Augh! The NY Sun reports:

Speculation is heating up that the Municipal Building, the soaring limestone landmark that overlooks City Hall, could be among the government real estate assets to be sold off and converted to residential buildings as municipal employees prepare to move into a new, privately managed office building planned for ground zero.

Why? Because the city signed an agreement with World Trade Center developer to assume 600,000 square feet of space at Tower 4. City Councilman Alan Gerson says that while he hasn't heard anything official, rumors about selling the Municipal Building arise from time to time. Plus he added, "There is something to be said about the government holding on to a great iconic civic building in addition to City Hall."

No kidding! The Municipal Building is a beautiful McKim, Mead and White structure, completed in 1914, that was apparently based on the firm's unsuccessful bid to design Grand Central Terminal. About 30,000 city employees work there, including the Manhattan Borough President and the Public Advocate.

The Municipal Art Society's president Kent Barwick tells the Sun, "It is masterpiece of architecture, built as close to City Hall as you can get." It's true - and if you look on Flickr, many tourists think that the Municipal Building is the actual City Hall, since it is so majestic. It would be pretty sad if the building, which the public gets to interact (the Marriage Bureau, for instance, is there) with it now, became private property - though the apartments would have amazing views of the Brooklyn Bridge, lower Manhattan and more.

The official city line is that the Municipal Building is not for sale, though the city is investigating various options given the WTC Tower 4 lease. And in the summer, we admired the statue atop the Municipal Building, Civic Fame.