June 16, 1907 - Old City Hall is Soon to Go
In 1836, the City Hotel, also known as the McGregor House and Stuart's Hotel, was built on the land formerly occupied by the Eagle Tavern on the corner of William & Broad Streets. In 1853, President Franklin Pierce gave a speech from the front steps. In 1863 the city of Newark purchased the hotel and transformed it over the next two years into City Hall. The City Hall and Council Chambers opened on September 21, 1864 for a cost of $89,048.10. In 1889 a fourth story was added as well as the balcony across the front on the third story being converted into an additional room. This building stayed the City Hall until the present one was opened in 1906. On a historical note, in 1870, a Belgian chemist named Edmund J. DeSmedt laid the first true asphalt pavement in this country, a sand mix in front of the City Hall. DeSmedt went on to pave Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC.
Information from Nat Bodian:
In 1870, an historic happening occurred on Broad Street, Newark. America's first recorded asphalt pavement was placed in front of Newark City Hall by Edmund j. DeSmedt, a Belgian chemist. Thirty-four years later, in 1904, asphalt pavement covered only 141 miles of American roads. By 1916, however, asphalt pavements were commonplace.
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