(Editor’s note: This article has been corrected to identify the correct original designer of the gates.)
It’s taken more than 14 years, but City Hall is finally getting a new front door. Four of them, in fact.
Check out the handsome, historically appropriate gates going up this week in the portals that lead to City Hall’s central courtyard. Pretty nice, huh? These were still under construction when we spotted them — one assumes those girders on either side of the gates will be hidden somehow.
Take a look at that detail:
The plans for these gates — which are replacing some really pathetic cyclone fences — were actually approved all the way back in 2001, when City Hall’s exterior was in the midst of a huge renovation. The gate’s design was drawn up by the architecture firm Vitetta, but they’re based on sketches made by John McArthur Jr., the original architect of City Hall. (And yes, Vitetta is the firm Democratic mayoral nominee Jim Kenney did consulting work for for many years. For all the backstory on that, click here.)
The money to pay for the gates didn’t materialize as expected, however, and so the plans were set aside.
But then Dilworth Park opened, throwing the profound lameness of the cyclone gates into stark relief. So the old plans were dusted off, the city found about $1.5 million to have them built and installed, and, voila, here they are — almost.