DDC Celebrates Completion of City Hall Steps Renovation Project

The renovated steps outside of City Hall. Image Credit: DDC.

On January 19, 2024, the Department of Design and Construction announced the completion of the renovation of the historic steps in front of City Hall in Lower Manhattan. City Hall is a designated New York City landmark. 

The project replaced the granite treads and risers and added new granite pavers to the building’s portico. The building’s bluestone pavers were repaired, and a new ADA-compliant lift, ramp, walkway, and automatic door were installed to improve accessibility. A brick-lined vault in the building’s basement was restored with waterproofing added to protect the space.

The project, which began in January 2023, cost $4.6 million. The project was completed on schedule and cost 17.5 percent below the original budget of $5.576 million. Most recently, the Department of Design and Construction completed an interior renovation and roof repair project at City Hall in June 2015.

During construction, the fence around the site featured two art exhibits. The first, from the “Percent for Art” program, celebrates the program’s 40th anniversary. The Percent for Art program commissions site-specific art for public facilities to make art more accessible to the public. The program had launched in 1983 under Mayor Ed Koch, and the law required that one percent of the budget for City-funded construction projects that were eligible be spent on art for City facilities. Since the program’s launch, over 370 Percent for Art projects have been completed with an accumulated value of over $65 million. The second exhibit featured artwork from students from PS 130M Hernando Desoto School in Chinatown. Students from the school got to visit the exhibit to see their art on display and were given a tour of City Hall afterward. 

DDC Commissioner Thomas Foley stated, “City Hall remains one of the City’s most architecturally significant buildings and preserving its historic nature both inside and out was a high priority. The design team used old drawings to determine the paving pattern in the portico and the placement of the handrails, and the new ADA lift and walkway match the color of the building’s limestone façade. Congratulations to the DDC team that finished this project on time and under budget, including our designer CTA Architects, our contractor Nicholson & Galloway and our M/WBE construction management firm McKissack.”

Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Dawn M. Pinnock stated, “The steps at City Hall are not only of historical significance, they’re of great civic significance as well, hosting thousands of celebrations, demonstrations, rallies and events over the past 200 years. We are thankful to DDC for their expert management of this project, bringing the entrance to City Hall into the 21st century, and expanding access and ease of use so that all New Yorkers are able to enter and experience this famed facility firsthand.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the Editor of CityLand and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)



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