City Hall built atop 3,128 pilings

The building's construction is of iron and brick, faced with Westerly granite on the Dorrance and Washington Street sides and New Hampshire granite on the other two sides.The sidewalks are granite blocks, 5 to 6 feet wide and 18 to 20 feet long. The entire structure was built on an artificial foundation set atop 3,128 pilings driven deep into the underlying hardpan.

The cornerstone was set in place on June 24, 1875. After three years in construction, the city's first municipal government building became operational on November 14, 1878.

The early days -- Workers in the City Clerks Office shortly after City Hall opened. Note gas lamps.Electricity was installed soon thereafter.

City Hall then became the geographic and governmental center of the city, and its workers moved into what was the finest post-Civil War civic building in the state.When City Hall opened, it comprised a subbasement, basement (today's ground floor), and four upper floors. Gas light fixtures, some of which remain in place today, lighted all the rooms.