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Bay City Hall

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1894–1897, Leverett A. Pratt and Walter Koeppe; late 1970s restoration, Wigen, Tincknell, Meyer and Associates. 301 N. Washington St.
  • Bay City Hall (HABS)
  • Bay City Hall (HABS)
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)

Led by Alderman Kroeneke, voters approved in 1889 a bond issue to erect a modern new building to satisfy the needs of a growing and prosperous city. They conceived of an office for all time, one with ample capacity, convenience, and beauty. The Bay City Hall is a massive and magnificent public monument designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. Its corner clock and bell tower soars 180 feet above the east bank of the Saginaw River in a gesture of civic spirit and pride. The city hall is constructed of granite and of light grayish-yellowish-brown Berea sandstone quarried at Amherst, Ohio. Inside, a spacious atrium extends from the ground floor some 65 feet to a huge skylight. A splendid staircase with an elaborately scrolled cast-iron banister rises through all four floors of the building. The interior offers a rich display of ornamental metal and woodwork.

The city hall was designed by Pratt (b. 1849) and Koeppe (d. 1912) of Bay City. On March 22, 1897, the mayor described the new building as, “Beautiful in conception, artistic and finished to its smallest detail, convenient in arrangement, and admirably adapted to every need of the public service, it leaves nothing to be desired.” Restored in the late 1970s, the building remains one of the last grand old city halls in the state still serving as the seat of city government.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


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Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Bay City Hall", [Bay City, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 325-325.

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