8. George Washington’s Desk is in the Governor’s Room

There are four items associated with George Washington in City Hall. The most prominent is the desk George Washington used that now sits in the Governors Room. The desk was once located in Federal Hall, the first capitol building for the United States and where Washington was inaugurated as President and presided over Congress.

But after the original Federal Hall was torn down, the desk somehow ended up in Bellevue Hospital. Betts tells us there’s a “close to horrifying City Council resolution that was passed in 1844,” that demanded the immediate removal of the writing table to the Governor’s Room. The secretary style desk has functional drawers on the front and back sides, but the side drawers are decorative. It is believed that the imprint “WASHINGTON’S WRITING TABLE” was likely added in the move back to City Hall. The desk has been widely copied as a desirable piece of furniture for the country’s elite.

Almost all the furniture in the Governor’s Room is original to City Hall. The sofa and the benches were made for the Governor’s Room, designed by Charles Christian. The the arm chairs were made for the original City Council chamber.

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