Courtyard of Seattle's City Hall



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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


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


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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


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


Seattle City Hall
By Gregor Gosciniak and Cathleen Winter

1 August 2008: Seattle City Hall, with its environmentally friendly “green” roof and other state-of-the-art features, expresses the spirit of the modern Northwest. Built to endure for at least 100 years, it is part of the three-block Seattle Civic Centre. The complex is located at 600 Fourth Avenue and houses offices and chambers for the Mayor, the City Council, City Attorney and other local government departments.

In the mid-1990s Seattle was faced with decisions on what to do about its ageing city government buildings. Renovation and reconstruction were found to be both too expensive and inefficient. Seattle local government was at the time housed in an old skyscraper, known as the Municipal Building. In 1997 the City Council decided on a smaller City Hall that would be placed in the middle of a new Civic Centre occupying three blocks. Construction work began in 2001.
 
Architect Peter Bohlin, of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and Bassetti Architects, and landscape architect Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd., together with their design teams, planned the new structure. The City of Seattle instructed them to adhere to three criteria in the creation of the new City Hall: it must be open and welcoming for citizens, show respect for the environment, and be built to last a hundred years.

As construction neared completion in the summer of 2003, Rick Sundberg, a former chairman of the Seattle Design Committee, observed: “My hope is that the council chamber ensemble will become more a symbol of our city than the Space Needle and the monorail.”

Seattle City Hall is today the symbolic heart of the Civic Centre, and an important public landmark that invites citizens to participate in and celebrate their community, while creating an efficient workplace for City government. The working institution of City government is located in a seven-storey tower, with the mayor’s office at the top. Ceremonial and legislative aspects are located in the two-storey council chamber. These different parts are linked by a glazed public lobby with its “green” roof consisting of a multi-layered waterproofing membrane integrated with a soil support system requiring minimal maintenance. It is estimated that the roof reduces annual storm water runoff by 50 to 75 per cent. The roof is not accessible, but can be viewed from the elevator lobbies between the third and seventh floors.

This office block is built to be environmentally friendly. Almost all of the outer walls are made of glass. Daylight pervades the building, reducing the need for artificial light, while an under floor air distribution system helps to reduce energy consumption. Rainwater is stored in an underground cistern for reuse within the building and in the watering of the roof.
This transparent glass building is in itself an expression of open government in Seattle. The glass structure of City Hall, especially as it glows by night, has come to represent a civic focus for the downtown area.

Within the building a 20-metre long blue glass bridge, designed by artist James Carpenter, connects tower with chamber and overlooks the Civic Plaza and the beautiful landscape outside.  The bridge is the first application of DuPont™ SentryGlas® Secure™ technology worldwide, created by Carpenters JCD Associates of New York. In summary,  the new Seattle City Hall expresses with elegance and grace the modern spirit of the Northwest United States.

Greg Nickels, the 51st Mayor of Seattle, was elected in 2001. On 8 November 2005 he was elected to a second term. Prior to becoming mayor, he was legislative assistant to Seattle City Council members.


The grass-covered roof of Seattle City Hall


On other pages
San Francisco City Hall
Even though San Francisco has less than a million inhabitants, it has one of the biggest and most beautiful city halls in the US, with a dome taller than that of the Capitol in Washington DC. San Francisco City Hall, which opened in 1916 after the old City Hall was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake, is one of the best examples of Beaux Arts architecture in the world, and it is considered to have one of the most important interior spaces in the United States.

The Beaux Arts (French for ‘fine art’) style originated in the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. Many American architects studied at this architectural school, where they learned about the aesthetic principles of classical design and brought them to the United States. The style combines classical architecture from ancient Greece and Rome with Renaissance ideas. Beaux Arts is characterised by order, symmetry, formal design, grandiosity, and elaborate ornamentation. Due to the size and grandiosity of the buildings, the Beaux Arts style is most commonly used for public buildings like museums, railway stations, libraries, banks, courthouses, and government buildings.

San Francisco City Hall was build by Arthur Brown, who born in 1874. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1896, where he and his future partner, John Bakewell were students under the popular Bay Area architect Bernard Maybeck. Arthur Brown completed his education in Paris where he graduated from L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1901. More