Exemplifying the ideals of the “City Beautiful” movement, this opulent Parisian courthouse was originally built as a storage facility for the city`s records. 58 sculptures on the exterior, by Philip Martiny and Henry Kirk Bush-Brown, depict various allegorical figures such as Law and Philosophy, or themed around Revolution, as well as prominent features of New York history.
Planned since 1888 for use as a Hall of Records and home to Surrogate's Court, it took eight years to build, from 1899 to 1907, and cost more than $7 million.
Surrogate Court completed as a fireproof building, designed to house the City's Records.
The building was originally designed for use as a Hall of Records and this was its original name. The Surrogate's Court was one of the original tenants, with courtrooms, offices, and chambers on the 5th floor. The building was renamed the Surrogate's Courthouse in 1962.