My Photography · Photography in History

Albany City Hall Bell

Here are some images I took of the original Albany NY City Hall Bell that now resides in Albany’s Lincoln Park.

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On September 28th in 1883, ‘s original bell was hoisted and hung inside the bell tower. This city hall building was a Greek revival and was built using white marble with its entry porch supported by four Doric columns. The roof had an illuminating gilded dome. The interior was simple, with little ornamentation, though a full-length statue of Alexander Hamilton stood proudly in the center of the upper hall.

Here’s City Hall just after completion in 1883.

Old black-and-white photo shows a stone building with four columns in front and a domed roof.

The building was destroyed by fire in the 1880’s but the bell survived, further lasting an additional 44 years in the replacement structure, completed in 1897.

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City Hall’s Historic Bell was replaced by its carillon in 1927, which was a HUGE deal.

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It contained sixty bells (though it could produce only 47 different notes since top notes have double bells) made by John Taylor & Co in England and financed by public donations (from upwards of 25,000 people), it cost $63,000 ($8.67 million in modern dollars) and was the first municipal carillon in the United States.

The carillon is still in use today and plays multiple concerts during the week while the original bell sits snuggly in the park listening on.

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