What remains of a once-proud Bronx borough hall

Would anyone try to put a photo of the current Bronx Borough Hall on a souvenir postcard today? Probably not. But the Bronx’s first city building, now that’s another story.


Completed in 1897, the year before the Bronx joined the new five-borough New York City, this brick and terracotta Renaissance-style edifice was situated high on a bluff in today’s Tremont Park, facing Third and East Tremont Avenues.

BronxboroughhallnyplA grand staircase was added in 1899 to ease the way down the sharp incline toward Third Avenue.

Lovely, right? Too bad it’s one of those structures that never received much affection.

By the 1900s, as the Bronx was transforming itself from a more rural “annexed” district to a crowded urban enclave, borough officials complained that the building was too small.

StaircaseparkodysseyWhen a new borough building went up on the Grand Concourse in 1935, most city offices moved with it.

By the 1960s, only the Bronx marriage license office stayed behind. After a fire, the city knocked down Old Borough Hall in 1968.

All that remains is the ghostly grand staircase, seen above in a 2014 photo from the website Park Odyssey.

 [Middle photo: NYPL Digital Gallery]

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4 Responses to “What remains of a once-proud Bronx borough hall”

  1. TheGildedButler.com Says:

    What an awesome building. I am pretty fascinated by that area lately. My great grandfather built and owned the Grand Concourse Plaza Hotel back in the 20s. he, my great grandmother and my grandfather Lived in the penthouse of the building during the ritzy days when all the yankees, including Babe Ruth, routinely stayed at the hotel. I will be posting about that on my blog in a few months. Keep up the great posts! I really enjoy your site.

  2. Crotona Park, Bronx – Says:

    […] with rows of identical six-story apartments. To the park’s north, Tremont Park housed the old Bronx Borough Hall from 1897 to 1969. On the northeast, a linear park, Crotona Parkway linked to Bronx […]

  3. Ricardo Soto-Lopez Says:

    This is such a loss. My parents got their marriage license there in 1962. we have lost so much architectural history in The Bronx. So sad!

  4. A LOOK AT MELROSE COMMONS - Forgotten New York Says:

    […] had identifiable “county seats,” this borough’s administrative functions were spread out: the first Borough Hall was in Tremont Park; while the courthouse was in Melrose, and the main post office was on E. 149th […]

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