Life Begins at 50! Celebrating Binghamton City Hall’s Birthday
The "new" Binghamton City Hall was dedicated a half-century ago and it remains one of the most impressive parts of the downtown governmental plaza.
City offices were moved from the nearby Municipal Building in December 1972. According to the Binghamton Press, about 500 people filled the "cavernous City Council building" for the dedication ceremonies.
The project carried a price tag of $6 million. The City Hall facilities were constructed near the State Office Building and the Broome County Office Building.
According to the newspaper: "The heart of the new building is in the mayor's huge fourth-floor office and reception area, which includes a kitchenette and the mayor's private bathroom complete with shower."
The three governmental office buildings were designed as "box-like" structures. The City Council building was unique with a plaza-level base that is triangular. The structure is 85 feet tall on its west side.
The ceiling of the council chamber is more than 55 feet above the floor where lawmakers sit.
The inexplicably high ceiling made it impossible to easily change light bulbs. City engineer Brian Kessler acknowledged that it was a "case where ease of replacement of bulbs was sacrificed for an architectural feature."
In 1996, the Press & Sun-Bulletin noted: "Even in the best of times, the lighting and acoustical equipment has seemed ill-suited to the structure, inviting derogatory comments from council members and others for years."
About $100,000 was spent on council chamber renovations at that time. The city last year used $659,000 in federal Covid relief funds to repair the building's roof.
A $2.1 million "green roof" was installed at the City Hall complex in 2020.
Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: email@example.com or (607) 545-2250. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.