Friday, October 4, 2019

Revealing What's Hidden

On Wednesday, Gossips published a post about the four possible ways to make City Hall ADA compliant: "Considering City Hall." The fourth plan, which would make the entire building universally accessible, would open up the atrium, an architectural feature of the original building that was closed up when the building became City Hall in 1962, and reveal the stained glass laylight in the ceiling of the building's top floor. I commented then that "no one who hasn't had reason to visit the Department of Public Works map room has ever seen [it]." 

Since publishing that post, Gossips has gotten a picture of the laylight, and here it is, for all to see.



  1. we used to call it Charlie's chapel .. we could never get into the room and explore until Mike Sassi came into the picture briefly and Michael was commissioner . We found so much information in the maps and the papers which were only for Charlie Butterworth to see .

  2. Stunning window !!!

    Makes one wonder what the DMV dome looked like before it was blocked ... probably in the 60's too.

  3. Beautiful, why should it be hidden?

    1. It's a local tradition, everything in that room is to remain hidden.

  4. Looks like the work of Heinigke and Bowen to me. When we were renovating 521 Warren and friends came to visit we’d walk across the street and Charlie Butterworth would very proudly show off the dome. I think he felt responsible for protecting the leaded glass.