City Hall's first sculpture of Justice was commissioned by its architects while the building was under construction. That figure, depicted without a blindfold, was the work of John Dixey, a sculptor trained in London, who received $310 for his work. The first Justice was carved of wood, and adorned the building until it was destroyed in 1858, when fireworks set off to celebrate the laying of the Atlantic cable started a fire on the roof of City Hall. As the roof and cupola burned, so did the statue of Justice, which dramatically crashed through the ceiling of City Hall and into the rotunda.
Installed, May, 1860
In May of 1860, a new wooden Justice was installed on the rebuilt cupola. However, by 1887 the wood so deteriorated, that it was necessary to replace it.
The sculpture of Justice on top of the cupola on City Hall is the third such sculpture to stand atop this building.Painted to resemble carved stone, Justice is constructed much like the Statue of Liberty, composed of lightweight pieces of sheet copper soldered together and supported on an internal armature.