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The front of the building that served as Boston City Hall in June, 1965.
The front of the building that served as Boston City Hall in June, 1965. Globe File Photo/1965

One of Boston’s biggest landmarks is going on the market.

Architectural Heritage Foundation said Thursday that it’s looking for a buyer for its lease on Old City Hall, the civic palace on School Street that served as Boston’s seat of government for a century.

The nonprofit AHF took over the building on a 99-year-lease in 1970, after the city’s new Hall opened, and restored it into office space and a restaurant — long the Maison Robert, now Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Now, AHF says, the place is ready for a new operator.

“We believe it is time for this iconic property to benefit from a new lease owner, who will bring new ideas and capital to the property, reinvigorating it for years to come,” said AHF president Sean McDonnell in a statement. “We have fulfilled our mission and believe this is a great opportunity to bring fresh ideas and perspectives, access to capital and deliver a sustainable future for Old City Hall in a dramatically changed downtown Boston marketplace.”

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AHF has hired real estate firm CBRE to manage the sale, and said it hopes to select a buyer by November. AHF said it plans to use the proceeds to finish improvements to the building’s courtyard and create a new loan fund for historic preservation.

Any sale would likely need approval of the Boston Planning and Development Agency, which owns the building and leases it to AHF. A BPDA spokesperson did not immediately return messages seeking comment Thursday.


Tim Logan can be reached at tim.logan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @bytimlogan.