View the grand and lavish exterior of this late 19th-century building, which still serves as Jersey City’s seat of government and a place to get married.
The City Hall of Jersey City has been at the center of political life in the city since it was first erected. Admire the Victorian and classical architectural details of the landmark building and venture inside to see where Jersey couples go to apply for marriage licenses.
The city hall building was completed in 1896 under the direction of architect Lewis H. Broome, who won the commission through an open competition. Survey the stately façade, which features pediments and a raised columned porch accessible by steps. Though it is now a much-loved feature in the Jersey City landscape, it was not always so well received and attracted some criticism when it was first unveiled.
Examine the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial located outside the hall. The monument, which was erected in 1899 and designed by French-born artist Philip H. Martiny, comprises a bronze sculpture of a seated female wearing a helmet and holding a laurel wreath in her right arm. Said to be inspired by the Roman goddess of war, Bellona, the statue holds a sword in her left hand, while a shield lies at her feet. Inspect the pedestal upon which she sits, which is inscribed with the names of Civil War veterans and battles.
The city hall is used for city worker offices, including that of the city clerk. Try to spot couples entering the building to apply for marriage licenses or leaving with wide smiles. Inside, many original features, including stained-glass windows, plaster friezes and fine wood furnishings, have been reinstated and repaired as part of a project completed in 2008.
Explore the plaza around the complex. This area often hosts various summer events including street food festivals. If a food festival happens to be on during your visit, purchase a snack and eat it on the landscaped grassy area in front of the city hall.
Find the City Hall of Jersey City in Downtown Jersey City, near Van Vorst Park. Take the light rail train to Marin Boulevard; the city hall is less than a 10-minute walk from there.