In 1653 Peter Stuyvesant called together the burgomasters and schepens who represented the tenuous government of New Amsterdam in a second floor room of Stadt's Herbergh to take the oaths of office. This building was later renamed city hall.
In 1700, the Common Council replaced the Stadhuis with a new building on the corner of Wall and Broad Streets. The land was donated by Abraham de Peyster. The building contained rooms for the Council and the Courts and in the basement there was a public jail.
In 1731, the Montgomerie Charter was granted by Royal Governor John Montgomerie to officials of New York City establishing it as a municipality.
In October 1776 after the British took New York City, a crowd of Tories descended on City Hall to sign a memorial congratulating General Howe on his victory. Then in 1783 a royal proclamation officially suspending hostilities between Britain and America was read from the steps of city hall. In Gotham, Burrows and Wallace report that the crowd responded to the news with "groans and hisses."
In 1803 the city began constructing a new city hall on the site of the Common. It took eight years to complete.