An imposing sight incorporating Roman, Renaissance, classical, and beaux arts styles, the David N. Dinkins Manhattan Municipal Building is one of the world’s largest government office buildings. Constructed in 1914, then named after a former New York City mayor in 2015, the structure is a draw for architecture and history fans.
Standing 40 stories high, just north of the Brooklyn Bridge, the David N. Dinkins building makes a big statement. Fronted by a triumphal-style arch, the structure is crowned by a central tower and gilded copper statue symbolizing New York City’s boroughs. Guided excursions focused on the food and history of the area typically include a pause to admire and discuss the building’s facade, as do select Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge walking and biking tours.
Things to Know Before You Go
- It’s possible to enter the ground floor of the David N. Dinkins building, but you must go through security screening. Also, the plain interior doesn’t match up to the magnificent exterior.
- The ground floor is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
Located at the intersection of Centre and Chamber streets, just east of City Hall Park, the David N. Dinkins building is easy to get to by subway. Take the 1, 2, A, C, or E line to Chamber Street station, or the 4, 5, 6, J, or M line to Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall. Drivers will find several paid parking garages in the area.
When to Get There
The ground floor of the David N. Dinkins Manhattan Municipal Building is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. For a beautiful view, walk along the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset or at night, when the building’s tower and statue are illuminated.
Must-Sees at the David N. Dinkins Municipal Building
From City Hall Park, gaze up at the figure of Civic Fame atop the central tower—her 5-point crown signifies the city’s five boroughs. Then, get closer to see the central entrance arch and plaza—the latter’s columns appear embedded in the main structure. Finally, head to the building’s CityStore, where you’ll find a top-notch collection of official NYC souvenirs and books.