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NYC - Civic Center: Surrogate's Court - New York in Its Infancy
The Surrogate's Courthouse, at 31 Chambers Street, was originally built as the Hall of Records between 1899 and 1907 by architect John R. Thomas. Part of the City Beautiful movement, the French empire, Beaux-Arts building was completed by Horgan & Slattery after Thomas' death. It was renamed in 1962 for the Surrogate's Court, who with courtrooms, offices and chambers on the 5th floor, was one of the building's original tenants.
Built of Hallowell, Maine granite, the seven-story, steel-framed structure features a triple arched entrance with eight, thirty-six high granite Corinthian columns above, and a facade apped by a tall mansard roof. The exterior is adorned with 54 sculptures.
Flanking the main entrance are Philip Martiny's New York in Its Infancy (pictured here), with the central figure of New york wearing a crown representing royal rule and flanked by a Native American and a Dutch Settler; and New York in Revolutionary Times, with a helmeted New York, flanked by British soldier and a Colonial woman.
On the cornice of the main entrance, above the fifth floor, are Philip Martiny's figures of eight prominent New Yorkers: David Pietersen De Vries, Caleb Heathcoate, De Witt Clinton, Stevens Hewitt, Philip Hone , the last director-general of New Netherlands Peter Stuyvesant, Cadwallader David Colden, and James Duane. Above that, on the roof are Henry Kirke Bush-Brown's allegorical figures, including Maternity and Heritage, on either side of the triple window. The east facade features additional female allegorical figures by Philip Martiny along the cornice. Martiny's Authority and Justice, which originally flanked the east entrance, were moved behind the New York County Courthouse.
The Hall of Records, now Surrogate's Court-Hall of Records, was designed a landmark by the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1986. Its interior had previously been designated in 1976