New York City Hall Renovation

New York City Hall

Location New York, NY

Client New York City Department of Design and Construction (NYCDDC)

Services Construction Management, Project Management

Project Value $200 million

Hill provided construction management services for the award-winning renovation of the 200-year-old New York City Hall in Lower Manhattan. Renovations included exterior and roofing improvements; refinishing the iconic steps; installation of new electrical, fire, A/V, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems; modernization of elevators; and the complete renovation of all interior spaces. Project innovations included micro-tunneling to accommodate IT connections with minimal impacts to the building and sustainable “Bloom Boxes” to deliver electricity to the building. In addition, the team completed the project while the building remained occupied and open for tours and official business, requiring a detailed and complex phasing plan. 

Built in 1812, City Hall is among the nation’s oldest governmental facilities. As the central hub for many of New York’s political and public affairs, the elegant French and American-Georgian inspired building serves as the primary seat of government for the City, housing the offices of the Mayor, the City Council Chamber, the New York Design Commission, and various support offices for the City’s Executive and Legislative branches of government. 

The initial scope of work for the renovation entailed a series of independent building upgrades and enhancements designed to meet the new and evolving needs of the building’s diverse occupants, as well as to comply with new fire and life safety codes. Preliminary design surveys conducted during the early developmental phases of the project, however, yielded that considerably poor building conditions, coupled with widespread structural deficiencies, demanded further additions to the scope of work, unexpectedly catapulting the project into a comprehensive rehabilitation program.

The scope included the addition of a new cellar below the existing basement for mechanical spaces, installation of sprinkler and fire alarm life/safety systems, complete upgrade of the buildings mechanical systems, and complete renovation of the City Council areas of the building. The scope of work also included the restoration and preservation of the Historic City Council Chamber and artwork; installation of new A/V and broadcast systems; and complete electrical service upgrades, including installation of new 4000 AMP service, new distribution and emergency feeders, new switchgear and distribution panels, panel boards, and branch lines and electrical devices. In addition to the work at City Hall, the project also provided for new connections and replacement of existing control and emergency system connections between City Hall and the control center located at the Tweed Building.

The dense, urban environment surrounding the project created additional challenges for the team, including restrictions to site access, a constrained work perimeter, indefinite field conditions, heightened security, and unexpected expansions to the scope of work. Tourist traffic, regular vetting of building materials and workers, and a heavily populated public park setting were all critical factors in Hill’s management approach. 

“As Construction Manager, Hill’s approach to controlling the project and delivering innovative and feasible solutions to challenges has been integral to guiding the project to a successful completion.” -David J. Burney, FAIA, Commissioner

Hill was awarded the Platinum Reconstruction Award from Building Design + Construction Magazine, a Gold Vision Award from Constructech Magazine, an Award of Merit from ENR, and Project of the Year from CMAA’s Metro New York/New Jersey Chapter for the project.