Municipal Building

The Marcus Hook Municipal Building, located on the northwest corner of 10th Street and Green Street, was constructed in 1939.  The building was dedicated on September 16, 1939, and the first regularly scheduled Borough Council meeting was held in the new building on October 2, 1939.  The municipal building is a fine example of Beaux Arts architecture.  It is an imposing building built in a classical Egyptian-Greek Revival style set upon a high podium entered by symmetrical formal staircases.  The overall quality of design and construction and the fine sequence of interior spaces and finishes contribute to this architecturally unique building.  The facade of the building is of limestone. 


The municipal building was a Federal Works Agency, Public Works Administration project:  John M. Carmody - Federal Works Administrator, Franklin D. Roosevelt - President of the United States.  The Works Progress Administration Program was a component of the New Deal, Franklin D. Roosevelt's ambitious plan to create jobs and develop the country's infrastructure, while pulling it out of the Depression.  The final project cost inclusive of construction, engineering, legal, administration and furnishings was $97,334.  The federal government contributed $43,319 or 45% of the project cost.  George M. Ewing was the project architect.  George M. Ewing Company ceased its business operation in 1984 and Mr. Ewing passed away in 1985 at the age of 97.  Mr. Ewing's son, Alexander, became a principal partner in the architectural firm of Ewing, Cole, Cherry and Parsky, Philadelphia, PA. The firm of Ewing Cole remains in operation with offices in Philadelphia and other cities in the United States.  There are no longer any Ewing family members associated with the firm. 


The entire first floor of the building houses the Marcus Hook Police Department.    The Mary M. Campbell Marcus Hook Public Library  occupies the second floor. 


The municipal building has undergone substantial improvements in recent years.  These have included re-pointing of exterior walls in 1983, replacement windows, new heating and central air conditioning system, exit signs and emergency lighting, stairway lift (providing handicapped access to the second floor) and cosmetic improvements to the Council meeting room in 1985, and in 1986, replacement of front doors and Green Street side door. 


In August 1992, a Municipal Building Facility Study was completed by Pennoni Associates, a consulting engineering firm.  A two-phased improvement project was recommended.  Phase 1 improvements were completed in 1994.  The first floor garage was closed in to create two new offices and a second floor added for an expansion of the Mary M. Campbell Library.   A new building entrance was created from Green Street where the garage driveway approach was previously located.  A concrete ramp provides access to the building for the handicapped.  The existing women's cell, which was in conflict with the adjoining administrative offices, was converted to an office and an existing cell in the police lock-up area was modified to accommodate female prisoners.  Additionally, the police department wing on the first floor of the building and the first floor conference room were



The second phase of improvements, completed in July 1995, consisted of refurbishing the administrative offices on the first floor.  New customer service windows were installed in the public entry area at the first floor Green Street entrance.  Improvements included new tile floors in the common areas, drywall, drop ceilings and lighting, and office carpeting.  The Borough Manager's office was made larger by removing the dividing wall between the manager's office and the former code enforcement office. 


The new library work/storage room was outfitted with a high density mobile storage system designed to maximize space.  The shelf units, manufactured by Spacesaver, Inc., move on guide rails which are flush with the finished floor.  Installation occurred in July 1995. 


In 1998, the Municipal Building roof was replaced along with the library’s interior ceiling.  Two ceiling fans were installed in the library.  This project, costing $25,180, was partially funded with a $9,128 Pennsylvania Keystone Library grant. 


In 2002, the Municipal Building underwent an exterior facelift.  The entire limestone surface of the building was cleaned top to bottom.  Accumulated surface contaminants, mineral deposits and atmospheric stains were removed using special limestone cleaners and restoration products.  The coping stone joints at the top of the building were raked out and caulked to correct water infiltration problems.  The granite front step joints and landing joints were also raked out and caulked, and staircase wall cracks repaired.  The yellow brick in the rear of the building and behind the front roof parapet wall was re-pointed.  All windows were resealed.  This work was completed at a cost of $28,630.  


In 2005, the entire ground floor of the Municipal Building was renovated.  Two jail cells were removed providing space for a processing room and victim/witness interview room.  The police work room was made larger by narrowing the hallway corridor. Specially constructed build-to-suit desks and file cabinets were installed in the new and expanded rooms and also in the office of the Police Clerk and Municipal Clerk.  New replacement floor tiles were installed throughout the ground floor, hallways and offices painted, and the offices re-carpeted.  Borough staff directed and supervised the project and furnished most of the labor.  


The building underwent extensive improvements in 2023.  Renovations were completed in December 2023 at a cost of $1.8 million.  The Marcus Hook Police Department, which previously shared the first floor with the Borough's administrative offices, expanded and now occupies the entire first floor of the building.  The much needed project provided the police department with a new modern station  with new HVAC, electric, and security systems.  On the second floor the former Council meeting room was converted into a children's library area. 


The Borough of Marcus Hook has retained in its archives the original municipal building blueprints.  Two original renderings of the building, one a front elevation view and the other an isometric drawing, hang in the building.

Copyright © 2006 Borough of Marcus Hook, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, US. All Rights Reserved.