3. The NYC That Never Was: Architectural Competitions for a New City Hall

A proposal for City Hall by Benjamin Henry Latrobe. Image from Library of Congress.

During the debate about the merits of City Hall, there was an architectural competition for a new one. The architect Charles B. Atwood had already throughly studied City Hall, with the idea that it may one day need to be expanded or renovated. He found out about the City Hall competition a day before it was due, but in that time completed the full set of drawings needed. Missing one requirement of the competition, his entry was eliminated but because his design was deemed superior, he was given a special prize and permitted to fully complete his work later. The above drawing from 1903 is from a later proposal, after Atwood’s death, for an expanded City Hall.