<Excerpt from New York Offbeat Walks: Civic Center, Chinatown & Little Italy>
Follow the map (north), looking to your right (1) for the imposing David N. Dinkins Municipal Building. One of the biggest public buildings in the world, it has been home to many New York City public offices since 1913. It combines a variety of architectural styles, from Imperial Rome to the French Renaissance.
Its imposing size is a testament to the ambition and growing importance of New York’s municipal authority in the early 20th century, and the 25-foot gilded Civic Fame statue on top is the second largest in the city, right behind the Statute of Liberty. The model for the statute was Audrey Munson (1891-1996), now largely forgotten but in her youth a film actress, America’s first “super model” who posed for the sculptors of a dozen Manhattan public statutes. Originally called the Municipal Building, it was renamed in 2015 after David Norman Dinkins (1927-2020), the city’s first African-American mayor (1990-93).