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Icon Information on BRG49 - (City Hall Construction Records)

Series Information
(City Hall Construction Records)

Series Description

A number of different buildings housed Baltimore's municipal government prior to the Civil War. By 1867, however, it was determined that a permanent structure designed for the local government's special needs was necessary and a building committee for its construction was formed.

Work proceeded rapidly at first, the cornerstone being laid for the building in October 1867. But after charges of fraud were made against the building committee members in 1868, the municipal government was compelled to cancel all previously awarded contracts. A new committee supervised the reawarding of contracts, but in 1869 it too was dissolved. A third and final committee directed the project from this point until its completion in 1875. Despite these administrative problems, the building actually cost $225,000 less than what was appropriated for it and the architectural style was widely acclaimed.

In 1975, the city hall was temporarily vacated for a complete restoration. This work ended the following year and the structure continues to serve as the headquarters of the municipal government today.

For further information see Bernard B. Perlman, "The City Hall, Baltimore," Maryland Historical Magazine 47 (March 1952): 40-54; The City Hall, Baltimore: History of Construction and Dedication (Baltimore: Mayor and City Council, 1877); Feasibility Study for the Restoration and Renovation of the Baltimore City Hall (Baltimore: Architectural Heritage - Baltimore, Inc.,1974); and Frank J. Sebold, "History of City Hall," Classified Municipal Employees Association Yearbook, 1935, pp. 7-11.

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DateSeries NameDescriptionMSA Citation
  Details1867-1875City Hall Construction Records

Mostly correspondence from contractors concerning bids. Other records include contracts, bonds, reports, bills, and receipts for all phases of construction.

See separate item index at the Baltimore City Archives.

  Details1869-1975LedgersRecord of financial transactions relating to the building of City Hall. Accounts are divided between non-construction, general construction, materials sales, salaries, equipment and supplies, and miscellaneous expenditures. A name index is provided for volume one only.BRG49-2
  Details1867-1868MinutesHandwritten minutes of weekly and monthly meetings of the Building Committee for the New City Hall. The minutes are brief and concern general organizational matters, such as the election of a secretary, superintendent, and architect for the committee. The minutes also discuss the progress of the committee in the proposed construction of City Hall.BRG49-3
  Details1870-1875Building Committee Record BooksThese volumes contain records of the committee's progress in constructing the City Hall. The records consist of minutes, superintendent's reports, bills approved for payment, construction contract accounts, salary accounts, and materials and labor reports relating to the building of the new City Hall.BRG49-4
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