Another formidable building in downtown Syracuse

With a paycheck in the account from my two freelance stories for the September issue of the glossy magazine, I took a quick stroll to part with it after lunch the other day.

Formidable from the front.

Formidable from the front.

No, there was not fair at a castle in downtown Syracuse to sign up for a quick joust.

Look closely. No moat.

A stately backyard.

A stately backyard.

A walk around to the back might make you believe that I was signing up for a course at a prestigious academic institution.

No, this is not a building affiliated with Syracuse University. That’s a few miles further southeast from downtown, increasingly sprawling on what is affectionately called the hill. Oh, yeah, except for the buildings more recently annexed to the west, in Armory Square.

It looks mighty high from the side.

It looks mighty high from the side.

A quick rock climbing lesson up the side of the structure, perhaps? Rappelling down the edifice?

No, and no. Not this guy, even if such adventures begin to be offered if the Mayor reads my blog.

Through this door all home owners shall pass.

Through this door all home owners shall pass.

This awesome building, you see, is Syracuse’s City Hall. And through that unassuming door is an equally unimpressive work room with a counter staffed by a courteous worker who took my check and handed me a receipt.

I’d decided to pay our last quarter’s homeowner’s taxes while the getting was good. Thank you Syracuse Media Group and Central New York The Good Life Magazine.

What occasions might have brought you to your city’s official place of business? What does City Hall look like where you live? Have you ever tried to beat City Hall, who’d you get away with it, or how long was your sentence?

39 thoughts on “Another formidable building in downtown Syracuse

  1. It does look like a castle, Mark!! It also looks like your city hall deserves to be in a movie, with some kind of super heroes. I am amazed and so glad you used the great adjective, “awesome” in your description of this building. I have been next door, yes, I live next door to Ohio Wesleyan University and Delaware City Hall! I am sandwiched on the same main North Sandusky Street. The university buildings are made out of Blue Limestone,” which I still take my grandchildren to this quarry made into a park. They are beautifully carved and a great place to sit and read a book. Our City Hall has a universal Peace stick, also has been named Tree City, so the newer building fits with the old style, but not as old as others in our block. It has a cupola at the top of a short red brick tower, with a clock in it. I have not been able to convince them that I overpaid my taxes, usually have to add some to the ‘coffer.’ I don’t take my taxes into the building I just put them in the little drawer that opens and shuts, in its own envelope. I don’t have to pay water or sewage as it is included in my rent. There! Long answers, but complete! Whew!

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    • Complete and very interesting, Robin. You live on a great street! I would be proud of the history and architecture. A tax drawer. That’s a unique idea. Thank you for your contribution here, as always, my Ohio friend.

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  2. What an awesome building! I especially love the top photo with the ominous clouds overhead. You need to add photography to your resume, my friend. πŸ™‚ I go to City Hall once a year when I renew my photography studio’s license. It not nearly as impressive as yours. But there are a lot of swans in the front. πŸ™‚

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  3. City Hall in our small city of suburbs is just a three story newer building where one goes to pay license and registration fees in person because one’s car title was in one’s maiden name and one needs to get the title redone for a fee. Looking up at that view of your City Hall in an overcast sky still takes me back to the creepy demon-possessed building in “Ghostbusters.” In a good way, of course.

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  4. We have the old city hall building with clock tower; where the council and mayor work. And we have new city hall right beside it where city administration is. Paying bills…how would the young people say it? Oh yes, Blows! πŸ™‚
    Diana xo

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  5. I was just talking to hubs about me going downtown Buffalo to photograph buildings and YOU have given me more incentive today, Mark. I won’t go alone, it is not safe especially with my expensive camera equipment. But, there is some fascinating architecture just like this building that is fascinating. Hope you have a great day!!! xx Amy

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  6. oh, i love the look of this building and can imagine all sorts of other uses for it. our city hall was stuck in the 1970’s until a couple of years ago and they came up with some sort of hybrid of what was there and a more modern facade. it went a bit higher too, used to be a low-slung, one story ugly affair, so i’m sure it’s an upgrade. your post triggered a post idea for me, and i’ll write it up this week, all about trying to beat city hall. thanks, mark )

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    • Inside isn’t quite as inspiring to me, Renee, but it’s worth a look from the front side, for sure, another sign of what’s on our streets that sometimes we don’t give a second glance.

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