2014 is quite the year for major Bronx anniversaries. The Bronx County Courthouse and our beloved Borough Hall celebrates the 80th anniversary of the opening of its doors for official business.
In 1934, just 20 years after Bronx County was created, the grand old building was opened up by Mayor LaGuardia in a 3 day celebration of the building’s construction. LaGuardia even moved the seat of government for New York City to the Bronx for 3 days to mark the occasion.
The Neo-Classical building was designed by architects Joseph H. Freelander and Max Hausle and cost the city about $8 million dollars to build (adjusted for inflation, that translates to over $145 million dollars in 2014 but rest assure that due to the high quality of its construction, that number is probably more than double). Numerous sculptures surround the building depicting various scenes, including one of Moses carrying the Ten Commandments as a group carries the Ark of the Covenant behind him.
In 1983, the Bronx County Courthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and in 1996 was declared a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Committee. In 2006, a 10,000 square foot green roof was created making it the second municipal building in the country to feature a green roof and the first in New York City.
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The interior of the building is equally as impressive but several murals depicting Bronx history are in desperate need of repair, which finally the city has committed to saving.
I may be biased in saying so, but I do think our borough hall is the grandest of the outer boroughs (take a look at the other borough halls below and decide for yourself!)
Also being celebrated in the Bronx this year is the 100th anniversary of the creation of Bronx County (and separation from New York County) as well as the 375th anniversary of the Jonas Bronck becoming the first European settler of our borough.
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