San Francisco City Hall, San Francisco

4.5
In local government, a city hall, town hall, civic centre (in the UK or Australia), guildhall, Rathaus (German), or (more rarely) a municipal building, is the chief administrative building of a city, town, or other municipality. It usually houses the city or town council, its associated departments, and their employees. It also usually functions as the base of the mayor of a city, town, borough, county or shire.

By convention, until the middle of the 19th century, a single large open chamber (or "hall") formed an integral part of the building housing the council. The hall may be used for council meetings and other significant events. This large chamber, the "town hall" (and its later variant "city hall") has become synonymous with the whole building, and with the administrative body housed in it. The terms "council chambers", "municipal building" or variants may be used locally in preference to "town hall" if no such large hall is present within the building.

The local government may endeavor to use the building to promote and enhance the quality of life of the community. In many cases, "town halls" serve not only as buildings for government functions, but also have facilities for various civic and cultural activities. These may include art shows, stage performances, exhibits and festivals. Modern town halls or "civic centres" are often designed with a great variety and flexibility of purpose in mind.

As symbols of local government, city and town halls have distinctive architecture, and the buildings may have great historical significance – for example the Guildhall, London. City hall buildings may also serve as cultural icons that symbolize their cities.

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Tours To San Francisco City Hall

San Francisco City Hall Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
1,021 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • This is a must stop for most of the Tourist busses and the Hop on Hop off busses. You may get down to take some good pictures with and of the hall. You can walk around the hall to visit other...  more »
  • Stop what you're doing if it's a clear day while visiting San Francisco and go to City Hall. Take pictures from Hyde Street looking at the back of City Hall, because the sky brackets the dome. Once....  more »
Google
  • I really didn't have to much time here and I only saw a few things but did talk to some workers who were there. Be warned there is heavy security to gain full access. I understand why this is but because of a time crunch and not wanting to empty all that I had with me I declined to go through the security check point. It looked and felt like you were going through airport security and that is the ONLY reason I did not give this place a full five out of five. The building is magnificent and reminds me of the capitol in Washington, D.C. from the Baroque accoutrements. Inside once past security there is a very long and steep staircase to the main floor. If you are an older person be prepared. I really liked seeing this place and just wished I had more time. I think it would be a good place to spend about 90 minutes there soaking up all that it has to offer.
  • The building is beautiful! It's such a treat, with so much history! I was really impressed with the structure. The tour, however, was pretty horrendous. I work in a museum, and I have visited many historical sites (many capitol buildings), and this was unfortunately the worst tour experience I've taken. I'm sorry to be harsh, because you can tell that a lot of care went into it, but the program and tour need some serious updating. The older women that greeted us and gave us the tour were very nice, but we spent 40 minutes just looking at exhibition cases, that were clearly not done by a professional. 40 minutes wasted on plastic cases, when you could be exploring this beautiful building you're standing in! After that we were rushed because I had to leave for a flight, so I only got a few minutes upstairs to see the magnificent views and just briefly stepped into the Mayor's Office. I suggest a revamp- show the exciting parts of the building, let the people walk through the exhibit cases on their own before/after the tour. Find a museum studies intern to help refresh the cases, and hire a new young museum educator to redesign the tour. Until those changes are made, I'd skip the tour and just step inside the building to have a quick look around by yourself.

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