Baltimore City Hall
Baltimore City Hall is the official seat of government of the City of Baltimore. City Hall houses the offices of the mayor and those of the Baltimore City Council. The building also hosts the city comptroller, some city departments and chambers of the Baltimore City Council. Situated on a city block bounded by Lexington Street on the North, Guilford Avenue on the West, Fayette Street on the South and War Memorial Plaza to the East, the six-story structure was designed by the 22-year old architect, George A. Frederick in the Second Empire style, a Baroque revival, with prominent Mansard roofs with richly-framed dormers, and two floors of a repeating Serlian window motif over an urbanely rusticated basement. The building was officially dedicated on October 25, 1875.

The site for the "new" building was selected and some designs were submitted before the American Civil War. The cornerstone for the building, under Frederick's new design, was not laid until 1867; construction was completed eight years later. At a cost of more than $2 million, Baltimore City Hall is built largely of brick with the exterior walls faced with white marble. The marble alone, quarried in Baltimore, cost $957,000. The segmented dome capping the building is the work of Baltimore engineer Wendel Bollman, known for his iron railroad bridges. At the time of its construction, the cast iron roof was considered one of the largest structures of its kind.

By the end of World War II, City Hall was showing signs of age and deterioration. The slate roof leaked, the exterior marble was eroding in places and the heating, cooling and electrical systems needed to be replaced. Even the cast iron dome's fastenings had rusted through and many plates were cracked. In 1959, 15 pounds of iron ornament came loose and plunged 150 feet into the Board of Estimates hearing room. In 1974 the city voted to renovate the old city hall rather than build a new one. Architectural Heritage Inc., in association with Meyers, D'Aleo and Patton Inc., local architects, were retained to begin the design. The ceremonial chambers were restored and the office space was doubled. In the process the dome was disassembled and put back together. Two years and 10.5 million dollars later the Mayor, the City Council and other city departments moved back into the building. Usable space was increased almost twofold after the renovation, by fitting in two extra floors, by replacing dead storage space in the basement with offices, and by moving corridor walls to maximize office space. In 2009, a building survey found that sections of the building's marble exterior were cracked and crumbling due to age. The city approved spending $483,000 for repairs to be made the same year.

On October 11, 1883, James F. Busey, a Democratic ward operative, was shot and killed outside of City Hall. The man who shot him, William T. Harig, was also a Democrat from another ward. The two got into a political argument and after some punches were thrown, both men drew their pistols and began firing at each other in rapid succession. Busey fired wildly; Harig did not, hitting Busey four times. Harig was taken into custody and charged with murder. Nearly 93 years later, Charles A. Hopkins stormed the temporary City Hall with a hand gun and killed a city councilman. On April 13, 1976, Hopkins, angered at his restaurant being shut down, killed Dominic Leone, a member of the Baltimore City Council. Hopkins also wounded another city councilman, a police officer and a mayoral aide during the shooting spree. Hopkins was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the shootings but has spent most of his life since then at mental health facilities. In 2007, a Baltimore judge reduced his level of confinement.