This is one of the finest examples of government architecture in the United States. The Custom House was built to symbolize artistically the unique position which the Custom Service in New York held in the eyes of the nation and the world. The United States Custom Service was an agency of the Federal Government in charge of collecting import tariffs and performing other selected border security duties.
This interior is an important example of comprehensive Beaux-Arts decorative planning. The dome has murals of New York harbor that were painted by Reginald Marsh, and they have become significant landmark reminders of the city during the 1930s. This interior continues to create a strong visual impression.
STATUS Designated Exterior and Interior Landmark
“I don’t know what the City would be without HDC. [They] testified before LPC time after time and helped us focus on the right issues. We would not be an historic district without HDC! ”
Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance
“Use HDC as a resource because they know what they are doing and can offer advice on how to go about creating a district from every front: architectural, political, LPC, and the media. I had floundered prior to my involvement with this invaluable organization.”
Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site
“HDC provided guidance and shared information during that process—we knew which Council members were going one way or another and we changed a few minds. I don’t think NoHo would have had as cohesive a district had it not been for HDC’s aid.”
Zella Jones: NoHo Historic District; NoHo East; and NoHo Extension
“I remember Richard saying at a meeting, we have someone here from HDC, Nadezhda Williams, Director of Preservation and Research, to help us. She said to us, ‘You are not the only ones going through this.’ HDC included us in an enormous community”
Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society