Philadelphia City Hall

Philadelphia, PA


The nation’s largest municipal building (even larger than the U.S. Capitol Building), Philadelphia City Hall was built in the Second Empire Mode of French Renaissance Revival style, with construction spanning 30 years. The building boasts eight bronze sculptures by Alexander Milne Calder and thousands of smaller sculptures adorn the monumental façade.

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Scope of work

  • Inspected and documented eight principal bronze sculptures, providing hand-sketched drawings and photographs.
  • Obtained samples of sculpture material including surface patination, soiling and fill materials.
  • Used SeeSnake® and live-feed video to inspect behavior of sculptures and to assist communication with prospective conservation contractors.
  • Inspected steel and cast iron cladding on the tower in order to identify sources and causes of ongoing water infiltration.
  • Documented condition of cladding panels, paint and fasteners on the tower. Deliverables included annotated elevations with supplemental video and still photograhy.

Original architect

  • John MacArthur Jr, John Ord and W. Bleddyn Powell (completed in 1901)

Building owner

  • The City of Philadelphia

In collaboration with

  • The City of Philadelphia Office of Arts and Culture
  • Keast and Hood Co.
    structural engineer