Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Built between 1869 and 1880, the striking City Hall Post Office bordered the southern side of City Hall Park in lower Manhattan, just across from the Brooklyn Bridge. Notice the Third Avenue trolley line turning station in front of the building, which traveled as far north as Washington Heights and carried 65,000 passengers a day.
Unfortunately, the building was never considered an attractive addition to New York's skyline, dubbed "Mullet's monstrosity" in dubious honor of its architect. As the city worked to beautify itself for the 1939 World's Fair, the building was gleefully demolished as City Hall Park was extended. Certainly, the grounds of that park remain uninspired to this day. By 1957, the trolley lines were also a distant memory, as buses replaced them for surface public transportation.The image above offers an ideal view of the Post Office building's squatty setting in Tribeca, with the beloved, much grander Woolworth Building to the right. You can see where City Hall Park once ended just in front of the post office.