City Hall History
Looking back on City Hall's milestones:
- On August 29, 1891, the Common Council passed a resolution which called for a design contest for the proposed City Hall. Eleven applicants submitted designs.
- On February 24 1894, the cornerstone of the building was laid.
- On December 23, 1895, City Hall was dedicated by Mayor Koch.
- On December 31, 1896, the bell in the tower was rung for the first time to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
- In 1923, the slate roof on the tower was replaced by copper construction at a cost of $14,000.
- In October of 1925 the bell tower was silenced by decree of Mayor Daniel Hoan because it was believed that the vibrations were causing structural damage to the bell tower.
- On October 9, 1929, The bell tower was partially destroyed by fire. It was later repaired using the original blueprints.
- On July 4, 1940, the bell in the tower was rung for the first time in nearly fifteen years to celebrate Independence Day, starting a Fourth of July tradition for the City of Milwaukee.
- On July 17, 1970, City Hall was declared a local landmark by a resolution passed by the Milwaukee Landmarks Commission. The building has since been recognized by the Historic American Buildings Survey as an “important example of our architectural heritage.”
- On March 14, 1973, Milwaukee City Hall was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Between 1973 and 1974, exterior restoration work including cleaning and repainting mortar joints was completed.
- In October 1995, the centennial of City Hall was celebrated and the Common Council introduced plans to overhaul the Common Council meeting rooms on the third floor.
- On April 5, 2005, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior designated Milwaukee City Hall as a National Historic Landmark.