In 1898, New York was quickly becoming the largest city in the country, and the need for larger facilities for municipal functions was greater than ever. The city hosted numerous design competitions to resolve this need, and in 1908, finally secured the land for the site to incorporate a trolley hub at the Manhattan-side base of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The winning entry of the competition, beating eleven other designs, was submitted by William Mitchell Kendall, a junior partner at the prestigious firm of McKim, Mead & White. Despite being the largest US architectural firm, and the most prolific and respected, until then, MMW had never completed a skyscraper. The Manhattan Municipal building was to be their first. In fact, the project was considered at the time to be the largest governmental office building in the world. 

Written by Babak Bryan (@BabakBRYAN)

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