This building is Gloucester's third seat of government. The first was a Town House now known as the Legion Memorial Building on Washington Street. The second Town House was built on Dale Avenue (the present site) in 1867 but was destroyed by a fire in 1869. The present building was dedicated in June 1871.
The architects were Gridley J.F. Bryant and Louis P. Rogers from Boston.
The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
City Hall is home to important WPA murals, the Fishermen's memorial and nationally important archives dating back to 1642.