth that symbolize the strength of the city. The piece of painted steel was designed specifically for its location. It is one of the three prize-winning works from the 1976 Society of Sculptors Show entitled ‘Sites, Public and Private’, which provided for the completion and installation of winning works in sculpture-specified locations in the city.

Over a side entrance to the building there is the inscription PROTHONOTARY. It became famous when President Harry S. Truman paused on coming across it during a visit to Pittsburgh in 1948 and is said to have exclaimed: “What the hell is a prothonotary?" Truman is also attributed with declaring that "prothonotary" was the most impressive-sounding political title in the United States. Actually, a prothonotary is the chief court clerk in certain courts of law.

The mayor and his nine-member council serve a four-year term. After the death of Mayor Bob O'Connor in September 2006, City Council President Luke Ravenstahl was sworn in as the new Mayor of Pittsburgh at the age of 26, the youngest mayor in the history of any major American city. City council members are chosen by plurality elections in each of nine districts. (Information supplied by Wikipedia)


Entrance to Pittburgh's City-County Building


On other pages
Philadelphia City Hall
Conceived in the 1860s as a monument to Philadelphia’s industrial might, Philadelphia City Hall was better known for much of its history as a monument to corruption and excess instead. Intended to be the world’s tallest structure when construction began in 1871, it had been eclipsed by the Washington Monument and the Eiffel Tower by the time it was completed thirty years later. On at least two separate occasions in the 20th century, proposals to demolish it were seriously considered. Now, more than a century after its completion, it stands as a beloved landmark, the symbolic and literal heart of a great American metropolis, placed astride the intersection of its two principal streets, Broad and Market.

Philadelphia City Hall remains today the tallest occupied masonry building in the world, and with more interior space than the U.S. Capitol, it is also one of the largest municipal buildings in the United States and the world. Designed by Philadelphia architect John McArthur, the building is considered one of the finest examples of French Second Empire architecture in the United States, with a mansard-roofed three-story façade that disguises its eight-story bulk. More