On May 22, 2006, the Philadelphia Section conducted a ceremony to formally cite Philadelphia’s City Hall as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. The weather cooperated with a fine sunny spring afternoon for a short dedication event on the North Plaza of the building, followed by a reception and lunch inside at Conversation Hall. A crowd of over 200 people turned out for the event, which was well-covered by local media.
City Hall is literally in the heart of Philadelphia, in Center Square – William Penn’s exact geographical center of his Plan of Philadelphia. This building, designed by Philadelphia architect John McArthur, is the largest municipal building in the United States and the largest masonry building in the world. The 510-foot structure, topped by a 37-foot statue of William Penn, took 30 years to build, finally being completed and opened for use in 1901. It is undergoing a major renovation which includes its first exterior cleaning.
The plaque recognizing City Hall as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark was mounted in the East Portal of the building prior to the dedication ceremony, and a photo replica of it was unveiled at the dedication.
Dignitaries attending the ceremony included, from the left to right: ASCE District 4 Director, Peter Terry; ASCE Executive Director, Pat Natale; 2006 ASCE President, Dennis Martenson; ASCE Philadelphia Section President, Carol Martsolf; ASCE Philadelphia Section Past President, Christopher Menna; Assistant Managing Director, City of Philadelphia, James Donaghy; Chief of Staff, Office of Philadelphia City Councilman Francis Rizzo, Stewart Graham; ASCE Treasurer, Moustafa Gouda ; ASCE Zone I Vice President, Anni Autio ; and Philadelphia Section ASCE Past President, Ruben David.