Historic Photos
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Historic Photos
Construction of the City Hall and Courthouse building was a feat to say the least. Huge blocks of granite -- some weighing as much as 26 tons each -- were transported by train from Ortonville, Minnesota. The downtown Minneapolis landscape also has changed significantly since the building's inception in the late 1800s. As time has passed and events have occurred, the building has endured as a lasting icon for Minneapolis and Hennepin County. Peruse the historic photo archive for a look into the founding and life of the City Hall and Courthouse as well as some close-ups of key building features.


Image Gallery: Historic Photo Archive
Installing the Copper Roof.  
The original roof of the City Hall and Courthouse was of red slate tile. Because of the extreme temperature changes, these heavy tiles occasionally fell to the street below endangering passersby. This prompted the MBC to install a copper roof over the original roof, of which the underside may still be seen today from inside the attic. Because of the pitch of the roof, a specially designed cart was invented to carry the steeplejacks up and down the steep incline.  Original City Council Chamber.  
The original city council chambers, located on the third floor of the City Hall and Courthouse, was the most elaborately decorated interior when the building opened to the public. Among its extraordinary features was a ceiling that soared overhead with vaults that occupied part of the fifth floor. City Hall and Courthouse Office.  
A typical office is shown in this photograph dating around the turn of the 20th-century. Note the rug on the floor and paintings on the walls. What remains today are only the beautifully paneled doors. Father of Waters.  
Mississippi, or the Father of Waters as he is better known, has graced the rotunda of City Hall and Courthouse since 1904. Sculpted from the largest piece of marble taken from the famed Carrara quarries in Italy, he weighs over 14,000 pounds.
See all 24 images.