Carrere and Hastings of New York, one of the nation's leading architectural firms at the turn of the century, designed Portland's City Hall. Two previous buildings stood on this site. The first fell victim to the great fire in 1866; the rebuilt hall burned in 1908. Carrere and Hastings are perhaps best known for their design of the New York Public Library, but Carrere is said to have been especially pleased with his design here. The elaborate structure is based loosely on a French Renaissance Hotel de Ville. The building gracefully conceals its actual size through its relation to the courtyard in front of the entrance. The tower stands almost 200 feet high, and the building houses a 3,000 seat auditorium. The granite for the building came from North Jay, Maine.