The Custom House in Boston, Massachusetts, was established in the 17th century and stood near the waterfront in several successive locations through the years. In 1849 the U.S. federal government constructed a neoclassical building on State Street; it remains the "Custom House" known to Bostonians today. A tower was added in 1915; the building joined the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and was designated a Boston Landmark by the Boston Landmarks Commission in 1986.
Massachusetts, officially known as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, and New York to the west. The state is named after the Massachusett tribe, which once inhabited the east side of the area, and is one of the original thirteen states. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston, which is also the most populous city in New England. Over 80% of the population of Massachusetts lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history, academia, and industry. Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance, and maritime trade.
Boston Harbor is a natural harbor and estuary of Massachusetts Bay, and is located adjacent to the city of Boston, Massachusetts. It is home to the Port of Boston, a major shipping facility in the northeastern United States.
State Street in Boston, Massachusetts, is one of the oldest streets in the city. Located in the financial district, it is the site of some historic landmarks, such as Long Wharf, the Old State House and the Boston Custom House.
The Royal Commissioners of Customs administered customs in Boston during the colonial period.In the late 17th century, the customhouse was located at the waterfront, on the corner of Richmond St. and Ann St."
At the time of the Boston Massacre in 1770, it was located on King Street, very near the Old State House. Private Hugh White was on sentry guard duty. Paul Revere's illustration of the massacre depicts the customhouse (along the right-most edge of the picture).
The Boston Massacre, known to the British as the Incident on King Street, was a confrontation on March 5, 1770 in which British soldiers shot and killed several people while being harassed by a mob in Boston. The event was heavily publicized by leading Patriots such as Paul Revere and Samuel Adams. British troops had been stationed in the Province of Massachusetts Bay since 1768 in order to support crown-appointed officials and to enforce unpopular Parliamentary legislation.
After the revolution, the customhouse remained on State Street.Employees included Thomas Melvill (1786–1820). In 1810 it moved into a new building on Custom House Street (between Broad St. and India St.). In the 1830s American author Nathaniel Hawthorne worked there.
Thomas Melvill or Thomas Melville was a merchant, member of the Sons of Liberty, participant in the Boston Tea Party, a major in the American Revolution, a longtime fireman in the Boston Fire Department, state legislator, and paternal grandfather of writer Herman Melville.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American novelist, dark romantic, and short story writer. His works often focus on history, morality, and religion.
A new site on State Street was purchased by the federal government on September 13, 1837. Construction of a custom house was authorized by U.S. President Andrew Jackson. When it was completed in 1849, it cost about $1.076 million, in contemporary U.S. currency, including the site, foundations, etc.
A custom house or customs house was traditionally a building housing the offices for a jurisdictional government whose officials oversaw the functions associated with importing and exporting goods into and out of a country, such as collecting customs duty on imported goods. A custom house was typically located in a seaport or in a city on a major river, with access to an ocean. These cities acted as a port of entry into a country.
Andrew Jackson was an American soldier and statesman who served as the seventh president of the United States from 1829 to 1837. Before being elected to the presidency, Jackson gained fame as a general in the United States Army and served in both houses of Congress. As president, Jackson sought to advance the rights of the "common man" against a "corrupt aristocracy" and to preserve the Union.
Ammi Burnham Young entered an 1837 competition to design the Boston Custom House, and won with his neoclassical design. This building was a cruciform (cross-shaped) Greek Revival structure, combining a Greek Doric portico with a Roman dome, resembled a four-faced Greek temple topped with a dome. It had 36 fluted Doric columns, each carved from a single piece of granite from Quincy, Massachusetts; each weighed 42 tons (37 metric tons) 5 feet (1.5 m) and 4 inches (162 cm) in diameter and 32 feet (9.7 m) high. Inside, the rotunda was capped with a skylight dome.and cost about $5,200. Only half these actually support the structure; the others are free-standing. They are
Ammi Burnham Young was a 19th-century American architect whose commissions transitioned from the Greek Revival to the Neo-Renaissance styles. His design of the second Vermont State House brought him fame and success, which eventually led him to become the first Supervising Architect of the U.S. Treasury Department. As federal architect, he was responsible for creating across the United States numerous custom houses, post offices, courthouses and hospitals, many of which are today on the National Register. His traditional architectural forms lent a sense of grandeur and permanence to the new country's institutions and communities. Young pioneered the use of iron in construction.
Neoclassical architecture is an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century. In its purest form, it is a style principally derived from the architecture of classical antiquity, the Vitruvian principles, and the work of the Italian architect Andrea Palladio.
The Doric order was one of the three orders of ancient Greek and later Roman architecture; the other two canonical orders were the Ionic and the Corinthian. The Doric is most easily recognized by the simple circular capitals at the top of columns. Originating in the western Dorian region of Greece, it is the earliest and in its essence the simplest of the orders, though still with complex details in the entablature above.
The entire structure sits on filled land and is supported by 3,000 wooden piles driven through fill to bedrock.Before land reclamation was done in the mid-19th century, Boston's waterfront extended right to this building. Ships moored at Long Wharf almost touched the eastern face of the building. The Custom House was built at the end of the City docks, to facilitate inspection and registration of cargo. The federal government used the building to collect maritime duties in the age of Boston clipper ships.
This description of the original Custom House appears in the 1850 Boston Almanac:
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By 1905, increased shipping required the building's expansion. In 1913–1915, the architecture firm Peabody and Stearns added a 496 ft (151 m) tower to the base. It was the tallest building in both Boston and New England for almost half a century, until the Prudential Tower surpassed it in 1964.
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In 1986 when custom officials of the United States Customs Service moved to the Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. Federal Building in the West End, the Custom House on State Street was declared "surplus property". On April 16, 1987, the city of Boston purchased the building from the General Services Administration. The building remained unoccupied and inaccessible for 14 years. It was converted into an 84-room time share resort by Marriott Vacation Club International starting in 1997.
Since 2003, customs functions lie under the dominion of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, housed in Boston's O'Neill Federal Building.
The Custom House Tower is a skyscraper in McKinley Square, in the Financial District neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. The original building was constructed in 1837-47 and was designed by Ammi Burnham Young in the Greek Revival style. The tower was designed by Peabody and Stearns and was added in 1913-15. The building is part of the Custom House District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
The U.S. Customshouse is a historic custom house at 24 Weybosset Street in Providence, Rhode Island at the northeast corner at Weybosset and Custom House streets. The customhouse was built between 1855 and 1857 to a design by Ammi B. Young and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. In 1992, the building was purchased by the State of Rhode Island and converted to office space for the State Courts System. After extensive renovation at a cost of $550.000, the building was opened by the state of Rhode Island as the John E. Fogarty Judicial Complex.
The U.S. Custom House and Post Office is a court house at 815 Olive Street in downtown St. Louis, Missouri.
The U.S. Custom House or U.S. Customhouse is the custom house in Charleston, South Carolina. Construction began in 1852, but was interrupted in 1859 due to costs and the possibility of South Carolina's secession from the Union. After the Civil War, construction was restarted in 1870 and completed in 1879. The building was placed on the National Register of Historical Places on October 9, 1974. It is also a contributing property of the Charleston Historic District.
The U.S. Customhouse is a historic custom house located in San Francisco, California. It was built to house offices of the United States Customs Service.
The U.S. Customhouse is a historic custom house located in Savannah in Chatham County, Georgia. It was built to house offices of the United States Customs Service.
The U.S. Custom House, also known as the Old Post Office and Custom House, is a historic government building at 423 Canal Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was designated a National Historic Landmark, receiving this designation in 1974 and noted for its Egyptian Revival columns. Construction on the building, designed to house multiple federal offices and store goods, began in 1848 and didn't finish until 1881 due to redesigns and the American Civil War. The U.S. Customs offices have been located there since the late 19th century.
U.S. Custom House is a historic custom house building located at Baltimore, Maryland, United States. It is a granite, steel frame structure measuring 252 feet, 8 inches by 139 feet 6 inches. It is an exceptionally distinguished example of Beaux Arts architecture and was built from 1903 through late 1907 from plans by Hornblower and Marshall, a Washington, D.C. firm. The ceiling of the Call Room, located in the pavilion, was painted by Francis Davis Millet (1846–1912). It served as Baltimore's Custom House until 1953. Since that time various Federal agencies have occupied the building.
The United States Customhouse is a historic and active custom house at 2nd and William Streets in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Architect Robert Mills designed the custom house in 1834 in a Greek Revival style. It has been used by the U.S. Customs Service ever since, and today serves as a port of entry.
The Robert C. McEwen United States Custom House, also known as U.S. Customshouse, is a historic customshouse building located at Ogdensburg in St. Lawrence County, New York. It was built in 1809-1810 as a store and warehouse. It is a two-story, utilitarian, gable roofed, stone bearing wall structure approximately 60 feet wide and 120 feet long. The Federal government purchased it in 1936 and converted it for use as a customshouse. It is the oldest within the building inventory of the General Services Administration.
The Lewis F. Powell Jr. United States Courthouse, also known as the U.S. Post Office and Customhouse, is a historic custom house, post office and courthouse located in Richmond, Virginia. Originally constructed in 1858, it was for decades a courthouse for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. A new federal district courthouse opened in 2008, but the Powell Courthouse still houses the Fourth Circuit. The United States Congress renamed the building for Supreme Court justice Lewis F. Powell Jr., in 1993. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as U.S. Post Office and Customhouse.
The U.S. Customhouse is a historic custom house in Portland in Multnomah County, Oregon. It was constructed to house offices of the United States Customs Service. It was built in 1898–1901 and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It is currently used as the Portland, Oregon location for WeWork, a coworking space provider.
The United States Customs House and Court House, also known as Old Galveston Customhouse, in Galveston, Texas, is a former home of custom house, post office, and court facilities for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, and later for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Completed in 1861, the structure is now leased by the General Services Administration to the Galveston Historical Foundation. The courthouse function was replaced in 1937 by the Galveston United States Post Office and Courthouse.
The Owen B. Pickett U.S. Custom House is a historic custom house building located at Norfolk, Virginia
The New London Custom House is a historic custom house at 150 Bank Street in New London, Connecticut, built in 1833-35. It was designed by Robert Mills, one of the country's first formally trained architects. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its architecture in 1970, and is now a local museum covering the city's maritime history.
The Customhouse and Post Office in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., was completed in 1858 in a Renaissance Revival–Italian Palace style. Construction cost was $55,468. The first floor was occupied by a branch post office and the second floor by the Customs Service. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. It was already included as a contributing building within the Georgetown Historic District.
The U.S. Customhouse and Post Office is a historic commercial building at 1 Front Street in downtown Bath, Maine. Built by the federal government in 1858, it is a fine example of Italianate architecture designed by Ammi B. Young, housing the local post office and customs facilities until 1970. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. It now houses businesses.
The former Machias Post Office and Customhouse is a historic government building at Maine and Center Streets in Machias, Maine. Built in 1872, it is a prominent local example of Italianate architecture executed in brick. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. It now houses offices of the Machias Savings Bank.
Petersburg City Hall is a historic city hall building located at Petersburg, Virginia. It was designed by architect Ammi B. Young and built between 1856 and 1859, as the U.S. Customs House and Post Office.
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