Within about ten hours, the Great Fire of 1877 destroyed over 1,600 buildings. When the ashes cooled, the citizens of Saint John worked tirelessly for the next five years to rebuild … this time in stone and brick. The federal government paid for a new post office and custom house. The municipal government constructed public services buildings. Among them was this City Hall. This beige sandstone structure with a handsome Second Empire design housed the mayor and city council from 1879 until 1971.