Here are some fast facts about Brooklyn Borough Hall.
The cornerstone was laid and foundations were dug in 1836. Due to financial problems, construction was halted until 1845.
Construction of the building was completed in 1851.
The building is Greek Revival architectural style, as characterized by its symmetrical design and low-pitched front gable.
The building was originally named Brooklyn City Hall. When Brooklyn was consolidated into the five boroughs of New York City in 1898, it was renamed Brooklyn Borough Hall.
Like Brooklyn Itself, She’s a Survivor
On February 26, 1895, a lighted gas jet caused a waste paper fire inside the building. It destroyed the upper floors and original cupola. When repaired, this space became the courthouse for the Appellate Division, Second Department.
It’s cast iron cupola was put in place in 1898 to replace the original, which was lost in the 1895 fire. In 1988, a statue of Lady Justice was added to the top of the cupola.
During the 1930′s, some called Borough Hall historically and architecturally insignificant and wanted the building to be torn down, but it survived.
In 1966, it was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, which called it, “a dignified civic structure of impressive scale.” It is also listed on the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places.
During the 1980′s building restorations included stone work, clock repair and the rotunda, its two story lobby.
Brooklyn Borough Hall and Pop-Culture
Those familiar with the 1970′s TV series Welcome Back, Kotter may remember the sign that appeared in the show’s opening credits that read “Welcome to Brooklyn, 4th largest city in America, Hon. Sebastian Leone Borough President”. A copy of the sign hangs in the lobby of Borough Hall.
Brooklyn Borough Hall is frequently used as a backdrop for filming locations. Most recently, its interiors and exteriors appeared in TV shows Gossip Girl and 666 Park Avenue.