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City Hall, New York
Completed in 1812, City Hall, New York., was an architectural achievement and an expression of New York City’s pride and cosmopolitanism. City Hall, New York. is featured in at least three prints by Currier & Ives, and can be compared with The Burning of City Hall of New York on the Night of 17th August 1858 (displayed nearby), as well as The Life of a Fireman. The Race – “Jump Her Boys, Jump Her!” where it can be seen in the background. On August 17th, 1858, a firework display to celebrate the successful laying of the Atlantic Cable went awry, lighting the tower on fire. New Yorkers continued to celebrate the success of the project with another round of fireworks on September 1st, even though it put many structures at risk.
Currier & Ives produced more than 100 prints of New York, many of which appealed to the tourists who visited the city and wanted to return home with a souvenir of their travels. Other images were purchased by New Yorkers as evidence of civic pride. The firm produced three versions of City Hall. In this early print, the structure is shown from the southeast with flags flying high on the building. A sign on the trolley states that its route is "Park Row - Bowery." The print was designed by J. Schutz, considered to be the best "lettering" artist in the firm.
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