The Montreal City Hall in Canada has been named as one of Canada’s National Historic Sites. Upon seeing the building, it is easy to see why. One of the city’s more striking buildings, the architecture of the Montreal City Hall is modeled after French architecture during the Second Empire.
The current Montreal City Hall stands five stories tall and is constructed from natural stone. A dramatic steeple rises above the central front door of the imperial-looking building.
Construction of the original Montreal City Hall began in September 1872, and the building was inaugurated six years later. The Montreal City Hall is located in Old Montreal, the historic city center initially settled in 1642. Also known as Montreal’s Hôtel de Ville, the interior also was designed with a decorative, grand architectural style that matches the exterior. A fire in 1922 destroyed the original structure, and city officials decided to rebuild it using the same decorative, Baroque-type style as featured in the original building.
The Montreal City Hall’s interior Hall of Honor features portraits of Montreal’s mayors through the years. This hall also features Italian marble and is decorated with a bronze chandelier that weighs more than 2,000 pounds. At night, the building is illuminated by one hundred blue lights, creating a dramatic effect in the city’s center.
The mayor has an office in the current Montreal City Hall and other city officials also have offices there. Day to day city business is carried on there, but visitors are still allowed to sign up for a half hour tour. Much of the building being used officially is closed to the public, but visitors still can see enough of the interior to get an idea of the grand architectural style of the building.