City Hall, also known Stadt Huys, was the original grounds of where the city hall was. Just like any city hall, the Stadt Huys was the center of the settlers’ lives as it served a variety of purposes. This city hall would become a representation of the unity that would create a dynamic settlement. Although originally meant to be a tavern, the historic site would turn to be the center of New Amsterdam as declared by leader Peter Stuyvesant. In 1653, the colonists would officially sign a municipal chapter that would declare New Amsterdam a city of the New World. An excerpt from this declaration, the first from Stadt Huys, “….herewith [to] inform everybody that they shall hold their regular meetings in the house hitherto called the City Tavern, henceforth the City Hall, on Monday mornings from 9 o’clock, to hear there all questions of difference between litigants and decide them the best they can.[i]” This building was constructed using a 17th century style layout. The building served as a reminder of the city’s accomplishments and the power it looked to obtain as one of the new cities of the New World. By the time the British had fully taken over the island of Manhattan, the City Hall was demolished by 1699, standing a total of twenty years.[ii]
[i] Shorto, Russell. The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America. New York: Doubleday, 2004
[ii] Burns, Ric, James Sanders, and Lisa Ades. New York: An Illustrated History. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.