Inside the Storied City Hall Headquarters of New York’s Press Corps

Acclaimed courtroom artist Elizabeth Williams pops by Room 9

The epicenter of political news coverage in New York—Room 9 in City Hall—is no bigger than a studio apartment. At least 17 reporters from a dozen media outlets cram into the fabled space, which first served as a press center in the 1860s. Room 9 usually evokes an intense study hall; reporters share desks, facing a wall or each other, and often all you can hear are fingers feverishly tapping on computers. At less busy times, a politician or spokesperson may drop by to discuss, or spin, the story of the day.

From left: Jillian Jorgensen of the Observer, Matthew Chayes of Newsday  and Anna Sanders of the Staten Island Advance.

From left: Jillian Jorgensen of the Observer, Matthew Chayes of Newsday and Anna Sanders of the Staten Island Advance.

J. David Goodman, left, confers with his New York Times’ colleague William Neuman in earshot of Anna Sanders of the Staten Island Advance.

J. David Goodman, left, confers with his New York Times’ colleague William Neuman in earshot of Anna Sanders of the Staten Island Advance.

Josh Dawsey of the Wall Street Journal.

Josh Dawsey of the Wall Street Journal.

Jillian Jorgensen, right, and Rich Calder of The New York Post.

Jillian Jorgensen, right, and Rich Calder of The New York Post.

Matthew Chayes of Newsday, far left, and Politico’s Gloria Pazmino, far right,  chat with Eric Koch, the City Council Speaker’s spokesperson.

Matthew Chayes of Newsday, far left, and Politico’s Gloria Pazmino, far right, chat with Eric Koch, the City Council Speaker’s spokesperson.

Elizabeth Williams is co-author of The Illustrated Courtroom: 50 Years of Court Art.