When Norfolk became an independent city in 1845, space was needed to accommodate municipal functions. The Classic Revival building was begun in 1847 and completed in 1850 as Norfolk's city Hall and Courthouse. The architect was William Singleton, a Portsmouth native then practicing in St. Louis. He was assisted, particularly in the design of the dome, by Thomas Ustick Walter, a Philadelphia architect who designed the dome of the U.S. Capitol in Washington. On the steps of this building Mayor Lamb surrendered the City of Norfolk to Union General John E. Wool on May 10, 1862. City offices occupied the building until they were relocated in 1918. Court use continued until 1960. The interior of the building was then completely reconstructed as a memorial, containing a historical museum dedicated to General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964). The General chose Norfolk as his final resting place because his mother, Mary Pinkney Hardy, was born and raised in the Berkley neighborhood of the city. General MacArthur died in April 1964.